Constitutional scholar Dave Kopel discussed the ObamaCare SCOTUS ruling July 9 at Liberty On the Rocks, Flatirons. He argued that, despite the court’s troubling ruling on the taxing power, in other ways the ruling provides important Constitutional protections of our liberties.
Kopel spoke for about an hour to a crowd of around fifty people; I extracted a series of ten videos encompassing most of his remarks.
Kopel began by discussing the commerce clause, noting that the ruling offers a relatively restrained reading of that clause more consistent with original understanding:
Next Kopel addressed the meaning of the “necessary and proper” clause, noting that the court’s ruling moved interpretation of that clause closer to original understanding:
What about Medicaid spending? Kopel points out that the Court’s ruling has profound implications for states’ ability to manage their own budgets.
Of course, the Court dramatically expanded the Congressional taxing authority, and that part of the ruling is the most problematic. Kopel discusses ObamaCare’s “Seinfeld tax on nothing.”
Did Justice Roberts make a “switch in time” because of political pressure? Kopel discusses the possibility:
What is the state of legal academia? Kopel argues that it was bad but that it is getting much better.
Is the Tenth Amendment meaningless? Hardly, argues Kopel.
Ultimately, the Constitution lives in the hearts and minds of the American people. “It is up to the American people to maintain our political system of constitutional liberty,” Kopel argues.
Judicial review is proper, Kopel argues, but not sufficient to maintain liberty.
Finally, Kopel discusses other possible legal challenges to ObamaCare.
See also Randy Barnett’s op-ed and interview about the decision.