Most of us were told that President Obama was a professor of constitutional law while in Chicago. I assume therefore that he surely knows the constitution more than most of us since he has taught students constitutional law; albeit given the fact that not all teachers have mastered the subject of what they teach.
This past week we were exposed to the arguments on Obamacare in the Supreme Court of the United States. This health care law was passed under contentious circumstances as we were exposed to the whole spectacle of its highly partisan fight including bribes, incentives, coercions, “kickbacks” and collusion, some two years ago.Since its passage, this law was contested by twenty-six state attorney-generals and made its way through the legal system and ended up in the supreme court because Obama wanted the decision before the November election.
There are three main points which will be decided upon and they are the individual mandate, its separability from the rest of the law–although the legislation made it inseparable– and whether the federal government can coerce the states into contracting an expansion of Medicaid, the federal-state health program which has origins in 1965.
Frankly, I have no idea how the decision on each or all of those will eventually play out but none of the justices has recused himself or herself from participation, it will be decided by a majority vote. Most are speculating that it will be by a very narrow margin of a 5-4 vote one way or the other.
Since none of us can see into the future it is fair to state that these predictions are no more than guesses and pontifications.
But one fact bothers me to no end and that is the question of the constitution. I have spent a decent amount of time studying as well as trying to understand the constitution, to the point of even taking courses and workshops.
I know something about it and I am proud to say that I enjoyed learning the circumstances of its writing as well as the principles which went into the origins of the document. I am not only enjoying the passages and guarantees that it provides but also of what it seeks to provide.
I say seeks to provide because currently various external forces are interpreting this constitution differently from whence it was written–the spirit and intent as well as the lines which have been drawn by the authors to protect its citizens from a tyrannical government. These forces are applying modern-day interpretations which try to modify those granted freedoms to the extent of calling it a living document which changes with the changing times.
Last week I mentioned the importance of interpreting the passages and words according to the dictionary of that period for meaning of the words used, since we all know that words can have meanings change over the centuries. The spirit in which these were written also is terribly important, since the document purports to protect the individual and the people from a malevolent government, which exists even today in many parts of the world since I have experienced personally in these modern times.
I am therefore astonished by this piece of legislation–called Obamacare– proposed and signed into law by a person who taught constitution law and which will be decided by a panel of nine judges, all of whom had sworn to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and yet the decision is not going to be unanimous, whichever way the decision comes down.
If it is deemed to be constitutional, shame on the majority and if otherwise shame belongs to the minority and also to the president who made it into law in the first place: otherwise we won’t be in the conundrum that we are in right now.
Constitutionality of this law should never have been put into question to begin with, but since it is up for a decision by these nine people who have sworn to uphold the constitution, a split decision should never have to occur especially if they are aware that individual freedoms must be protected from this government’s overreach as intended by the authors. Like Justice Kennedy said… “that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.”
But then didn’t this president say that he is going to fundamentally change America. This is one fundamental change which is not desirable for the good of the citizens of America., because America won’t be America anymore; we would have moved one more step in the direction of my native country where constitutional protection for its citizens is non-existent. If this is where we’re going, I don’t want to be on that train.
If they all studied the same constitution conscientiously the decision should be unanimous in rejecting this law.