February 2, 2011

Health care reform quote of the day

"I taught Randy Barnett torts, not constitutional law."
Prof. Barnett is an adamant opponent* of the individual insurance mandate whereas Prof. Fried is convinced of its constitutionality.

Later in this morning's hearing, Prof. Barnett claimed Prof. Fried acknowledges that the government can make you buy green leafy vegetables, but not that the government can make you eat them.

Also at today's hearing, the newest Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said the suits against the law are "without merit" (a.k.a. "frivolous") which is obviously false. He went on to say that the reason he did not join the actions against the PPACA when he was Connecticut's attorney general was not because they were "without merit" but because he believed the law would save his State millions of dollars.

The latter is a policy consideration, not a legal justification for whether the mandate survives constitutional scrutiny. If Senator Blumenthal expects the courts to reason similarly, he is depending on a highly inappropriate exercise of the federal judicial power.

* So adamant he advised the Senate today to repeal the law.

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