House of Representatives Files Defense Of Historic Challenge To Obamacare In Federal Court

Congressional SealSeal_of_the_President_of_the_United_States.svgThe Obama Administration previously filed its Motion to Dismiss in the challenge by the United States House of Representatives v. Burwell. As many of you know, I am lead counsel in the action. The Obama Administration is seeking to block the court from hearing the merits of our Complaint and below is our filing today in defense of the right of the House of Representatives to be heard in the federal court. The case is before Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.


The filing concerns “standing” and the right of a house of Congress to appear in a federal court. In deference to the Court, we will confine our specific responses to our filing today before Judge Collyer.

I am honored to be on this brief with a brilliant legal team from the General Counsel’s office of the United States House of Representatives, including General Counsel Kerry Kircher, Deputy General Counsel William Pittard, Senior Assistant General Counsel Todd Tatelman, Assistant Counsel Eleni Roumel, Assistant Counsel Isaac Rosenberg, and Assistant Counsel Kimberly Hamm.

We remain confident of both the standing and the merits of this historic challenge by the House of Representatives.

Jonathan Turley
Lead Counsel

Here are today’s filings: Opp’n to Mot. to Dismiss (Feb. 27, 2015) (ECF No. 22)

Ex. A CRS Mem (Feb. 27, 2015) (ECF No. 22-1)

141 thoughts on “House of Representatives Files Defense Of Historic Challenge To Obamacare In Federal Court”

  1. Olly

    Two points:

    It is not the universal truths that I question. It is their origin. I believe that they are not uniquely understandable through religion but can be understood through man’s powers of perception. These truths have included some which stood side by side with those that still stand yet are now abandoned, not because of religion but because of societal stability and evolution.

    I also observe that the dilution of truth through its attachment to religion, race, and patriotism allows for interpretation that allows one specific argument or another, with the potential to deviate from what should be a universal truth.

    Deep inside the sausage making facility that is our government it becomes apparent that more often than not, these truths are seen as ‘sort of guidelines’.

  2. aridog

    The only question is what do you want shoved down your throat? For the last fifty + years it has been the parasitical, for profit, private sector that enjoy a monopoly and offer only the illusion of choice and competition. Personally I would rather take a basic dose of single payer universal health insurance shoved down my throat by the government, causing much less cost and distress with the option of a second helping of private insurance if I so desire.

    You argue against yourself.

    1. issac

      aridog

      The only question is what do you want shoved down your throat? For the last fifty + years it has been the parasitical, for profit, private sector that enjoy a monopoly and offer only the illusion of choice and competition. Personally I would rather take a basic dose of single payer universal health insurance shoved down my throat by the government, causing much less cost and distress with the option of a second helping of private insurance if I so desire.

      You argue against yourself.

      First of all,

      I love how you won’t speak to me

      2ndly Where on earth did you get the idea that there is no profit? Get Real

  3. Issac said …

    There is a viable model to the North.

    There was, and is, a viable model right here in the USA that I’ve mentioned several times. It had bi-partisan support for at least 10 years. It is a simpler system, with a database that has worked for 50+ years now, with no new agency task assignment to operate it. Go figure. Let’s just design up a piece of crud and jam it down everyone’s throat. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    “Crickets” is what that alternative plan has gotten, and we deserve every bit of the nonsense of the PPACA because of that lack of interest.

  4. Isaac,
    I don’t understand how principles can be relative; how they can change “case by case”. I’ve seen you reference our nation’s founding principles in other discussions and I’m now curious; do you believe those are fixed or time and circumstance dependent? The conservative tradition I believe in begins and ends with the self-evident truths; they are non-negotiable. This provides a stable base on which our government is supposed to be principally guided. Another truth however is that human nature is unchangeable; it is very predictable and not towards the better motives. Look at the 4th self-evident truth, it doesn’t begin with the word “if”, it begins with “when”.

