November 18, 2009
Healthcare Reform & Enumerated Powers: Will Your Congressional Reps Endorse the Constitution or Lawlessness?
By James Wilson

Does the Constitution allow Congress to force you to buy health insurance? Several Congressional leaders have been asked, by in particular. Their responses ranged from ignorant to arrogant to contemptuous.

We provide their responses here.

The politicians' ignorant, arrogant, and contemptuous answers underscore the need for the Enumerated Powers Act (EPA). EPA would force Congress to demonstrate its Constitutional authority for each bill it passes. Over the past four weeks the Enumerated Powers Act has . . .

Let's increase the number of co-sponsors! Please write a letter demanding that every member of Congress sponsor the Enumerated Powers Act.

This is what I wrote in my letter . . .

Can Congress justify its actions "chapter and verse" -- that is, by naming the authorizing article, section, and clause of the Constitution?

You swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Sponsoring the Enumerated Powers Act (EPA) will signify to me that you take this oath seriously.

This is not merely a symbolic matter. I have to pay attention to the laws you guys pass, and comply with them. Therefore, I will take your failure to become an active co-sponsor as an endorsement of lawlessness, because that is the choice before you . . .

Will you endorse the Constitution or lawlessness?

The EPA says Congress must pay attention to the Constitution, that ". . . each Act (must) contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act." 

Several members of Congress have been asked to cite where the Constitution permits them to force Americans to buy health insurance. THUS FAR, ALL SUPPORTERS OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE MANDATE FAILED THIS ONE QUESTION TEST. Some were even insulted that we would question their power. 

In fairness, they were caught off-guard, but now you can give me a researched, thoughtful response. Please tell me, "Where does the Constitution permit you to force Americans to buy health insurance?"

If you can cite specific Constitutional provisions that permit this, I want to hear them, and I insist that they be mentioned in the health care bill.

If you can't specify any such authority, you are bound by your oath of office to oppose mandatory health insurance.

If you write me saying that you oppose the individual mandate, please know that I'm grateful. But you're not off the hook, because . . .

You should still co-sponsor the Enumerated Powers Act, and, as a sponsor, work passionately to bring it to a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

The EPA will actually make your job easier. It will tell you right away if a bill's provisions are Constitutionally legal.

You expect me to obey the law -- to avoid lawlessness. I expect the same from you.

Do not underestimate the importance of this issue. More and more Americans are starting to care about what the Constitution actually says. They understand that Congress's legitimate powers are limited to those listed in the Constitution, and are further restrained by the Bill of Rights (including the Ninth and Tenth Amendments).

The longer Congress ignores the Constitution, the more we will conclude that the problem isn't simply that Congress is ignorant of what the Constitution requires, but rather that most members are contemptuous of the Constitution, and are deliberately breaking both the law and their oaths of office.

The longer you refuse to sponsor the Enumerated Powers Act, the more I will assume this about you personally. I will take this into account as I discuss your re-election with other voters.


You can send your letter here.

Please take additional steps to spread the word, recruit more DC Downsizers, and increase the heat on Congress:

Your support is our progress.

Jim Babka, President, Inc.


Does the Constitution's Commerce Clause permit the health insurance mandate? has shown that, even with permissive jurisprudence by the Supreme Court, Congress still lacks the authority to impose the health insurance mandate on Commerce Clause grounds.

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