Monday, April 5, 2010

Letter to Decatur[IL] Herald and Review" ...

...about their Congresscreature, Phil Hare:

Chicago Monday AM 5 April 2010

Editors, Decatur Herald and Review


The Decatur Herald and Review article “Video of Hare remark on Constitution goes viral on Internet” of Saturday, April 3 quotes 17th District US Congressman Phil Hare saying at a Quincy senior center Thursday, April 1: “I don't worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest."

Article VI of the United States Constitution says “Senators and Representatives... shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution....”

As to the Constitutionality of the recent health care legislation, of the 7541 words of the US Constitution (including all 27 amendments,) not one of them is 'health” or 'insurance'? (The word 'care' does occur once, in the phrase “[The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully execute....”)

Congressman Hare may not have read Article VI, but he must certainly know about the “General Welfare clause.” Congressman Hare could expand his knowledge of Constitutional Law even further by reading Federalist Paper Number 41 where the father of the Constitution himself, James Madison explains that “a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms [general welfare] immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon.” And sure enough, following that semicolon is a list of 17 specific things Congress is limited to doing, and not a sign of anything to do with health, insurance, or care.

The Commerce cause is sometimes proposed to get around the mean old Constitution, but if Congress can interpret "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes" to mean Congress can do whatever it wants, why have a Constitution?

Obamacare is often compared favorably with Medicare and Social Security. This is a good comparison only in that Obamacare is no more unconstitutional than each of those entitlements. The question our leaders should be considering is how many times can you ignore a Constitution before it is meaningless?

Arnold H Nelson

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