Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
APimpNamedSlickback
Posts: 1126
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:21 pm

1) yes.

2) no.

hth.

APimpNamedSlickback
Posts: 1126
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:24 pm

tbh, i didn't read the op. i just wanted your attention.

i hope someone helps, however.

User avatar
kings84_wr
Posts: 896
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:18 pm

Re: Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

Postby kings84_wr » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:55 am

Randy Barnett on Volokh has written a lot on why he thinks the mandate would be invalidated if it fell under the commerce power.

The tax power is probably the winning argument.

rjl
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:24 pm

Re: Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

Postby rjl » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:33 am

There are three areas in which the Constitutionality of the health care package are supposedly being challenged: (1) individual mandates, (2) federal government placing mandates on the states in the form of additional state funds required for medicaid and (3) the federal government placing mandates on the states requiring the states to create insurance exchanges.

Let’s look at them one by one.

1. Individual mandates requiring people to procure health insurance.
This falls under the taxing and spending clause of the Constitution, which states, in pertinent part, that “[t]he Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” U.S. Const. Art. I, § 8, Clause 1.

Even by its plain language, it is easy to see how this health insurance mandate is Constitutional, but case law still backs it up. Not since the 1918 case of Hammer v. Dagenhart has the Supreme Court found anything resembling the current issue unconstitutional. Hammer was overruled by United States v. Darby Lumber a few years later, and the rest is history.

In tax code, there are all kinds of instances when things like this happen; where Congress uses taxing authority to further general welfare. Rebates for purchases, tax deductions on home mortgages, better tax rates for married individuals versus single, etc.

The challenge against individual mandates fails.

2. A mandate against the state, requiring additional state funds be put into Medicaid.
The increased state outlay into Medicaid is matched by a large Federal outlay into Medicaid. Once again, this falls into the Constitution’s tax and spend clause. The Federal government cannot “force” the state to comply with its federal law, and it is not. The state can still choose to not contribute any additional funds to Medicaid, with the result being that they will then not receive any Federal Medicaid funding. (A common example of a similar law already in place is DUI law: states must enact the .08 DUI law or else lose Federal highway funding.)

The four-prong test to determine if a Federal statute enforced through the tax and spend clause passes Constitutional muster is that the statute must (a) be in pursuit of general welfare, (b) be unambiguous, (c) be related to the federal interest, and (d) be non-coercive.

No one can argue that the statute easily passes (a), (b), and (c). The challenges are arising on (d): the statute cannot be coercive. The state Attorneys general are arguing that the amount of money involved is so disproportionate that they cannot possibly turn it down, leaving them without the option to withhold additional state Medicaid funding. Proportionality is determined by comparing cost to benefit; to be disproportionate, the cost must significantly outweigh the benefit. In this case, however, the additional Medicaid funding is not disproportionate at all: increased funding to Medicaid (cost) results in a directly proportionate benefit (Medicaid to additional people).

The challenge against additional state funding of Medicaid fails.

3. A second issue of a state mandate, whereby, under the statute, state insurance exchanges are to be formed.
The Attorneys general argue that both New York v. United States (unconstitutionality of a federal law requiring states to “take title” and assume responsibility for any nuclear waste produced within their borders) and Printz v. United States (unconstitutionality of federal law that required state police to be involved during the interim period of the Brady handgun bill) preclude the federal government from commandeering state resources by requiring states to form insurance exchanges. The Attorneys general invoke the 10th amendment, which states that “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” to claim the unconstitutionality of the federal government making these laws.

However, unlike New York and Printz, the current health care package provides that, if the state does not set up an insurance exchange, the federal government will. The state is not forced to do anything.

Further, in Darby, the Supreme Court held that the 10th amendment was nothing but a “truism”: if Congress has the power, it does not violate the 10th Amendment; if Congress does not have the power, it violates the 10th Amendment. In other words, the 10th Amendment does not add any additional Constitutionality or unconstitutionality to something that has been deemed either Constitutional or unconstitutional by other Amendments and Articles.

Insurance has always been held to be a federal matter; it has only been regulated on a state level because Congress ceded the power to the states through, amongst other things, the McCarran Act. So, just as Congress gave states the power, it can take it away. Since health insurance falls under Federal power, the health insurance package does not violate the 10th Amendment.

The challenge against insurance exchanges fails.