    Here is a very timely article from The Federalist today regarding the differences between the founder’s and the progressive’s view of the purpose of government. The full text can be read at the link provided:

    “In Croly’s account, democratic governments grant rights to citizens equally whereas for Lincoln and the Founders the first task of government was to protect already existing, God-given (equal) natural rights. For Croly, referencing (or even applying) the moral standard of human equality was suspect if it permitted “radical differences among individuals in the opportunities and possessions they actually enjoy.”

    Therefore the founders and Lincoln’s principle that “equals be treated equally” must on pragmatic grounds be set aside, since it was not required by any natural principle of justice. Only the building of a national government with leviathanic power that intentionally discriminated in the pursuit of equal outcomes would fulfill the promise of American life.

    The reality of progressive power politics has been much different. The celebrated 20th century assault on natural and circumstantial inequality has empowered a ruling class and its bureaucratic minions, and often only added by its artifice to the permanency and severity of the inequality it purports to combat.”

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/02/the-federalist-and-the-promise-of-american-life/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=1f244b8f62-RSS_DAILY_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-1f244b8f62-79248369

  5. David: Your response to Issac at 8:09 is the same deliberately misleading and false allegations against the ACA were thoroughly disproved when you made them.

    You think if you keep repeating them, the world will suddenly believe?

    Only if we ignore reality. Carry on.

    1. RTC wrote: “Your response to Issac at 8:09 is the same deliberately misleading and false allegations against the ACA were thoroughly disproved when you made them. You think if you keep repeating them, the world will suddenly believe?”

      I have not made any misleading or false allegations. You simply disagree with my prediction that giving government control in healthcare will lead to mandatory health requirements. Forcing me to pay for the health care of others is only part of the problem with the ACA. The other problem is that it leads to the duty of the federal government to be good healthcare providers. They will make decisions that they think is best for everyone. This is just plain common sense. You will see I am right when it happens.

      Recently there was a measles outbreak, and the cry for mandatory vaccinations became louder than ever. I already have to obtain special health exemption forms to keep my children from being vaccinated at the schools the government forces them to attend.

      Here is how the argument goes from one New York Times article last year:

      “At the crux of this question is whether individual choice can be subverted for public good. Vaccines work by protecting individuals, but their strength really lies in the ability to protect one’s neighbors. When there are not enough people within a community who are immunized, we are all at risk. … Vaccines aren’t the only situation in which we are asked to care about our neighbors. Following traffic laws, drug tests at work, paying taxes — these may go against our beliefs and make us bristle, but we ascribe to them because without this shared responsibility, civil society doesn’t work. Public health is no different. …it is also the scientific and public health community’s responsibility to support the health of patients and ensure the health of the communities in which they live. As more people choose not to vaccinate based on personal belief, our communities are at risk…”

      http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/03/23/making-vaccination-mandatory-for-all-children/eliminate-vaccine-exemptions

  6. David, Ted Koppell and Bill Clinton. A whole lotta pompous goin’ on. Great anecdote.

  7. Happy and David

    First of all the first step to single payer health care insurance has now been taken. There are two choices, repeal it and be much further from a system that will serve everyone at a lower cost or move forward and refine it with the goal of a single payer two tier system. If it is repealed on this technicality, and it is a technicality, then as with Clinton’s attempt, we will be another generation sucked dry by the private sector. Your statements about how it was better before are simply not true. The ACA may be in a state of chaos and have altered some policies in a negative way but over all the first year has accomplished much. My neighbor who makes well above 150 a year opted for a high deductible low premium of $600 a month for his family of 5. He had an encounter with a hospital and was dinged $2000. All he can do is complain about this experience. Before ACA he was paying $1,300 a month with some deductible. The difference less than three months for him to make up for the hospital experience and then he continues to save. I agree that the ACA is a dog’s breakfast but it has one more foot along the road to what should be than before.
    I have experienced health care in three countries and although the US is supposed to be able to perform miracles, I have yet to need one but have since I started paying for our family in 1994 at $700+ a month only experienced an application of waste, and what the market will bear. We were under my wife’s policy from her job as a private teacher which came in at $1,200 a month for the three of us. Her portion of the tab was one week’s salary. This is Aetna, unfettered, and without government involvement. This is reprehensible. Now for her and our son, the tab is a little over $300 a month, what it should be.

