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Thread: Not defending the health care bill

  1. #21
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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    To Clarify...

    I'm not asking if its legal or not.

    And I'm not asking if you would agree with its use specifically to the Health Care Law.

    But if you agree with the use of the tactic in general. Essentially, do you condone or think such a tactic is acceptable. Mind you, there's things at times people find unacceptable that are completely legal (and vise versa), and its COMPLETELY legitimate to state "Its legal, so I'm okay with it being used". But I'm not necessarily expecting people to say "yes, I think its okay to use this tactic" simply because that tactic is legal.
    The purpose of being able to do this is to not have to waste resources fighting a for a law that is almost certain to go down. That is why it is being used here, and it is perfectly acceptable to use the ability as it is intended. This includes even for laws I might like but would not pass constitutional muster.

    Now, the problem with your example is that it is not a law that is clear cut on constitutionality. Experts cannot agree, the judges who have rules on it so far have not agreed. The constitutionality of the health care reform bill is very much up in the air. For that reason it is probably a bad example.
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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    The purpose of being able to do this is to not have to waste resources fighting a for a law that is almost certain to go down. That is why it is being used here, and it is perfectly acceptable to use the ability as it is intended This includes even for laws I might like but would not pass constitutional muster.
    I have a hard time picturing an example of a law that you would agree with but, yet, recognize it's uncontitutionality. Can you give an example?

    Now, the problem with your example is that it is not a law that is clear cut on constitutionality. Experts cannot agree, the judges who have rules on it so far have not agreed. The constitutionality of the health care reform bill is very much up in the air. For that reason it is probably a bad example.
    Obama's decision is just as political as the one in Zyph's example.
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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    The question however is not about having no prosecutors that will defend the law TED, but having the POTUS dictating to the Justice Department that they will not defend it, regardless of the feeling of the prosecutors. I understand your point, but that is not what this thread is asking about.
    I may not have fully understood the intent of your question. I voted "yes", because historically presidents have repeatedly used their power to ask the AG not to defend a law which, in his opinion (and supposedly in the opinion of his Justice Department staff), has a significant probability of being overturned as unconstitutional. If this is legal, a precedent has already been set, then I would say yes.

    Now if you're asking if a president should have this power and whether the precedent should have been set by prior presidents, I would have voted no.

    So I very well might have screwed up my vote. Only you know for sure!

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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    I have a hard time picturing an example of a law that you would agree with but, yet, recognize it's uncontitutionality. Can you give an example?
    No. Cannot think of one off the top of my head.

    Obama's decision is just as political as the one in Zyph's example.
    Have you read the ruling of the Mass DOMA case? I have a very, very hard time seeing any higher court disagree with the ruling. The ruling is a definite good work in laying the groundwork to withstand appeal. In a nutshell, marriage is up to states to determine what it is(as long as it is constitutional) not the federal government. Therefore a federal law that says a state sanctioned marriage is not recognized by the federal government is in fact the federal government overstepping it's bounds on states rights. It is very much designed to appeal to conservative judges. Needless to say there is a ton more to it, but that is the basic(well one of) argument the judge made.

    The health care bill so far has 3 I believe judges ruling that it is in fact constitutional(this is three more than have done so for DOMA). Several other judges have simply not heard the case saying it had no merit. As such the constitutionality is very much questionable. If you can show where DOMA has a strong grounds to stand on, then you might have a point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Here's the question, for liberals and conservatives alike.

    To preface this I'd like request two things:

    First, that I ask you to answer under the hypothetical that the Obama Administration did not come out and say that they would not defend DOMA in court. IE, I don't want the conservatives on here saying "Absolutely, if they did it we should to". I want the question answered based simply on itself and your feelings in a general sense as to how the various branches of government should work.

    Two, the poll is not necessarily asking for your PERSONAL opinion...IE would you agree with the principle of the action...but on a governmental procedural action. The govermental version of "I don't agree with what he's saying, but I agree with his right to say it". I'm not asking if you'd agree that it SHOULD be done, but rather should it be allowable.

    So here's the question:

    If Republicans win in 2012 and the new President decides that he believes the Health Care Law that was passed is unconstitutional, do you think it is acceptable and alright for him to have the Justice Department refuse to defend the law in court cases allowing it to be challenged in court without any proper defense of its legality being put forward by the state?
    The Presidents first and foremost job is to protect the Constitution. If a President believes a law to be unconstitutional then he has a right, and an obligation as POTUS to stop defending any law that is in the courts...be they enacted during or before his nomination and appointment.
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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    The Presidents first and foremost job is to protect the Constitution. If a President believes a law to be unconstitutional then he has a right, and an obligation as POTUS to stop defending any law that is in the courts...be they enacted during or before his nomination and appointment.
    So why bother with the courts at all if the President gets to decide what is and is not Constitutional?
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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    The Presidents first and foremost job is to protect the Constitution. If a President believes a law to be unconstitutional then he has a right, and an obligation as POTUS to stop defending any law that is in the courts...be they enacted during or before his nomination and appointment.
    Hmm. I agreed that POTUS had the legal right to stop defending a law believed to be unconstitutional. I didn't think that they should have had the right to do that, because that opens the door to presidents repeatedly refusing to defend laws they didn't like simply by stating they personally thought it might be unconstitutional, and envisioned the potential domino effect down the road, where laws were only in effect until a president who didn't like that law came into office.

    However, upon reading your opinion, perhaps I wasn't giving the judiciary enough credit. Someone appealing a law's constitutionality has to have a legitimate legal concern to do so, or the appeals courts will through the case out whether it is defended or not.

    I must consider this further.

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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    I can't figure out Obama's strategy. Not only is this a dangerous precedent to set, but invoking such a culture war is not in his favor come 2012. This is not a pragmatic and calculated move. If anything, given the current political climate, this is what I would expect of someone who wanted to galvanize all the troops against same sex marriage.

    The only benefit he could derive is forcing House Republicans into a position where they have to defend this case and as can be seen from similar debates on this forum about same sex marriage, it will make them appear a lot like religious tyrants.

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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    I support this course of action in both cases because I think that both pieces of legislation (Obamacare and DOMA) represent federal usurpation of state authority. Neither of them should be defended by the justice department, IMO, because neither of them should exist.
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    Re: Not defending the health care bill

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    So why bother with the courts at all if the President gets to decide what is and is not Constitutional?
    Because the President can still support an unconsitutional law. For example...Obamacare. Obama supports that.

    But if you think about it the president has always had this ability. Our founding fathers gave the President two powers which he alone has. The power to veto any bill set before him. That power alone shows that he has the right to decide if a bill is unconstitutional. The next power that he has is his executive order power. That allows him to basically write laws. However it is not as binding as a law passed by the House. Any President afterwords can over ride a previous presidents executive order. Between the two the President obviously has the ability to decide whether a law is Constitutional or not.
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