User avatar
existenz
Posts: 927
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:06 am

Re: Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

Postby existenz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:44 am

rjl rocks it. good job.


rando
Posts: 908
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:57 pm

Re: Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

Postby rando » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:55 am

rjl wrote:
1. Individual mandates requiring people to procure health insurance.
This falls under the taxing and spending clause of the Constitution, which states, in pertinent part, that “[t]he Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” U.S. Const. Art. I, § 8, Clause 1.

Even by its plain language, it is easy to see how this health insurance mandate is Constitutional, but case law still backs it up. Not since the 1918 case of Hammer v. Dagenhart has the Supreme Court found anything resembling the current issue unconstitutional. Hammer was overruled by United States v. Darby Lumber a few years later, and the rest is history.

In tax code, there are all kinds of instances when things like this happen; where Congress uses taxing authority to further general welfare. Rebates for purchases, tax deductions on home mortgages, better tax rates for married individuals versus single, etc.

The challenge against individual mandates fails.


The rest of the argument was pretty well laid out but i'm not so sure this is correct.

The next section Art. I. sec 9, limits the ability to tax directly. And lays the foundation for apportionment, which is the issue raised by op. The examples listed as to why it is constitutional all fall under the federal income tax.
Mortgages are income tax deductions. Rebates are generally income tax credits (and/or deductions). And the single vs. married individuals is simply you base tax rate calculations. This all falls under the 16th am.

I don't know if the taxing argument will hold water but it isn't as simple as outlined above.

rjl
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:24 pm

Re: Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

Postby rjl » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:01 am

betasteve wrote:You either conveniently or negligently forgot to discuss Lopez in your commerce clause analysis. Lopez dealt with Congress regulating guns in school zones and claimed the right to do so from a Wickard type aggregation that the cost of gun violence is borne on the system and the loss is spread across the interstate system, as well as because guns in school zones would inhibit kids from learning which would have a negative impact on the economy and GDP. Supreme Court found this unconstitutional. So your Darby lumber thing isn't that relevant.


I neither conveniently nor negligently forgot Lopez. I also did not include thousands of other cases which do not apply.

The law in Lopez failed because the commerce clause was far too tenuously linked to weapons in schools.

Interstate commerce can be linked to general health of citizens and the regulation of large national health insurance providers, however, and the tax and spending clause (something not found in Lopez) covers what the commerce clause does not.

Lastly, I wasn't applying Darby. I was merely using it as a chronological milestone.

User avatar
mikeytwoshoes
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:45 pm

Re: Question re: Apportionment for Con Law Gurus

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:54 pm

betasteve wrote:
rjl wrote:
betasteve wrote:You either conveniently or negligently forgot to discuss Lopez in your commerce clause analysis. Lopez dealt with Congress regulating guns in school zones and claimed the right to do so from a Wickard type aggregation that the cost of gun violence is borne on the system and the loss is spread across the interstate system, as well as because guns in school zones would inhibit kids from learning which would have a negative impact on the economy and GDP. Supreme Court found this unconstitutional. So your Darby lumber thing isn't that relevant.


I neither conveniently nor negligently forgot Lopez. I also did not include thousands of other cases which do not apply.

The law in Lopez failed because the commerce clause was far too tenuously linked to weapons in schools.

Interstate commerce can be linked to general health of citizens and the regulation of large national health insurance providers, however, and the tax and spending clause (something not found in Lopez) covers what the commerce clause does not.

Lastly, I wasn't applying Darby. I was merely using it as a chronological milestone.

No... the law in Lopez failed because there was no limiting principle to what the US was arguing. In this era, you can absolutely relate everything to having an impact on interstate commerce. Lopez, it seems, serves as an economic anti-Wickard, whereby the aggregating and loss spreading economic arguments are not going to be accepted by this Court. And this was supported in Morrison. Can you distinguish? Of course. But that's the thing with con law. Yon can fairly effectively distinguish everything from everything else. What I am suggesting about your argument is that the issue is (a) not that conclusive, and (b) you certainly aren't paying any logical attention to the counter arguments.

Beta

You should include Solid Waste Agency of Norther Cook County and U.S. v. Jones in your commerce clause analysis. In both cases, the court narrowly construed statutory language in order to avoid constitutional questions. This is another route the court could take. The facts don't match so it's not precedent but the court could try to squeeze the health care law through the door of commerce clause validity in this manner. I think you were right above in that it will depend on the whim of the court.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kahlo, Voynich and 13 guests