James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Pelosi's Healthcare bill: an unprecedented attack on personal freedom


Supporters of healthcare reform claim it's about accessible and low-cost health coverage for Americans. If that were true, they'd reject Nancy Pelosi's bill, HR 3962. Usually, critics write about the economic reasons. But there's another huge problem . . .

The bill is an unprecedented attack on personal liberty.

Please send a letter to Congress demanding they oppose Pelosi's bill.

Here's what I wrote:

HR 3962 will hamstring our finances. But it's also full of blatant attacks on individual liberty.

For instance, chain restaurants and vending machine owners will be forced to publish calorie information on their menus. That's not interstate commerce... unless the state line cuts through a McDonald's counter. Congress can't order private property owners around this way, and the Free Press clause of the First Amendment also clearly forbids this mandate. Calorie reports may be nice, but that's outside of the government's lawful scope.

HR 3962 also violates the broad 9th Amendment protection of individual liberty, and the 10th Amendment's requirement that federal power be limited to only those functions listed in the Constitution.

Even though the Supreme Court has blown a gaping hole through many Constitutional protections of economic freedom -- and blamed their lawlessness on the Commerce Clause power to regulate interstate commerce -- it's apparent that even this wide hole is too small for Congressional ambitions. Does anyone on Capitol Hill even know what interstate commerce is?

An example of this is the unprecedented, totalitarian attempt to force people to acquire government-approved insurance or face tax penalties. If Congress can force us to buy a particular grade of insurance, can it also force us to subscribe to "approved" newspapers?

The Supreme Court has ruled in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture (1922) that Congress can't use the tax code to regulate behavior it doesn't otherwise have power to regulate.

In United States v. Lopez (1995), United States v. Morrison (2000) and even Gonzales v. Raich (2005) the Court decreed that Congress cannot use the Commerce Clause to regulate activity that is NOT economic -- such as NOT buying, NOT producing, or NOT making something. NOT buying insurance can't be buying or making something.

That means, if you want to pay for this fancy plan, you'll have to steal the money the old-fashioned way -- a tax increase. You might want to review the matter in this Washington Post article:


You swore an oath to obey and protect the Constitution. Please honor that oath. I insist that you stand up on behalf of liberty and oppose this bill.


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James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director


  1. Unprecedented? Hardly.

  2. The draft, various prohibitions, and the surveillance state were just as or more evil. By "unprecendented" I just mean I don't think the feds have actually compelled us to purchase something before.