Opponents of health care reform are getting little solace from the Supreme Court.
A ruling last week showed the court’s reluctance to rein in Congress’s power to pass regulations under the constitution’s commerce clause.
That’s the key point in the pending court battles over reform – that Congress can’t constitutionally require people to have health insurance. The court in a 7-2 vote on a different case turned down a challenge based on similar reasoning.
Attorneys general from more than 20 states, including Colorado, have joined lawsuits arguing that the new reform law goes beyond Congress’s power. Two district judgs have rejected such challenges, and one has ruled that it is unconstitutional. The issue is likely to research the Supreme Court in the next year.
The case involved a challenge to a 2002 law that makes it a federal crime for a felon to possess body armor or a bullet proof vest. It might seem like a different case, but the majority’s decision could make it more difficult for those who are challenging health insurance reform.
The reason – the case stemmed around whether Congress had the power to enact a law regulating the possession of a product. In its majority decision, the court ruled that Congress does have that authority.