Thursday, March 29, 2012

First wheat, now healthcare by James Bovard

Yes, healthcare and wheat are definitely legally related, at least in the context of the Supreme Court's long history of uphold Fedzilla powers and creating precedents.
A Supreme Court ruling on New Deal farm policies has relevance today. The Obama administration is relying heavily on a 1942 Supreme Court case to sway today's justices as they consider the constitutionality of compelling Americans to buy health insurance. The 1942 ruling, in Wickard vs. Filburn, declared that "it is hardly lack of due process for the government to regulate that which it subsidizes." The case spurred a vast increase in political-bureaucratic control over American life, even though the court's ruling rested on mind-boggling economic illiteracy. Starting in 1938, the Department of Agriculture dictated to the nation's 1.5 million wheat farmers exactly how many acres of the grain they could grow. Other programs to curtail wheat output had begun in 1933. Roscoe Filburn, an Indiana farmer who slightly exceeded his quota, claimed that the government had no right to prohibit him from growing wheat on his own land to feed to his own livestock. The Roosevelt administration, in a brief to the Supreme Court, claimed that it must have a free hand to "suppress ... a public evil."
Read the rest here
Los Angeles Times