SCOTUS Rules Obamacare a Tax; Legal Challenge Over Origination of Bill

Posted on April 1, 2013. Filed under: Obamacare, Politics | Tags: , , |

Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. R...

Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year, Chief Justice John Roberts, in the majority opinion upholding Obamacare, stated that the law is a Federal tax, not a mandate as Obama kept insisting.

Roberts may have inadvertently opened the door to the death of Obamacare.

The Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative/libertarian public interest law firm, has filed suit that Obamacare is unconstitutional based on the fact that the bill originated in the Senate.

Article I, section 7 of the United States Constitution states:

All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

The Senate often gets around this issue by taking  a revenue bill that has already been introduced in the House, gutting it and renaming it, and putting a new revenue bill in place.

This is a fairly common practice, but the Senate maintains that they are merely amending it as allowed under the Constitution.

What began life as the “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009” (H.R. 3590) by Charles Rangel (D–NY), became the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” with amendment in the Senate.

If the Supreme Court overturns the law based on this, will other revenue laws be overturned that were passed in the same manner?

I honestly doubt the Supreme Court will overturn on this basis, but I was surprised when they upheld it last year. Unfortunately, I think the PLF is clutching at straws, but we’ll see if it even makes it to the Supreme Court.

The story is here.

 

 

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