    Clinton did not succeed for the same reason the proposal in California didn’t. It meant a one time jump from the existing fleecing to a single payer system. Americans cannot handle a change that great and abrupt. Americans are as a unified entity somewhat dysfunctional in these issues resulting from the war footing of the political conditions which stem from the two party system. It is always either yes or no, us or them, a battle with no real concern for the best interests of the citizen only the gaining of more power. The ACA is the perfect route to a better system, but not with the blind opposition it is getting from the right. The means to a better system is left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. Try it some time.

    The ACA is not uniquely an insurance bailout. It does however advantage the parasites for the mean time. It would have been more of a dogfight if they were not included. If anything the ACA has raised the profile of just how rapacious and parasitical the insurance industry is. Let’s work on that by circumventing them, or not, let’s continue to let them purchase politicians.

    In your arguments against the ACA you take an absolute stand. This is where we differ. If those elected to serve the people would evolve the systems under which we profit and sometimes lose, the situation could be solved. As it is, if the ACA is repealed, nothing will be done for the American consumer. The parasites will wheedle their way in even further and the fleecing will continue with Americans paying two to three times what is necessary. There is a viable model to the North. All that is on the table at this time is insurance, not the rest of the equation. This part seems to escape most.

    Regarding religion and god and man. Man makes the laws after experiencing the realities. Realities change and then the laws. Laws are instruments to deal with the human condition. They are less and less the artifice of some divine entity and more and more the product of man’s own self rule.

    My previous statement might be better understood if it read, “Universal truths do not originate from any one particular interpretation of god.” They are there and the laws that are made to govern mankind come with and/or without religion. Myself, I see no need for religion. I respect the law even if I don’t agree with it. I understand the need to do this. However, I also understand the need to change the law when it needs changing. I see and understand the religious ingredient but see no reason for it in my, and several hundred million other situations. The closest I can get to a divine ordering entity is that it is not there to have us adhere to established and given laws but to create and evolve our laws as we evolve. Nothing puts and end to evolution more completely than an almighty dictum that overrides responsibility. Take religion, god, divinities, and unmovable dictums out of the equation and then come face to face with the issue. In the moment, given the circumstance, in the end it is always man that decides.

    1. issac, my primary objection to ACA is that it fines me for not wanting to be involved in their healthcare system. I should not be forced to buy something that I do not want. Furthermore, the government should not be involved in healthcare. It gives the government too much power over people’s lives. They will force vaccinations and medicine upon people who simply do not want it. So it is a gross violation of our inalienable right to liberty. We have a right to choose a path to happiness without the government forcing their love affair with medical science down our throats. I don’t want the government making choices with medical doctors about what is best for my health. I want to make my own choices, and if I decide to seek the advice and wisdom of a doctor, I want it to be my choice and I want to pay for it, not have others through government pay for it.

  8. “happypappies

    SamFox
    No, I was referring to the God who hated and did not redeem people who sinned”

    Oh.

    You were talking about the little ‘g’ god of most of the world’s systems. That would be satan.

    The Elohim of the Bible does forgive sin. Yeshua Messiah came for that very reason. I know this because when I asked Jesus, in Nov. ’69, to forgive my sin & come into my heart [innermost being], He did. He put the witness of His forgiveness & His presence my being, like He told the 1st disciples He would.

    Regarding the ACA: The US Founders NEVER intended the fed govt to have this much power & reach into the lives of We The People. That should be blazingly apparent to every one.

    Insurance monopolies would not be much of a problem if the fed govt had not prohibited them from selling state to state. It’s the feds who messed up free markets with over regulation, over taxation & cronyism. This govt meddling is a boon for large corps & the bane of small business. The fed govt wrecked the greatest economy the world has ever seen. Then they start taking over everything they can, ‘progressively’ a bit at time in the name of ‘fixing’ what they broke.

    All the ACA does is reach further into the public domain to grab power the fed govt does not legally have. Just because corrupt courts, including the Supreme Court, rule in favor of govt’s UN-Constitutional over reaches doesn’t make the over reach right or truly legal.

