Patterico's Pontifications


Federal Judge Allows Challenge to ObamaCare to Proceed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:15 pm

Details at Hot Air.

The opinion is less than impressive in its analysis, which I can summarize as follows: both sides have good arguments, and this is a hard case, so tie goes to the plaintiff.

The position[s] of the parties are widely divergent and at times novel. The guiding precedent is informative, but inconclusive. Never before has the Commerce Clause and associated Necessary and Proper Clause been extended this far. At this juncture, the court is not persuaded that the Secretary has demonstrated a failure to state a cause of action with respect to the Commerce Clause element. This portion of the complaint advances a plausible claim with an arguable legal basis.

That’s not my understanding of how a 12(b)(6) motion is supposed to be decided. The plaintiff gets the benefit of the doubt on factual issues, but not on legal ones. Sounds like the judge didn’t want to make the final decision, so he issued a wimpy decision that buys time until the issue resurfaces. Unimpressive.

My view is that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. But then, I thought Wickard v. Filburn was a totalitarian decision. Just because I think it’s unconstitutional doesn’t mean it will be ruled unconstitutional. I suspect this battle will have to be fought and won in the political arena, and not in the legal one.

Politico: Probes of Rangel and Maxine Waters “Raise Questions” About Race

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:44 am

Yes, I predicted this reaction. But predicting something this obvious does not make me Carnac:

The politically charged decisions by veteran Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California to force public trials by the House ethics committee are raising questions about race and whether black lawmakers face more scrutiny over allegations of ethical or criminal wrongdoing than their white colleagues.

The controversy over the cases and the prospect of the first simultaneous ethics trials for multiple members in more than 30 years mark the biggest challenge for the ethics committee’s and the House’s ability to police its own members since the mid-1990s, when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and other leaders from both parties found themselves hauled before the secretive panel.

The question of whether black lawmakers are now being singled out for scrutiny has been simmering throughout the 111th Congress, with the Office of Congressional Ethics a focal point of the concerns.

What evidence is amassed in the article that black lawmakers are being treated differently? None. There is a list of black lawmakers who have faced ethics probes. It is long, and nearly every such investigation has resulted in a finding of wrongdoing. Amazingly, the list excludes William “Cold Cash” Jefferson, sentenced to 13 years in federal prison on corruption charges, as well as Alcee Hastings, who was impeached for taking bribes as a federal judge. But it is long enough, and the findings of wrongdoing consistent enough, to merit a conclusion that several black lawmakers have been investigated with good reason.

Have similarly situated white lawmakers escaped such probes? The article provides no evidence of this. Another list is offered, of white lawmakers who have faced probes. But no attempt is made to show that whites have committed the same acts but escaped investigation or punishment.

You’d think such a showing would be required before accusations of racism were hurled. That is, you’d think that . . . . if you were an alien arriving in this country from a distant galaxy, and you’d never had the chance to observe firsthand how casually the accusation of racism is tossed around in modern America.

Maybe we can get a “national lecture conversation” about how Rangel and Waters are being screwed by the man. Just don’t try to offer any contrary evidence in that lecture conversation. When we want your opinion, we’ll tell you . . . which will never happen, because we don’t want your opinion. Racist.

P.S. I said some time back that I would boycott over the way they attempted to terrorize the College Politico. I wrote him about this some weeks or months back to see what had happened with that, and he said that they had never followed up and he assumed that they had silently backed down. He doesn’t consider it an issue any more, and accordingly, neither do I.

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