'If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
Federal Judge Roger Vinson opens his decision declaring ObamaCare unconstitutional with that citation from Federalist No. 51, written by James Madison in 1788. His exhaustive and erudite opinion is an important moment for American liberty, and yesterday may well stand as the moment the political branches were obliged to return to the government of limited and enumerated powers that the framers envisioned.
As Judge Vinson took pains to emphasize, the case is not really about health care at all, or the wisdom—we would argue the destructiveness—of the newest entitlement. Rather, the Florida case goes to the core of the architecture of the American system, and whether there are any remaining limits on federal control. Judge Vinson's 78-page ruling in favor of 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business, among others, is by far the best legal vindication to date of Constitutional principles that form the outer boundaries of federal power.
Wall Street Journal article here.
The federal government has passed constitutional red lines several times already in the history of this country. We are teetering on the brink of no checks and balances between the three branches of the government. This makes Judge Vinson's ruling, with so many references to original intent of the Framers, that much more heroic.
He deserves our praise and gratitude, as he is akin to a lonely voice in the wilderness. From a practical point of view, unless we rise as a people as we have seen recently in other countries, nothing stands in the way of congressional, executive, or judicial tyranny, unfettered by Constituional limits.