    Unless of course, you think that extra Constitutional laws are fine & dandy & you have no clue what the US Founders intent[s] were.

    Regarding ‘progressives’: Go to YouTube & look up GB Shawn & Margaret Sanger. Both were early progs. Also Bill C’s husband. Look at YT for Hillary Clinton Modern Progressive. If anyone thinks the progs of today have really deviated from their early platform, you are deceived. Though I must acknowledge however, ‘progressives’ DO have a true talent for deception…

    SamFox

    1. “happypappies

      SamFox
      No, I was referring to the God who hated and did not redeem people who sinned”

      Oh.

      You were talking about the little ‘g’ god of most of the world’s systems. That would be satan.

      The Elohim of the Bible does forgive sin. Yeshua Messiah came for that very reason. I know this because when I asked Jesus, in Nov. ’69, to forgive my sin & come into my heart [innermost being], He did. He put the witness of His forgiveness & His presence my being, like He told the 1st disciples He would.

      Sam I see that you are a Born Again Christian and I thank you for sharing that with me.

      We should probably move on from this as I think it is obvious to you by now from my posts that I am no Moral Relativist. Many people make that mistake about me. I believe like John Locke did. Look him up okay?

  9. Issac

    My point is that the universal truths do not include any particular interpretation of god.

    Just because you apparently are a moral relativist,——- something I am accused of all the time————, does not mean that there are not Universal Truths.

    A man should look for what is and not for what he thinks should be.
    Albert Einstein

    Man makes this up as a device to answer the unanswerable and give credibility to the laws necessary to rule those who need ruling

    This is fascinating – because we use nomenclature as we see things, we are giving credibility to it. That is absurd. And highly superstitious.

    Man makes the laws by observing man and nature.

    No, we don’t make the laws. …… The laws are already there waiting to be discovered……… Did we make the Universe?

    Initially man used god. He still does if he is sick and twisted

    Is it okay if I put God and Universe in Big letters because they are Absolute Truths to me and you are belittling them?

    Lately man has been using its own powers of observation.You are very confused. A good religious person never mixes his science or his religion.

    It is tempting to think that Lemaître’s deeply-held religious beliefs might have led him to the notion of a beginning of time. After all, the Judeo-Christian tradition had propagated a similar idea for millennia. Yet Lemaître clearly insisted that there was neither a connection nor a conflict between his religion and his science. Rather he kept them entirely separate, treating them as different, parallel interpretations of the world, both of which he believed with personal conviction. Indeed, when Pope Pius XII referred to the new theory of the origin of the universe as a scientific validation of the Catholic faith, Lemaître was rather alarmed. Delicately, for that was his way, he tried to separate the two:

    “As far as I can see, such a theory remains entirely outside any metaphysical or religious question. It leaves the materialist free to deny any transcendental Being… For the believer, it removes any attempt at familiarity with God… It is consonant with Isaiah speaking of the hidden God, hidden even in the beginning of the universe.”
    http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/essaybooks/cosmic/p_lemaitre.html

    Whether one agrees or not it is the face of man’s social evolution. It seems to be working better than when man includes a divinity in its argument.

    We are back to Plato …. the one thing that is constant it is hidden because you can’t see it.

    see above note.

  10. davidm

    The Hebrew writings predate Pre-Socratic philosophy if you include them in the same category of thought. The Hebrew faith which is the precursor of the Judaeo Christian faith is a set of rules purported to be handed down by a higher being, along with the typical flash, bang, mumbo jumbo necessary to influence those looking for an all in one explanation/direction. However, there were precursors to the Hebrew faith, and all of them are based on a combination of observation and divinity. The Pre-Socratics included the ‘gods’ in their observations but were primarily and in some cases completely focused on man’s condition. This is the precursor to philosophy. If you cherry pick religion, you will find philosophy and if you cherry pick philosophy you will find religion. That is not my point. My point is that the universal truths do not include any particular interpretation of god. Man makes this up as a device to answer the unanswerable and give credibility to the laws necessary to rule those who need ruling. Man makes the laws by observing man and nature. Initially man used god. Lately man has been using its own powers of observation. Whether one agrees or not it is the face of man’s social evolution. It seems to be working better than when man includes a divinity in its argument. Read the papers.

