by Timothy Reeves, Oregon Tenth Amendment Center
Unbelievably brazenâ€¦ the “State of Oregon” has replied to my inquiry on howâ€¦. When the state coffers are at an unprecedentedly low state, the Attorney General is traveling the country offering friend of the court briefs in support of the largest unfunded mandate ever to leave the town limits of Washington D.C. (Not to mention the death-bell of all liberties as we know them.)
I decided that I would disassemble the letter and lay it out for all to see. Please note that the paragraphs in italics are the replies/comments from the Oregon DOJ (Kate Medema, Legislative and Constituent Affairs, Office of Oregon Attorney General John Kroger), and the paragraphs below are my continued replies.
Thank you for contacting the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the landmark health care overhaul recently approved by the United States Congress. We appreciate your taking the time to comment on this important issue. I apologize for the delay in our response.
The Attorney General agrees that the constitutionality of federal health care legislation is a matter of great importance. Based on our extensive review, DOJ is of the opinion that the health care reform bill is constitutional and that challenges to the legislation are without merit. Legal scholars around the nation have expressed similar views. As a result, Attorney General Kroger will not waste taxpayer dollars on filing merit-less litigation to challenge the legislation.
Okay, if you say it is Constitutionalâ€¦ then what enumerated power gives the authority to the Federal Government to take over the administration of healthcare services in the entirety of the private sector? By what authority is it legal to require, as a condition of our mere existence, that we purchase a product that we may not desire, or may not need!? As I have read the Constitution, over and over again – I see no such authority. That means that the Federal Government is usurping STATE authority and acting arbitrarily (the definition of tyranny).
While the state of Oregon has general governmental authority, and thus can enact items of this nature (the individual mandate excepted), the Federal Government is outside of their jurisdiction. There are no powers in the Constitution which give D.C. this right. And is it not “necessary and proper” to the carrying out of any other powers in the Constitution.
Historically, opponents of reform have turned to the courts when they have failed to muster the votes to block major legislation. The Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were all challenged on constitutional grounds and all three of these monumental pieces of legislation were upheld by the courts. We expect a similar result in this case.
Not to oppose reform, but if we have not read all the pages in this monstrosity of legislation, how can we be expected to follow the law? I do not know any citizens who have the requisite time and/or energy to spend nearly a week going through the U.S. legal code to check their own compliance to this law, nor do I personally have the resources to pay a lawyer to do the same.
Couldnâ€™t it be that people who are challenging this law may be more concerned with the ability of the average citizen to comply with this law, and not the further subjugation of those who cannot afford health care? Might it alternately be true that citizens may oppose this statute based on the fact that a law, which requires frequenting a certain business or being in defiance of the law, is an infringement on the rights of those so bound?
Attorney General Kroger is a military veteran and knows well the sacrifices that have been paid by those who fought to defend our Constitution. After his time in the Marines, Attorney General Kroger was a law professor and he closely studied the Constitution and fully understands its importance as the foundation of our legal system.
If the Attorney General has – as he has said – studied the Constitution, I wish he would answer the questions I raised above. Did I miss an Amendment to the Constitution, or are you just being a shill for the administration in D.C. because you share the same party affiliation? You make a mockery of the legal system when you ignore the common rules of construction under which the Constitution is supposed to be viewed.
Although we recognize this may not be the response you desire, please know that we are grateful to engaged citizens like you who take the time to express their views and keep us informed. Feel free to stay in touch with our office if you have any future questions or concerns.
Well, I hope you will answer all of my questions in the future with the same doublespeak you have exhibited here in this dismissive letter.
It is one thing not to defend the rights of the citizens of our state, but now the Government of the State of Oregon is actively trying to play a role in the oppression of the entire country. With the state having a $1 billion budget hole, they somehow find the money to use resources to actively support the enactment of the largest unfunded mandate in history, as well as the largest infringement of our rights in generations!
Through the filing of briefs in support of this bill and the traveling of Attorney General Kroger, we are wasting money and working against the best interests of our state – and of the Constitution itself.
Tim Reeves is an 11 year veteran of the U.S Navy, and is now an engineer, He grew up in Michigan, but has resided in the Pacific NW since 1992. He’s the State Chapter Coordinator for the Oregon Tenth Amendment Center.
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