This just in, Congress requires purchase of insurance ... in 1790
. wrote:OK. Good one. I formulated the proposition inartfully. Let's put it this way: OTHER than what is already provided for in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, clause 16,) is there any circumstance under which the federal government can require the purchase of anything by anyone.
That remains the question.
third & fourth paragraphs wrote:In fact, the challengers’ claim is completely false. In 1790, the very first Congress (which included 20 framers of the Constitution, in case Justices Thomas and Scalia are counting), enacted a law requiring shipowners to buy medical insurance for seamen. The law was signed by another notable framer: President George Washington. Congress followed this with a 1792 law requiring all able-bodied citizens to buy a firearm (previously mentioned on this board), and a 1798 law requiring seamen to buy hospital insurance for themselves. Today, there are a host of affirmative federal duties to buy things. For example, federal law requires corporations to hire independent auditors, and requires unions to buy insurance bonds in case their officers engage in fraud. The list goes on.
OK, let's look at these examples:1790
: Admiralty law, and a mandate relating to the employer-employee relationship. I don't think that there is any doubt today that a law mandating employers to provide health coverage to employees would be found Constitutional, under the Commerce clause. Also before the 9th Amendement was ratified.1792
: Specific Constitutional mandate, as noted before1798
: Admiralty law. (May also fall under the "navagatable waterways" clause, which also has been expanded beyond recognition by Congress and the courts.) After the 9th Amendment was ratified, but before modern interpretation. Also, before Marbury v. Madison.Corporations
: Now, that one is close, as corporations are chartered under state law, and this is a Federal law. Still, no one is required to run a corporation.Unions
: No. Unions are exempted from anti-trust laws. That exemption is a Federal status, which can logically require conditions. Even if the law was not written in that manner, the courts could easily construe the law to read that if a union does not have insurance bonds, then it is not exempt from anti-trust law (and is undoutably in violation).
I don't buy it, and I suspect the Court wouldn't, either, unless they want to.Added red text.