Some more bits that no one took the constitutionality of the ACA seriously

June 12th, 2012

When the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law was enacted, everyone knew it had a rendezvous with the Supreme Court. To expedite that challenge, Congress set up a special three-judge panel in DDC, with direct appeal to the Supreme Court. This shows everyone knew its possible constitutional infirmities, and wanted the Supreme Court to get a quick route to appeal.

Other statutes had similar provisions. I am pretty sure the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had a similar provision.

David Bernstein unearthed a proposal from the Clinton Administration regarding Hillarycare:

The Clinton Administration was sufficiently concerned about constitutional objections to its health care proposals that according to the November 15, 1993, Washington Times, the administration asked that Congress:

Require lawyers to file within one year after the massive plan becomes law any challenges to its basic constitutionality; Give exclusive jurisdiction to an unusual panel of three judges from the U.S. District Court for D.C.;
Forbid those federal judges from issuing temporary restraining orders or injunctions to stop the plan while the case is being litigated; Send appeals only directly to the Supreme Court; and consolidate separate cases.

The constitutional hubbub over Hilarycare was especially remarkable given that this was pre-Lopez andMorrison, that is before the only two modern cases to declare that there are limits to federal authority under the Commerce Clause. The objections weren’t developed further at the time because Hilarycare never came close to enactment.

Why was nothing similar done here? I don’t recall Republicans ever moving for something like this. I gather no one took it seriously.