Sunday, June 24, 2012

Is Yale University overrated?

In Today's Washington Post, Peter Wallsten writes:
To defend the health-care mandate, for instance, the government could have cited past measures such as a 1792 law signed by President George Washington requiring able-bodied men 18 or older to purchase a musket and ammunition. Several scholars, even former president Bill Clinton, have cited the 18th-century law as an example of an individual mandate that happened to be imposed by a president with impeccable originalist bona fides.

“It was an ace in the hole,” said Akhil Amar, a Yale University constitutional law scholar. “You’ve got George Washington signing a bill that helps you. Why wouldn’t you use it?” [Emph. added]

The reason, of course, is that that 1792 law regulates the militia, a power that the constitution clearly grants to the Federal government.  No one is claiming any military basis for Obamacare.  Akhil Amar, the Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School, should know better.

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