    The ACA has been unravelling and repairing itself since its inception. The reason for it has been eclipsed by those against it. Those against it have stopped before offering ways to improve, fix, or replace it. The greater mess was what the ACA was created to fix. I am not an advocate for the ACA as it stands now but I am firmly against the concept of the private, for profit health insurance industry. My reasoning comes through observation and experience since 1987 as well as listening to those stories coming from before this time.

    The opposition to the ACA came with the opposition to Obama starting well, well, before either the ACA or Obama had materialized. This is an historical fact. My position is that the best interests of Americans would be to go forward and address the problems using the strengths and replacing the weaknesses.

    I understand the position of those against the ACA and Obama, which is totally and blindly against. I simply don’t agree with it. It is not the way mankind typically develops workable systems. No system works forever without the need of revamping and adapting to the changes.

    1. issac wrote: “The opposition to the ACA came with the opposition to Obama …”

      Bill Clinton was elected with the same hope as Obama of implementing health care. There was opposition to it then, and Clinton lost on that. I was actually invited to a Nightline Town Hall Meeting in Tampa, Florida on that issue to represent the homeless. I met with Ted Koppel and Bill Clinton at that time. I even had a private one on one talk with President Clinton after the meeting. Please don’t pretend that opposition to ACA begins with opposition to Obama. That is too close to playing the race card.

      issac wrote: “My position is that the best interests of Americans would be to go forward and address the problems using the strengths and replacing the weaknesses.”

      Absolutely not. The ACA is an insurance bailout. That is plain to see. It needs to be repealed completely.

      Our health care for poor uninsured people in this county works fine without the ACA. The insurance companies are what cause the high prices for everyone else. Our counties in Florida have solved this problem by having a sliding scale in health care. It works great. Nobody is forced to buy health care, and everybody who wants health care can get it. The federal government should just stay out of health care completely. But, if they did get involved, they should simply act as the insurer directly. Or, they can create a single payer system and let them compete with the private marketplace.

    2. issac wrote: “My point is that the universal truths do not include any particular interpretation of god.”

      Of course they do. How can they not? It is a tautology that universal truths would include a clear interpretation of God because God is defined as truth (among other things).

      When people fail to adhere to universal truths, or when they overemphasize one truth above all others, that is when you start getting the various different religions and different descriptions of God.

      For example, one universal truth is that no single person knows everything. Nobody has perfect knowledge. When we deviate from that and a person arises who claims to “be the one,” and when followers deviate from this principle and follow “that one,” then usually a new religion is born.

      If we lined up all the universal truths in systematic order, without regard to what religion or philosophy that truth came from, they would invariably point to one common understanding of the one God. The key is that I am talking about universal TRUTHS, not universal assertions. Some assertions belong in the trashbin.

    3. Issac
      I truly think that it is very unphilosophical of you to say that man created a god in his image only describing man’s condition.

      First of all, if God is an unknown known and he creates the image, we don’t know what it is so it is male and it is logos or imagination. What a gift. Philosophically speaking. It could be the size of an atom or the size of a Universe, as John Locke himself said. This is carried all the way up to Big Bang which was actually theorized first by a Catholic Priest Georges Lemaitre in 1927 and not proved until 1998. All of this by man’s imagination. Not because he was acting out a play with the lesser gods like the Greeks built temples to. It reminds me of Hollywood, You know?

      You are totally wrong in your bent. Man is not that foolish and egocentric unless he wishes himself to be.

  11. By the way, Issac, the Greeks were not the foundation of society. The writings of the Hebrews predate the Greeks. There was debate during the post Hellenistic period about whether or not Plato came up with his views from reading Moses or whether the Creator independently revealed truth to him.

    1. davidm2575

      I started following this blog right during the Hobby Lobby debacle and I fought with every Liberal on here and made myself extremely unpopular right up front.

