Thursday, June 28, 2012

NFIB v Sebelius: The really, really scary thing ...

... is the clear insight certain dicta provides into the disturbing world view that animated Cheif Justice Robert's decision.  The following dicta appears at page 39 of the majority decision:

The joint dissenters argue that we cannot uphold § 5000A as a tax because Congress did not "frame" it as such. Post, at 17. In effect, they contend that even if the Constitution permits Congress to do exactly what we interpret this statute to do, the law must be struck down because Congress used the wrong labels. An example may help illustrate why labels should not control here. Suppose Congress enacted a statute providing that every taxpayer who owns a house without energy efficient windows must pay $50 to the IRS. The amount due is adjusted based on factors such as taxable income and joint filing status, and is paid along with the taxpayer's income tax return. Those whose income is below the filing threshold need not pay. The required payment is not called a "tax," a "penalty," or anything else. No one would doubt that this law imposed a tax, and was within Congress's power to tax. That conclusion should not change simply because Congress used the word "penalty" to describe the payment. Interpreting such a law to be a tax would hardly "[i]mpos[e] a tax through judicial legislation." Post, at 25. Rather, it would give practical effect to the Legislature's enactment.

"No one would doubt that this law imposed a tax, and was within Congress's power to tax."  Therein lies the worst language of an appalling opinion!  Everyone, anyone who adheres to the concept of limited government,  and now any limit on government, instinctively rejects federal authority to compel the purchase of any good or service or face taxation to thereby subsidize other's more civically correct decisions. 

Other, far more onerous and expensive analogies come readily to mind.  For example, the federal government can now levy a tax on all persons who fail to purchase new automobiles in a given year.  Congress could readily make a finding that the domestic automobile industry is essential to national well being and that the federal government's extensive investments in that industry are jeoparized by the the industries' insolvency.  Based on today's dicta and holding the Roberts Court will be quite comfortable with such an "auto tax."

The "window tax" analogy demonstrates the lengths to which Republican appointee John Roberts instinctively will to allow the federal government to go in the oppression of we, its citizens.  So the single worst decision in Supreme Court history is bad, very bad.  Much worse, however, is the preview of more to come from just another jurist who cannot find a practical limitation to federal power over the individual.


I Like Ike said...

So they can't force us to buy health insurance but they can tax us if we don't? How does that produce a reasonable result Uncle Teddy? The bottom line is the same isn't it.

you're the lawyer, you tell me.

The Real Sporer said...

Ike, I am the lawyer and I am telling you just that.

There are now no activities that cannot be compelled through the userious tax policies of the US government.

What they cannot order you to can now be compelled through adverse taxation at whatever level the government determines appropriate.

This power also flows to the states and local taxing authorities as well.

Erik said...

The only comfort I take is Congressmen can be thrown out if people get sick enough of legislation like this. People aren't crazy about higher taxes.

Craig Bergman said...

This ruling is exactly why we need to forever end the ability of the congress to levy a direct tax of any kind ever again. Time to repeal the 16th amendment and collect taxes at the state level from retail sales. Time to return to Federalism.


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