Saturday, December 26, 2009

State Rep. Steve Palazzo wants something unconstitutional done to fight unconstitutional healthcare reform

Here's something rather, umm, odd, from WLOX.  State Rep. Steven Palazzo thinks that the version of health care reform passed by the United States Senate on Christmas Eve is unconstitutional, and he wants AG Jim Hood to "take legal action."  He, of course, doesn't explain what he thinks is unconstitutional, nor does he tell us exactly what legal action he would have Hood take.  I'm pretty sure he fails to explain it because he simply doesn't know what would be unconstitutional about it, nor does he know what action Hood could take.  In fact, Palazzo's the one who is seeking something unconstitutional.

I assume most readers of this blog are familiar with the concept of ripeness and the prohibition of advisory opinions.  For those who are not, the doctrine of ripeness says that there has to actually be a controversy before a court can hear a case.  In essence, you can't have a lawsuit over something that may or may not happen in the future.  With respect to health care reform, no law has been passed.  (Surely Palazzo would understand how a bill becomes a law since he's in the legislature and all.)  In addition to ripeness, our U.S. Constitution prohibits advisory opinions by our federal courts.  Since no health care reform package has been enacted into law, any opinion by a federal court in this matter would be merely advisory.  So, what Palazzo is asking Hood to seek is, in fact, unconstitutional.  Oh, the irony.

But that's not all.  Palazzo goes on to say "We've all seen several Senators get paid off for their votes in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars."  Really?  I must have missed that episode of Glen Beck.  Now, what I find truly interesting about that statement is that Palazzo's largest contributor (aside from himself and his family), is the Mississippi State Medical Association.  (The campaign finance reports with their contributions can be found here and here.)  In all, Mississippi State Medical has donated $6,000 to Palazzo, with $5,000 of that coming during the month leading up to the special election in 2006 in which Palazzo first won his seat.  Why is that important?  Well, Mississippi State Medical has been staunchly opposed to health care reform, and even recently decided to "de-unify" from the American Medical Association over that issue.

And Mississippi Republicans wonder why they can't gain a majority in either house of our state legislature, despite their overwhelming majority in statewide elections.  The bench apparently just ain't that deep.

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