      Most of what we disagree on is really just picking things apart. Like the fact that the Greek language has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records.

      Most people do not know that the Christian Bible was first translated in Koine’ Greek(New Testament) and as you know the Phoenician script has been the basis for modern characters.

      😉 😉

  12. davidm2575

    Then there is the understanding of the situation on a case by case basis, in context, including but not being dictated to by precedent, and joining the beginning with the end. That goes back to the Ancient Pre-Socratic Greeks. Their words are still the foundation of civilization irrespective of the nations that believe they have invented or reinvented the wheel; all done through observation, common sense, understanding human nature, the history of human nature, and at the same time not allowing one to be staked to ideologies for ideology sake.

    If the idea of the traditionalist is to build on what worked then I am a traditionalist, however, I am also a liberal when so defined by others. Most liberals or progressives (the term progressive is more a product of conservative attempts to pigeonhole those they do not agree with using derogatory language as it is, if taken in a denotative sense, something to be admired). You illustrate that unfortunate penchant that some have for trying to nail everyone in one or another group, those in your group reinforcing your beliefs and those in other groups simply staying in other groups. Egregious injustices are as much the result of following precedent unquestioned as unfettered innovation. One has to step outside the group to see the whole picture.

    The laws of this and other countries are rarely followed using precedent only. Sometimes, when time does not permit or those judging are either biased or incomplete, precedent is used to wash the hands. However, the greatest examples of laws being observed are when the issues are decided in the context of the circumstances and the best interests of those involved, without categorizing, without political or ideological bias, and without subterfuge.

    The law is not god. Man is god. Man creates its gods and its laws. The law is a tool of man. The primary importance of man/god is the best interests of the people. In this case, the best interests of the people are being put aside for political gain. The executive, in allegedly ‘breaking the law’ responded directly and specifically to the wishes of the opposition in extending requirements of the ACA a year. The opposition is, after receiving what they demanded, now attempting to use the means as a weapon to destroy the ACA in its entirety, without concern for the people, and with absolutely nothing to offer to replace it. The opposition or Republican party along with whatever other groups that are on this warpath are placing ignorant ideology above practical solutions that would result in solutions in the best interests of the American citizen.

    We have only to look East to see how ignorant adherence of precedent and the absolute unquestioning of laws can result.

    1. Issac

      Usually I find I am in somewhat agreement with your premise because of the Platonic virtues. But Plato at the end of his life knew God as the Known Unknown and did not name him.

      The Law is not God. That is an Absurd thing to say. Neither is the State. Ever…… Which is the problem with Progressivism turning into Totalitarianism.

      I am in Agreement with David and Olly on this. It isn’t because the law isn’t something that we eventually need as a country. We do. But this is NOT how it is done. EVER.

      Executive overreach is no way to implement laws. This law is a terrible law. QSSI is the Hub of United Healthcare and it fixed the Computer Systems and was allowed to do so looking straight through the firewalls breaking every HIPPA law there was for individuals seeking coverage for this wonderful new law. It is a pos. The government is bragging about it through the New York Times having 900 pages as if that is a wonderful thing. How absurd!

      Nancy Pelosi said at the beginning of Obama’s term and the Democrat Senate like a bunch of Lemmings did, “Just Sign It”

      Now we have the Middle Class that has been lied to playing hefty taxes in the form of a typo according to Jonathan Gruber nooo wait! its a Mandate!

      Come on

      Who benefits from this really? Have you even looked at it? People sleeping in Fenton Missouri at Servco last July which was a paper pushing Obamacare entity when it was Computerized?????? wtf???? And that was not the only one. Google it if you think I am kidding. This thing is a nightmare. It needs to go.

      1. I agree with you happy.

        The Supreme Court ruled part of the ACA law unconstitutional, but most people miss it because they had their eyes on the individual mandate that was most considered a violation of individual liberty. When Justice Roberts found a novel legal wrangling that would allow it, everybody didn’t pay much attention about the State’s rights issue that was judged unconstitutional. Since then, the government has pretty much done whatever it wants to do, thinking nobody is watching and nobody cares. It is all legal posturing for them. They don’t care whether they are following the law. They just want to force health care on everyone and they consider the ends justify the means. If they can’t lead Congress to draft the law they want, they just use executive action and claim they are implementing the law Congress passed. Seems simple enough to them.

