Trent Franks Still Under the Impression Obamacare Is Unconstitutional

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Photo by Matthew Hendley


Just this week on the House floor, Republican Congressman Trent Franks was insisting that Obamacare is unconstitutional.

It seems like it's a little late to still be fighting the law under the claim that it's unconstitutional, but Franks is never one to give up on his beliefs, pet projects, and lost causes.

Franks has actually been arguing for some time now that the law is unconstitutional under the Origination Clause in the Constitution.

"Even if the taxing power enables Congress to impose a tax on not obtaining health insurance, any tax must still comply with the other requirements in the Constitution," Franks said this week. "In short, ObamaCare was upheld as a tax. The Supreme Court did not and has not yet considered a challenge to the Affordable Care Act's taxing provisions on the grounds that it violated the Origination Clause in the United States Constitution, and it most certainly did exactly that. The Origination Clause is found in article I, section VII of the Constitution, and it states: 'All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.'"



Here, note that the Obamacare bill was passed as H.R. 3590, the "H.R." meaning -- you guessed it -- the bill originated in the House of Representatives.

Franks kind of ignored that part, and offered his interpretation of why he doesn't think that counts:
In creating ObamaCare, Senator Harry Reid took an entirely unrelated bill, H.R. 3590, containing just 714 words that did not raise taxes, and then stripped it of everything but its bill number. He then put the 400,000-word ObamaCare that raised taxes in 17 different places into its empty shell. Through this bit of legislative trickery, Mr. Reid claims that ObamaCare originated in the House, when, in fact, every last provision of ObamaCare, including the largest tax increase in American history, all came from the Senate.

This sort of procedure absolutely ignores and vacates the Founders' intent, and it renders the Origination Clause of our Constitution completely meaningless. If it is allowed to stand, the Origination Clause in the Constitution is a dead letter.
Other challenges on these grounds haven't been successful.

Franks has been on this Obamacare-unconstitutionality kick since April, when he introduced a symbolic resolution with the purpose of "expressing the sense" that Obamacare is unconstitutional.

(If you've ever wondered why Congress doesn't get anything done, look no further.)

Fifty-one representatives (of 431) have joined Franks on his symbolic measure, and there's a lawsuit against the health care law seeking to invalidate it for this very reason.

Franks didn't mention that lawsuit got tossed in June. An appeal was filed last week by thePacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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47 comments
MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

If ObamaCare was unconstitutional why did the most conservative U.S. Supreme Court since Taft, the man who granted Arizona statehood, uphold it as a tax?

I would like to think that the Supreme Court Justices have a thorough understanding of the Constitution. Plus Massachusetts has the very same overhaul signed by Mitt Romney in 2006. A law that to this day, still exists there.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Franks would understand why he's full of it if he were a regular reader of Phoenix New Times. What you get here is fare more accurate than what you're likely to read in WorldNet Daily or Newsmax. Get a clue, Toddykins.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Republicans gained the House because of Obamacare. Once the real consequences sink in they will take the Senate as well. Obama's gun control efforts were the best possible stimulus to the firearms industry. He'll have the same effect on the Democrat party future.

ReggieVV
ReggieVV

Trent Franks is the very definition of useless moron. An embarrassment to the State. About as useless to Arizona as a lump of coal at a solar panel factory.

Jukes
Jukes

He's such an embarrassment.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Actually, it very clearly is in violation of the intent of the Constitution, SCOTUS knows it, Obama knows it, nearly everybody in Congress knows it.   They also know that our current SCOTUS believes that if it seems to be in the best interest of a lot of people, then we shouldn't worry about that old piece of paper.


ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

Would it not have been germaine to the subject of this article that the author look to see what other House bills have in the past been used in the same manner and what equally justifiable horror Mr. Franks exhibits at such evidence?



Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

In other words.. Trent Franks is STILL an idiot. 


Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Not surprised anymore that Arizona elects idiots like this.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

Many yelling for the removal of Sen McCain yet Az has this idiot running loose in Washington!

HaddieNuff
HaddieNuff

WTF???? Do these idiots not know about the Supreme Court, its purpose and the fact this very conservative court has ruled the ACA is constitutional?  We're in very scary terroritory in the US these days.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967  

They upheld it as a tax knowing quite well that it is a perversion of the intended purpose of the power to levy taxes, but with the belief that "since it helps people" and the only downside is that it grants the federal government sweeping powers they've never had in the past, what's the downside?

Did you think the federal government would rule in favor of limiting the power of the federal government?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967  

If you think that the fact that a State has the power to do something says anything at all about whether it is Constitutional for the feds to mandate it, then you don't understand what the Constitution is.

