By: David A. Patten
President Barack Obama is one of the worst presidents ever in terms of respecting constitutional limitations on government, and the states suing the federal government over healthcare reform “have a pretty strong case” and are likely to prevail, according to author and judicial analyst Andrew P. Napolitano.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella, Napolitano says the president’s healthcare reforms amount to “commandeering” the state legislatures for federal purposes, which the Supreme Court has forbidden as unconstitutional.
“The Constitution does not authorize the Congress to regulate the state governments,” Napolitano says. “Nevertheless, in this piece of legislation, the Congress has told the state governments that they must modify their regulation of certain areas of healthcare, they must surrender their regulation of other areas of healthcare, and they must spend state taxpayer-generated dollars in a way that the Congress wants it done.
“That’s called commandeering the legislature,” he says. “That’s the Congress taking away the discretion of the legislature with respect to regulation, and spending taxpayer dollars. That’s prohibited in a couple of Supreme Court cases. So on that argument, the attorneys general have a pretty strong case and I think they will prevail.”
Napolitano, author of his just-released “Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History” and a Fox News senior judicial analyst, is the youngest Superior Court judge ever to attain lifetime tenure in the state of New Jersey. He served on the bench from 1987 to 1995.
Napolitano tells Newsmax that the longstanding precedent of state regulation of the healthcare industry makes the new federal regulations that much more problematic.
“The Supreme Court has ruled that in areas of human behavior that are not delegated to the Congress in the Constitution, and that have been traditionally regulated by the states, the Congress can’t simply move in there,” Napolitano says. “And the states for 230 years have had near exclusive regulation over the delivery of healthcare. The states license hospitals. The states license medications. The states license healthcare providers whether they’re doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. The feds have had nothing to do with it.
“The Congress can’t simply wake up one day and decide that it wants to regulate this. I predict that the Supreme Court will invalidate major portions of what the president just signed into law…”
The judge also says he would rate President Obama as one of the worst presidents in terms of obedience to constitutional limitations.
“I believe we have a one party system in this country, called the big-government party,” Napolitano says. “There is a Republican branch that likes war and deficits and assaulting civil liberties. There is a Democratic branch that likes welfare and taxes and assaulting commercial liberties.
“President Obama obviously is squarely within the Democratic branch. The president who had the least fidelity to the Constitution was Abraham Lincoln, who waged war on half the country, even though there’s obviously no authority for that, a war that killed nearly 700,000 people. President Obama is close to that end of lacking fidelity to the Constitution. He wants to outdo his hero FDR.”
For those who oppose healthcare, the Fox legal expert says, the bad news is that many of the legal challenges to healthcare reform will have to wait until 2014, when the changes become fully operational.
Until then, there would be no legal case that individuals had been actually harmed by the law. Moreover, Napolitano says it takes an average of four years for a case to work its way through the various federal courts the final hearing that’s expected to come before the Supreme Court.