Prosecute the torture.

March 24, 2010

Who asked you, Corbett?


PA Attorney General Tom Corbett says,
"Stop in the name of partisan politics..my campaign..the law."


Dear Attorney General Corbett:

I know you're a Republican running for Governor, but Pennsylvania is a BLUE state that voted for Barack Obama for President who ran on health care reform so, please, STOP YOUR FUCKING PARTISAN POLITICS.

That is all.

Sincerely,
Maria
Pittsburgh, PA

__________________________________________________________

  • Petition to Stop Tom Corbett here.

  • Joe Hoeffel on Corbett's move here.

  • PA Sen. Daylin Leach & others' letter to Corbett here (which notes that if the lawsuit is successful, "it will cost Pennsylvania approximately 102 Million Dollars in the 2010-2011 fiscal year and billions more in the short term.")

  • George Washington on health care reform’s constitutionality here.
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  • 21 comments:

    EdHeath said...

    I suspect the Supremes are not going to bite on this one, although I'll bet Roberts and particularly Scalia and Thomas (and possibly others) would like to. One or more of them may let slip a comment to the media.

    I think this country is still very divided, with the fringes pulling moderates further than they would otherwise go (on both sides). Turns out that Obama's strategy in the HCR process of being engaged, then distant, then engaged and so on may not have served the country best. Ultimately I think HCR will be a net win for Obama, but not a huge win. For a lot of people, this process did nothing to endear Obama to them. A lot of voters will vent their frustrations this fall. They will be in the majority in some places, I hope not in a lot of places.

    Heir to the Throne said...

    Pennsylvania is a BLUE state that voted for Barack Obama
    Except during the 2008 Democratic primary.

    GeneW said...

    Except during the 2008 Democratic primary.

    What's your point? That was when PA Democrats supported Hillary who was also pushing Health Care Reform as a major issue in her campaign.

    Eric Williams said...

    From the Washington article:

    "If Congress can't pass laws regulating health care, Medicare is unconstitutional. Medicaid is unconstitutional. SCHIP is unconstitutional."

    I agree. Much of what the federal government does, especially since the New Deal, is unconstitutional.

    EdHeath said...

    And yet, Eric Wiliams, the Court has not struck down this stuff. I believe that is because the Court feels it has to live in a real world of changing technology, education and social mores.

    You may disagree.

    Eric Williams said...

    Changing technology, education and social mores are really quite irrelevant to whether or not a law is consistent with the Constitution, a document by which the federal government is to be tightly chained. At issue is the fundamental question of the proper roles and scope of centralized government. The particulars of proposed, assigned, or arrogated roles for our federal government change with circumstances, but the principles behind them should not. Either the machinations of governments and bureaucracies should be used to level out the inequalities of society and remedy its ills, or they should not. I firmly believe they should not. You may disagree.

    Ol' Froth said...

    Eric, thanks for checking in with the 1850's point of view.

    Eric Williams said...

    Oh, I'm so sorry. I wasn't aware philosophical foundations had expiration dates! Oh, is my face red...

    Rhettigan said...

    If we had the 1850s philosophy toward government, or, better yet, the 1789/1791 philosophy toward government with a few constitutional amendments since, we'd likely not be in this mess and our government would know its place.

    The Constitution is law. There is obeying it and disobeying it.

    Make your argument for amending the constitution, and we'll get back to the philosophical problems with taking others' wealth to provide for those who don't have it.

    Eric Williams said...

    Rhettigan makes a good point. Major changes to the form of US government ought to be made by amending the Constitution, not bending to suit a particular generation's will. The latter route has been taken for far too long and far too often. Remember, the same mentality that brought this highly praised health care reform brought us the Patriot Act.

    Pgh_Knight said...

    To the original post... the contradiction within your statement is stunning.

    Thanks.

    Maria said...

    PK,

    It would be if only Democrats had voted for Obama (& HCR).

    You know, if independents, Greens, and even some Republicans hadn't voted for him as well.

    Also, of the 14 AGs involved, 13 are Republicans.

    gtl said...

    Hmmmm. So, because the Founders didn't specifically mention health care in the Constitution (Written at a time when "health care" was pretty much limited to "How many leeches should we use?"), Federal law on the subject is unconstitutional?

    EdHeath said...

    Wait, Eric Williams, are you saying the Patriot Act was unconstitutional?

    So what did the Supreme Court say when you brought suit against the government, for passing an unconstitutional law?

    gtl said...

    I don't see how the State AG's have standing to bring their suit before a Federal Court. The Court does not rule on the hypothetical, and I don't see any way that they can claim harm.

    A ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.

    Eric Williams said...

    "So, because the Founders didn't specifically mention health care in the Constitution...Federal law on the subject is unconstitutional?

    No. I'm saying that the federal government doesn't have authority to force anyone to buy anything. The founders envisioned a very limited federal government and left how far to limit state powers to the states and their constitutions. Much that the federal government does is unconstitutional, however good it might be (e.g., NASA).

    "Wait, Eric Williams, are you saying the Patriot Act was unconstitutional?

    I think the powers to invade privacy through search and seizure are contrary to the 4th amendment at the very least.

    "So what did the Supreme Court say when you brought suit against the government, for passing an unconstitutional law?"

    What are you getting at? I'm not aware of a suit being filed, but I wish one had been. If one was filed and was dismissed or lost, I am disappointed but not surprised.

    Eric Williams said...

    "Wait, Eric Williams, are you saying..."

    I'll call you Ed if you call me Eric. K? ;)

    EdHeath said...

    No problem, Eric, sometimes I try to be precise when there are multiple comments that sorta overlap.

    I think we just disagree. I suspect, but have not researched, that lawsuits have been brought over the years to have New Deal programs and Medicare and maybe even NASA declared unconstitutional. I know that some of the tax evaders try to use the defense that income tax is unconstitutional. Since we know the court has not declared much of what the Feds do, especially since the New Deal as unconstitutional, I think we have to say that the constitutional scholars on the bench do not share your view.

    I can kind of see your point concerning people being forced to buy something. I mean, if you buy a car, depending on what state you are in, you will be forced to buy insurance, a state registration and your car has to have certain safety features and possibly be tested. On the other hand, you are not forced to buy a car. But you are forced to either buy health insurance or pay the fine. There is a strong economic/actuarial argument for having the pool of insured be as large as possible, but there is nothing in the constitution about personal freedoms being superseded by economist's or actuarial's wishes.

    Still, I think this suit will fail. In this modern world, I think the need for a regulated health care system is strong enough to persuade the Supremes.

    Eric Williams said...

    I'm glad we can respectfully disagree, Ed. :) Polite debate is far too rare on the net.

    "In this modern world, I think the need for a regulated health care system is strong enough to persuade the Supremes."

    Ah, but my point is that it is not the job of SCOTUS to rule on "the need for a regulated health care system" or anything else other than the federalism, state powers, and individual rights as defined by the Constitution. If Americans decide they want something that's unconstitutional, they can push for an amendment to allow it. That's how it's supposed to happen.

    EdHeath said...

    Well, to be specific, if the Supremes rule on this case, it will be on the intersection of "the need for a regulated health care system" as characterized by the bill passed by Congress and "the federalism, state powers, and individual rights as defined by the Constitution".

    There may be an academic sense in which your interpretation of the constitution is correct, but my guess is that the SCOTUS will not share it. Always possible I could be wrong. We'll see.

    Hambone said...

    Bryan Allen, PA Senate candidate from Bucks County, called for Corbett to state how much he thinks this is going to cost. http://bit.ly/cTVCrm