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What are the limits to federal power?

Enzi attends Supreme Court arguments on health care law

March 27, 2012

If you decide to buy a car, could the federal government require you to buy a Prius?  Could it force you to buy a car at all? These are the kinds of questions and examples U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. heard discussed this morning when he attended the Supreme Court’s second round of oral arguments regarding President Obama’s health care law.  

Today’s oral arguments centered around whether or not Congress exceeded its constitutional powers when it required individuals to either carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

“The concession seemed to be that, yes, the government has the right to regulate commerce, but today’s argument is that the government then does not have the right to create commerce and force you to do something so you come under those regulations,” Senator Enzi said.  “Ultimately, it is up to the Supreme Court to decide if this law is Constitutional – but the plaintiffs made a strong case – that this will be an unprecedented expansion of government authority.  The Constitution clearly limits the powers of the federal government, and if you accept the president’s position – this law will mean that there are effectively no limits on government power.”

Senator Enzi’s comments during a press conference today on the Supreme Court can be viewed here.