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by Sharon Rondeau

Article I, Section 8 enumerates 17 specific powers to Congress. The Tenth Amendment to the Bill of Rights states that all other powers belong "to the States respectively, or to the people."

(Aug. 12, 2011) — An appeals court in Atlanta has ruled that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance contained in the health care law signed in March 2010 is unconstitutional.

Key parts” of the bill have been declared unconstitutional by a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals whose decision was 2-1.  The majority ruled that the mandate for individuals to purchase insurance exceeds Congress’s enumerated powers as outlined in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

The Justice Department had argued that the health care bill was a product of Congress’s exercise of “a quintessential power.”

An appeal brought by the American Center for Law and Justice reached the U.S. Supreme Court on July 28, 2011.  The Post & Email reported on the filing of that case on March 23, 2010, the same day Obama signed the controversial legislation.

In early June of this year, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from the Thomas More Law Center on whether or not the individual mandate is constitutional and ruled on June 29 that it was.

The Commonwealth of Virginia was the first entity to sue the federal government over the health care bill, filing suit within minutes of its signing by Obama.  Virginia had passed its own legislation stating that no individual mandate to purchase medical insurance would be upheld within the commonwealth prior to the passage of the PPACA.  On December 13, 2010, Judge Henry Hudson of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia ruled that the mandate was unconstitutional, calling the federal law a “health care scheme adopted by Congress.”

A judge in the case Purpura v. Sebelius recently issued a “mass dismissal” of seven motions filed by the pro se plaintiffs, and an Obama-appointed judge has refused to recuse himself.

The Tenth Amendment to the Bill of Rights states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

James Madison stated in Federalist Paper #45:
The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce..The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.”