Two highly significant issues are being prepared for presentation before the Supreme Court. One is the United States Government vs. the State of Arizona. The argument put forth by the Obama administration is that the federal government is given exclusive power to regulate immigration. The question then is what power does a state have to protect its own people when the federal government imperils the states citizens by failing to enforce its own laws.
The second significant item is the constitutionality of Obamacare. No case has actually been filed as yet but one is fully expected. At one count, 38 states had joined or were considering joining in a suit to argue the health care plan is unconstitutional. The issue here is the “individual mandate”. The plan requires everyone to carry insurance or pay money to the government for failure to do so. The crux of the argument lies in the characterization of that money. Is it a tax or a penalty?
If it is a tax, Obamacare is more likely to be found constitutional under the clause that gives the federal government to levy tax for the national welfare of the people. However, if it is a penalty, Obamacare is more likely to be found unconstitutional under the interstate commerce provisions which give Congress the power to regulate, but not to mandate interstate commerce.
The states will argue that the money is a penalty. The Obama administration will argue it is a tax. It would be interesting if President Obama were to be called to testify about his assertions to the American people that his plan would actually save money and therefore no new taxes would be required to pay for it. That won’t happen, of course.