The Speaker of the House demonstrates her contempt for the Constitution of the United States:
(CNSNews.com) – When CNSNews.com asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance–a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill–Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
The exchange with Speaker Pelosi on Thursday occurred as follows:
CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”
Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am.”
Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a “serious question.”
“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”
Later, Pelosi’s spokesman came back with the lamest of all responses:
Pelosi’s press secretary later responded to written follow-up questions from CNSNews.com by emailing CNSNews.com a press release on the “Constitutionality of Health Insurance Reform,” that argues that Congress derives the authority to mandate that people purchase health insurance from its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce.
Of course, when you look at what the Founders actually intended the Interstate Commerce Clause to do, it’s fairly clear that Pelosi is wrong.
Consider for example, Federalist No. 22 , where Alexander Hamilton noted the primary reason that the Founders were giving the power to regulate Interstate Commerce to Congress:
The interfering…regulations of some States…have… given just cause of…complaint to others, and…if not restrained by a national control, would be multiplied… till they became…serious sources of animosity and… impediments to the intercourse between the different parts of the Confederacy. “The commerce of the German empire…is in continual trammels from the multiplicity of…duties which the several princes and states exact upon the merchandises passing through their territories, by means of which the…navigable rivers [of]…Germany…are rendered almost useless.” Though the…people of this country might never permit this…to be…applicable to us, yet we may…expect, from the…conflicts of State regulations, that the citizens of each would…come to be…treated by the others in no better light…
In Federalist No. 42, James Madison made the same argument:
…A very material object of this power [to regulate commerce] was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State…ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former…
Over time, of course, that original meaning and intent of the Commerce Clause have been perverted by a Congress wishing to extend it’s authority ever deeper into an American life, and by a compliant Supreme Court.
Under current law, then, the Commerce Clause means something far different from what it was ever intended to mean, and that is one of the major reasons that we live with the Leviathan on the Potomac that we currently have. Just because it’s the law, though, that doesn’t make it right.
Of course, given the contemptuous way she answered the question, I really don’t think Nancy Pelosi cares about that.