    2. issac wrote: “Man creates its gods and its laws.”

      I simply do not believe this. If this were true, I would argue that citizens then have the right to pick and choose what laws they will obey. I would argue that it would be wise for citizen to cheat the system the best way that they can in order to get ahead.

      I perceive that nature operates by laws that existed before man was in the picture. Civil laws regarding man’s duties and obligations toward society follow nature. Our obligation to discern these laws, articulate them properly, and obey them, stem from the fact that laws reveal the purpose and will of our Creator. If the laws do arise from the Supreme Lawgiver, then we have a self evident duty and obligation to hear and obey by nature of the relationship of the created to his Creator.

      This is why I think our Constitution needs an Amendment that guarantees the right of government and citizens who work for government to acknowledge the Creator. Although that right has always existed and was previously broadly acknowledged, it is being attacked by secularists and the Judiciary. The result has led to a modern government that is antagonistic toward religions rather than seeing the role of religions as supportive of government law and order.

      issac wrote: “We have only to look East to see how ignorant adherence of precedent and the absolute unquestioning of laws can result.”

      The problem is loyalty and adherence to BAD LAW and BAD DOCTRINE. If the underlying law they were following was good, then there would be no problem. We would be admiring their bravery and commitment instead of finding their adherence contemptible.

      Teaching that we should not discern absolute principles because of the Islamic State is exactly the wrong direction. We should instead articulate absolute principles even more. The Islamic State is testing all of us, whether we will forsake good principle or embrace it even more.

    3. issac wrote: “You illustrate that unfortunate penchant that some have for trying to nail everyone in one or another group, those in your group reinforcing your beliefs and those in other groups simply staying in other groups.”

      I would suggest to you that this is not exactly correct. The real issue is that I tend toward being a reductionist. That is simply an artifact of the type of science that I have practiced for so many years. You tend to take a more holistic approach and do not always appreciate my desire to reduce issues into their most basic components in order to understand them.

  13. Olly

    My principles are defined case by case, using my own common sense and understanding of the situation, when I feel knowledgeable enough. Yes, I am at peace with this. The shortcomings are that I do not always know enough to have and opinion, unlike those who label themselves and then adhere to this or that ism regardless of how much they know or understand. This is seen enough in the US that it does not require any further explanation. This is the root of the ignorance of the average American voter or non-voter. This is the root of the problem(s).

    Progressivism, as I understand it, has been around for a long long time. It centers mainly on enlightenment. If wishing to be enlightened makes me a progressive then happily I accept the label, although, as I stated, my views are formed on a case by case basis so any cherry picking, bush whacker can label me a hypocrite from time to time. I do not agree with Obama on all things, I reserve the right to disagree with anything that I find to take America or the world backwards to a less enlightened time, irrespective of the foundation stone it knocks over. There have been a few unsightly stones taken out of the meaning of what it is to be American.

    You, and others, continue to refer to ‘our system’ being built on this or that and then want others to accept that this is enough. No, I do not believe that it is always enough. Much of the foundation of the US, such as the Constitution, is sacrosanct and does not suffer biased interpretations. There are parts of the Constitution that are highly interpretive and dependent on political bias to be determined. This is more than obvious with the 2nd amendment and that large part of the work with which the Supreme Court occupies itself, not to forget sections that have been added and deleted, ie. amendments. There are parts of the Constitution that are in large part ideological and of a past that no longer exists. And, then there are the moments when the greater good comes into conflict with the Constitution or the Law, where circumstances may be taken into account as weighing in heavier than this sacred document.

    On this blog I am sometimes in accord with others and sometimes, as now, out of sync. Typically, I am out of sync, as is the case with you, when I focus on a specific situation and someone else presents themselves all buttoned up under this or that umbrella and considers me all buttoned up under another. Work on that for a while and If you wish to discuss the pros and cons of something based entirely and uniquely on its merits I will be happy to deal with you.

