Talk about deja vu. The Attorney General of West Virginia wrote a letter on behalf of 11 states (Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia) arguing that the President’s “fixes” to Obamacare are illegal. The Hill has the story:
Eleven GOP attorneys general say the Obama administration is breaking the law by repeatedly making changes to ObamaCare without going through Congress.
The attorneys general specifically criticize President Obama’s executive action that allowed insurance companies to keep offering health plans that had been canceled for not meeting ObamaCare’s more rigorous standards.
“We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The illegal actions by this administration must stop.”They say the healthcare fix was “flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law.”…
The officials point to the 1985 Heckler v. Chaney case, in which the Supreme Court concluded that some enforcement actions of laws might be subject to judicial review first.
Of course, the constitutional challenge to Obamacare began with a letter on behalf of thirteen states in December of 2009. That number would ballon up to 26 states by March 2010.
Here is the core of the legal argument:
The President’s “administrative fix” is unlawful for several reasons. First, it is a violation of the President’s responsibility to “take care” to execute the laws faithfully. Second, it unlawfully creates either a new statutory obligation in violation of the separation of powers or a new rule in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.
But unlike the letter from years ago, they stop short of threatening legal action.
The undersigned Attorneys General support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage. However, the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through congressional action. The illegal actions by this Administration must stop.
Really, what could they do? There is no standing here.
I just noticed these lyrics in the Rick Ross song Mafia Music:
Love my handgun but my choppa still da shit,
Banned in 1994 but I’m too legit to quit
“Choppa” is slang for fully-automatic weapon (in street-terms a machine gun). Though, fully-automatic weapons were banned long before the 1994 assault weapons ban.
Law-abiding citizens of Connecticut were forced to wait on line to register their “high capacity magazines” (more than 10 rounds) and “assault weapons” (semi-automatic rifles with scary-looking cosmetic features). If they did not, they would be felons.
Some will find this image exhilarating. Some will find it depressing. But don’t mistake the significance of this photograph.
Don’t forget what conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote in 1996. He conceded that the assault weapons ban would not result in a decrease in violence, but it served as an important symbolic step in desensitizing Americans towards the path of banning all guns.
“Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically. It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today.
Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic — purely symbolic — move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation. Its purpose is to spark debate, highlight the issue, make the case that the arms race between criminals and citizens is as dangerous as it is pointless.
De-escalation begins with a change in mentality. And that change in mentality starts with the symbolic yielding of certain types of weapons. The real steps, like the banning of handguns, will never occur unless this one is taken first, and even then not for decades….
Nelson “Pete” Shields III, a founder of Handgun Control, Inc.—the progenitor of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence—openly advocated for the elimination of all handguns: “‘We’re going to have to take this one step at a time. . . . Our ultimate goal—total control of all guns—is going to take time.’ The ‘final problem,’ he insisted, ‘is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition’ for ordinary civilians ‘totally illegal.’” John Hechinger, a sponsor of the D.C. handgun ban and a board member of Handgun Control, Inc., put it simply: “We have to do away with the guns.”
One step at a time.