The Lawsuit That Might Kill Obamacare - Human Events - ObamaCare has been challenged on various legal grounds, but one of its most serious legal threats builds upon the very same Supreme Court decision that held it constitutional. The Washington Times reports on a suit from the Pacific Legal Foundation that has been making its way quietly through the court system: A challenge filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation contends that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House. Under the Origination Clause of the Constitution, all bills raising revenue must begin in the House. The Supreme Court upheld most provisions of the act in June, but Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took pains in the majority opinion to define Obamacare as a federal tax, not a mandate. That was when the Sacramento, Calif.-based foundation’s attorneys had their “aha” moment. “The court there quite explicitly says, ‘This is not a law passed under the Commerce Clause; this is just a tax,’” foundation attorney Timothy Sandefur said at a Cato Institute forum on legal challenges to the health care act. “Well, then the Origination Clause ought to apply. The courts should not be out there carving in new exceptions to the Origination Clause.” Read more.........
(2) Administration Alters, Delays Major Obamacare Provision for Small Businesses - Townhall - We've been "celebrating" Obamacare's third anniversary over the last two weeks, repeatedly drawing attention to a memorable quote from one of the program's chief administrators:
Henry Chao, an official at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services who is overseeing the technology of the exchanges said at a recent conference. “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.” Chao also described himself as “nervous.”
If he's nervous, you should be, too. This isn't some program that can collapse and go away without much ripple effect. Millions of people are counting on Obamacare to work the way it was described by its proponents. The law will impact supporters and detractors alike. Already, the law is proving to be an unwieldy nightmare, as the government labors to meet its own deadlines. Individuals, families and businesses are slated to have access to a "reformed" healthcare system starting in early 2014, four years after the law was signed with much fanfare. But that time horizon evidently hasn't provided ample time for the feds to get their act together and offer you the options and features you were promised for the bargain-basement price of nearly $2 trillion. The New York Times reports that the launch date for a major section of the law is being pushed back:
Unable to meet tight deadlines in the new health care law, the Obama administration is delaying parts of a program intended to provide affordable health insurance to small businesses and their employees — a major selling point for the health care legislation. Read more........ Article contributed by Steve Peters.
(3) Beware the Gun Tax - Redstate - David Addington at the Heritage Foundation reports on a little something-something slipped into the rough beast of gun control laws slouching toward the Senate to be born, courtesy of majority leader Harry Reid:
Title I of the Reid gun control bill purports to “fix gun checks.” The proposed “fix” in section 122 of S. 649 is to take away an individual’s right to sell or give away a firearm to another individual unless, in most cases, the individual (1) uses a licensed importer, dealer, or manufacturer to make the transfer of the firearm and (2) pays a fee to that importer, dealer, or manufacturer to make the transfer.
The individual transferring the firearm is not actually receiving a service; the federal government is receiving the service. The service the government gets is a background check on the intended recipient of the firearm, because the law requires the importer, dealer, or manufacturer to run the recipient through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.......Placing a stiff “fee” on a background check system for even the most casual transfer of firearms would provide a monetary incentive for people to avoid using the system, measured against the risk of getting arrested for violating the law. If the background check system is truly a universal public interest, shouldn’t it be financed out of general taxation and provided “free” to those who need it, just like every other socialized necessity? Read more.........
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Albemarle Planning Commission Holds Hearing on Updated Plan - A. Welborn: A member of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission's Citizen Group, states to the Planning Commission that after participating for 2 years in many planning meetings and work sessions, that there wasn't any input from members involved in this process that were concerned about protecting private property rights as residents of Albemarle, reflected in the data included in updates to the Comprehensive Plan. Albemarle Planning Commission Holds Hearing on Updated Plan - Planners are working on finalizing Albemarle County's comprehensive plan.
Tuesday night the planning commission held a public hearing about the updated plan. Some changes include increasing rural area use and improving opportunities for employment.
The Monticello viewshed, which protects the view from Thomas Jefferson's hilltop home, is also part of the updated plan.
Some who spoke out say they want to see some more changes made before anything is finalized.
"I don't feel like any input by any concerned private property owner was ever reflected in anything that is in any of the documents at all. None of our concerns were every really addressed," said Audrey Welborn, who lives in Albemarle.
The planning commission will take the hearing's feedback into consideration before it submits a final plan to the Board of Supervisors.
(5) Comprehensive Plan Gets Public Critique - Charlottesville Tomorrow - Daily Progress - In the latest phase of the Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plan update, the county Planning Commission heard public comment Tuesday focused on Monticello, the county’s vision of itself and its economic vision for the future.
The comprehensive plan is the document that directs a locality’s land use and planning goals, and the state code requires all of Virginia’s cities and counties to update their comprehensive plans every five years.....But not everyone is pleased with the slimmer plan. Free Enterprise Forum president Neil Williamson expressed concern over the presence of guidelines intended to protect Monticello’s viewshed. They suggest design consultations with Monticello staff for buildings in a large swath of Charlottesville and Albemarle.
Williamson has described these guidelines as an “effective land grab via the comprehensive plan.”.....With respect to individual liberties, Dr. Charles Battig took issue with the entire document and suggested the plan deserved to be “rejected out-of-hand.”
“Virginia code requires comprehensive plans to be ‘general in nature,’” Battig said, “but this plan imposes micromanagement at every level and in every aspect of county citizens’ lives. Read entire article........
(6) Take Action: Home School Group Urges Government to Protect German Family - Citizen Link - A national home school organization is petitioning the Obama administration to allow a German family to remain in the U.S. so they can continue homeschooling their five children.
Music teachers Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, who are evangelical Christians, began homeschooling their children in Germany in 2006. Two years later, after facing police visits to their home to take their kids to public school, the family fled to the U.S.
“The U.S. Department of Justice and the White House have the ability to be lenient,” Michael Farris, chairman and founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), told CitizenLink. “This petition asks the White House to focus on that idea — to be more welcoming to homeschoolers.”
In 2010, HSLDA took the family’s case and helped them win a legal battle. They became the first family to obtain asylum based on the protection of homeschooling rights. Shortly after, the U.S. government appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration, claiming the family’s case failed to show that there was any discrimination based on religion. Read more.......