Somin on Individual Mandate Challenges

While the case Gonzales v. Raich could be a factor in Judge Henry Hudson's Eastern District Court ruling on Virginia's challenge to the individual mandate for health insurance, Professor Ilya Somin believes Raich will not apply.

Commenting in Investor's Business Daily, Somin says Raich defines "economic activity as the production, consumption, or distribution of a commodity. If you choose not to have health insurance, you're not producing, consuming, or distributing it."

Somin also disagrees with the reasoning that since everyone eventually uses health care, the government can make people purchase insurance, saying, "That kind of reasoning can be used to justify anything. The government could justify a mandate to purchase cars because eventually everyone uses transportation."

Is ObamaCare Unconstitutional? Virginia Will Put It To The Test, Investor's Business Daily, December 8, 2010.

"Judge Henry Hudson's ruling could have huge implications for the future of not only ObamaCare, but also the relationship of the federal government to its citizens.

"The mandate requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. In May, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed suit against the mandate.

"'This is a further extension of federal power than ever before,' said James Blumstein, a law professor at Vanderbilt University.

"The Obama administration argues that the federal government has the power to compel people to buy insurance since it has the authority to regulate insurance under the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.

"While the government has used the commerce clause to regulate or even prevent the purchase of a product or service, this is the first time the commerce clause has been used to require individuals to purchase a product."

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