As I mentioned in another thread, this Salon writer argues that if the Supreme Court takes up the Constitutionality of the health care reform law and rules against it, it could be used as precedent to overturn a LOT of other laws, perhaps the entire New Deal.
Now, said piece is mostly a blog entry, and is a little light on predictive detail. But do the fears raised there have any basis in legal fact? Or would it depend on what grounds any eventual challenge is made on? (Or is there only one out there in the court system right now?)
For that matter, what odds are you giving on the scenario actually coming to pass in the first place?
Perhaps I should expand a little (something I wanted to do in my OP, but I can see how it might seem limiting): what, if any, other current federal laws and programs would be put into doubt assuming the Supreme Court overturns the health care law based on the mandate? Some suggestions (mostly from supporters of HCR) include child labor, the requirement that emergency rooms must take all comers, and some social safety nets.
It depends entirely on what SCOTUS said as they struck down the law. The ruling could be narrow enough it doesn’t affect anything else or broad enough it overthrows every single law written since the founding fathers. I’m guessing it’d be more towards the narrow end of things though.
Exactly. Once the Slaughterhouse Cases crippled the Privileges & Immunities clauses, the Federal government was left essentially powerless to enforce civil rights on the states. And, in a nod to my textualist friends, I think that decision runs completely contrary to the plain language of the 14th, as well as the original intent of it. So rather than do the sensible thing (overturn the Slaughterhouse Cases) they twisted the Commerce Clause to give them the right to prevent discrimination - in the cases (and others) cited above.
Go back to a minimalist interpretation of the Commerce Clause, and many people argue quite convincingly there is no basis on which the federal government can prevent whites only lunch counters.