    1. issac wrote: “My principles are defined case by case, using my own common sense and understanding of the situation…”

      This is the primary difference between conservative traditionalists, and progressive liberals. From the traditionalist perspective, precedence counts for something based upon the principle of being wise enough to repeat what works in history and not repeating what fails in history. The idea of progress for the traditionalist is to build upon what went before. We don’t reinvent the wheel, we add to the basic premise of the wheel to create better wheels. From the liberal perspective, there is this penchant to abandon what worked before to do what we think is best in our own eyes. Often times this leads to egregious injustices.

      One thing history has shown is that pretty much all tyrants adopt the philosophy of defining principles on a case by case basis. In contrast, leaders who establish absolute principles of governance, and hold themselves to the same rule of law as everybody else, they are less likely to go down that path of tyranny. It is another principle of human nature that leaders are drawn like a magnet to tyranny in their effort to govern others.

  14. Isaac,
    Having only been in this country since 1987, you can be forgiven for your limited understanding of the American WE, it is not the same WE as desired by your progressive utopia. I’m a classical liberal and I believe in the rule of law. Your problem is our system is built on the classical liberal model and it does not support the progressive model; one of the two will survive. If mine falls under the weight of the administrative state you are building, then everyone but the administrators lose. If progressivism is vanquished then everyone but the administrators win. I can sell limited government to enlightened people; you can only sell progressivism through lies and deceit. I’m at peace with my principles, are you?

  15. OLLY, LOL. The NYT editorial protecting their cult leader. WTF would anyone expect? Speaking of Obama, I just finished watching, Citizenfour on HBO, the Edward Snowden/Glenn Greenwwald doc that won the Oscar last Sunday. It was poorly edited. A 2 hour doc that could have been 80-90 minutes. No revelations since we have read it all. But, it was interesting seeing what and how Snowden and Greenwald were thinking when this all happened, 2 years ago. The anxiety was almost palpable. Obama doesn’t come off looking very good. Who will be the first BDS patient to reply, “Yeah but, Bush..”

  16. Olly

    Like I said, that unique American ‘phenomena’ is not a shortcoming but a luxury that costs money and exacts negative results in some areas. You get what you pay for. Progressivism is not told on a lie anymore than the illusions that everyone can do as they wish. It is the I versus the We as it has been forever. When taken to extremes each one does not work. However, without the we, there is no I. Everything in America that is seen as liberty and freedom comes from the unity of the individuals into the we. Whatever criticism you may have for the ACA, it was a positive first step, not an end game. We have been living the alternative for fifty years, getting fleeced by the parasites, the private sector with a monopoly. Any link of the I with the private, for profit, parasitical health insurance industry is an illusion and to believe that it is the best way is a fools dream. The ACA is either the first step that can be amended and refined to work for Americans or it is the rallying point for regression. Yes, I am a progressive. I believe in improving, refining, and getting the best deal. Unfortunately that makes me an adversary of those who drag an anchor.

  17. I had goat for the first time, recently. I liked it, sort of ragu of goat w/ mushrooms, onions served w/ pappardelle.

  18. Shocker! When the NYT reports 5 supreme court justices make the same claim, then that is news fit to print.

    1. But because of the opponents’ purposefully blinkered reading of four words in the 900-page law the case is now before the Supreme Court.

      The four words — “established by the State” — appear in a subsection of the law dealing with the calculation of tax credits. The law’s challengers say this means that credits are available only in the 16 states that have set up their own exchanges.

      The challengers did not innocently happen upon these words; they went all out in search of anything that might be used to gut the law they had failed to kill off once before, on constitutional grounds, in 2012. Soon after the law passed in 2010, Michael Greve, then chairman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is helping to finance the current suit, said, “This b@stard has to be killed as a matter of political hygiene. I do not care how this is done, whether it’s dismembered, whether we drive a stake through its heart, whether we tar and feather it and drive it out of town, whether we strangle it.”

      mmmm Sounds good to me

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