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Opening Arguments

Nothing new here

Charles Krauthammer on Obamacare:

If Obamacare is upheld, it fundamentally changes the nature of the American social contract. It means the effective end of a government of enumerated powers — i.e., finite, delineated powers beyond which the government may not go, beyond which lies the free realm of the people and their voluntary institutions. The new post-Obamacare dispensation is a central government of unlimited power from which citizen and civil society struggle to carve out and maintain spheres of autonomy.

[. . .]

Rarely has one law so exemplified the worst of the Leviathan state — grotesque cost, questionable constitutionality and arbitrary bureaucratic coerciveness.

Such dire warnings have been sounded about about many federal initiatives, especially ones that have expanded the entitlement state. I think the warnings about Obamacare are right, though a bit of an exaggeraton, but only because it's already true that the government can pretty much do whatever it wants, never mind all that "enumerated powers" claptrap. If Obamacare survies, it will merely be an affirmation of the existing order. It's so clearly an abomination that it seems obvious to me a 9-0 Supreme Court defeat is in order. But if it does go down, it will likely be, alas, another 5-4 cloase call.


Fri, 03/23/2012 - 2:10pm

I am currently reading Gerald Gunther's book "Learned Hand" - The Man and the Judge.  1994

As a re-read, I am fascinated about how much that I missed from before.

Herbert Croly's book, "The Promise of American Life" either influenced or re-affirmed the views of many young lawyers or politicians.  Learned Hand loved the book and recommended that Theodore Roosevelt read it.  Henry Cabot Lodge recommended it to TR, also.  TR's 1910 "The New Nationalism" speech is on line.  A young Felix Frankfurter was an admirer of Croly's work.

This appears to be the start of the Progressive movement.  None of these people had a love for private property.

A quote from Judge Learned Hand, "So far as I know we could have 'Socialism' to-morrow if we wanted it."  Page 222.