This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to CNSNews.com on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 (full article available on-line)
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said the “good and welfare
clause” gives Congress the authority to require individuals to buy health insurance as mandated in the
health care bill. However, there is no “good and welfare clause” in the U.S. Constitution.
The word "good" only appears once in the Constitution, in Article 3, Section 1, which deals with the
Judicial Branch, not the powers of Congress. Article 3, Section 1 says in part: "The Judges, both of the
supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times,
receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in
The Senate health care bill that was passed by the House of Representatives on March 21 mandates
that all Americans carry health insurance. If they do not, individuals and most businesses will be
penalized, with the fees collected by the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), however, the federal government has never
before mandated that Americans buy any good or service. In 1994, when Congress was considering a
universal health care plan formulated by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, the CBO studied the plan’s
provision that would have forced individuals to buy health insurance and determined it was an
The CBO stated: “A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an
unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or
service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. An individual mandate would have two
features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as
members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be
heavily regulated by the federal government.”
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According to the website for the US Senate Judiciary Committee:
“Established in 1816 as one of the original standing committees in the United States
Senate, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary is one of the most influential
committees in Congress. Its broad legislative jurisdiction has assured its primary role
as a forum for the public discussion of social and constitutional issues. The Committee
is also responsible for oversight of key activities of the executive branch, and is
responsible for the initial stages of the confirmation process of all judicial nominations
for the federal judiciary.”
Those we entrust to uphold the Constitution vs. The Constitution
US Constitution: Amendment 9 –
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny
or disparage others retained by the people.
US Constitution: Amendment 10 –
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.
We the People:
Any US Representative who references a non-existent “good and welfare clause” in reference to
the Constitution is a disgrace to the Congress. He is either ignorant of it or he believes
Senator Kohl is on the Senate Judiciary committee. We should ask him why he did not
conduct a hearing on the constitutionality of the health care bill before it became law.