The Constitution defines and limits the authority of the federal government.  In fact, until the 14th was passed, not even the Bill of Rights applied to the States.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

The Supreme Court once said it was Constitutional to own people.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

BULLSHIT!

Republicans gained the house through gerrymangering (CHEATING)

But they are not going to keep it, especially after attempting to hold the country hostage and shutting down the Govt. which cost us, the taxpayer $24B

Looked at Republican polling numbers lately?? Single digit.

Enjoy your delusion, since it's got no chance in hell of coming true.... hell, Republicans fucked themselves out of public office until at least 2020, thanks to letting a small minority of teatards speak for the entire Republican party, instead of growing a backbone and kicking those extreme religious fanatics to the curb where they belong.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Valley, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ACA under the Commerce Clause.

Please tell us again how the ACA is unconstitutional and why the State of Massachusetts has it and has had it since 2006, when Mitt Romney was governor.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative 

I'll probably regret this, but please, tell us specifically why and how it is Unconstitutional... 

Intent is relative and based on perception which is different for every person, so that does not count.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

You're right Jonny.

The 1857 Dred Scott decision was perhaps the worst U.S. Supreme Court decision in history. The 14th Amendment was designed to overrule it.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Listen Flyer, I think Trent Franks is a horse's ass. I've picketed Arpaio and Russell Pearce. Have you ever had an 80 something blue haired woman tell you "go fuck yourself"? But sometimes a blind squirrel does find a nut. Franks is right in this case. Either the Constitution means what it says or we're just fucked.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Do you know that it's still nearly impossible to find 22 ammo? Retailers don't even put it on the shelf. It gets scooped up right out of the shipping boxes. Do you think any of these people are going to vote Dem? I don thin so, Lucy.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

The same polls said 90% of Americans were in favor of more gun control yet Obama couldn't get his own party to pass it. I know, I know. It was the evil NRA. Always the fault of "the vast right wing conspiracy". BTW how come we haven't heard Hillary defending "the law of the land"?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753

It's clear that the Constitution never intended for taxes to be used to force compliance with federal mandates that they had no other power to enforce.

Otherwise, what was the point of the 10th Amendment, since taxation gives all power over every aspect of the lives of the citizens to the federal government?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

No, Franks is wrong. If you disagree then I suggest you go to Washington and picket the SCOTUS and then take your seat on it so your interpretation of the intent of the founding fathers stands.

As to the blue hair.. oh yes, quite a lot... the seem to get pissed when my response is to laugh in their face since per them I am disrespecting them... gee.. I thought they disrespected me first when they came up and told me to go fuck myself... 

Republican hypocrisy.. a universal constant.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

When you call me names like that, you sound like JoeArpaioFan. What's next, racial slurs? Sexual orientation slurs?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative @Flyer9753 @jonnyquest 

Wrong. Businesses often make the decision to prefer one supply order over another based on profit margins, that IS business.

When you can make 10,000 rounds of ammo a month (just a number) and have supply orders from 2 customers, 1 being a customer that pays $20,000 and the other being a customer that pays $30,000 for that same ammo... of course you fill the order that pays $30,000 first - that IS business.

Thinking otherwise is pie in the sky thinking.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Yeah, Flyer's posts are the equivalent of an accidental discharge. He's an example of why a child has to be taught to think AND read. You don't do one without the other.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @jonnyquest  

That makes no business sense at all.  Regardless of the profit margin, if there is demand, there is money to be made.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

Yes, RETARD, SHORT BUS RIDER, BUBBLE WRAP WEARER, STUPID, would you like me to say it more ways?

You thought? Clearly not, you just assumed I am a Democrat, which I am not.

You started the name calling and insults with your Prince and Princess and bedtime stories crap and now you get offended when you get it back?

Grow up you fucking child. If you can't take it, don't dish it.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Retard? RETARD?! I thought you Dems were the sensitive ones. Clearly you don't know anyone with special needs. YOU IGNORANT FUCK! I hope your Hi Point and Charter Arms blow up on you. Fuck wad.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

HAHAHA!!! Thanks for proving you are a Republitard, since when confronted with facts, that are easily verifiable but you don't like what they say, counters with fantasy and attempts at insults.

I could not care less what YOU think the reason is for Hillary not saying anything, since YOU are not her, you don't know her and you have no idea what is actually happening or not happening, just the spin you hear on Faux.

I never said 9mm was cheaper you retard, I said the manufacturers profit on .22 is lower than it is on 9mm, but once again, you have no facts to counter with... just like a typical Republican.

Why is it your party can never argue/debate on facts?? Why do people in your party always insist on attempting to put words in the other persons mouth that they never said?

The reason you do all those and more is that you can't win an argument/debate on your own, you have to cheat, just like you did to win the house.

Republicans can't handle a fair fight.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Yeah, yeah. And the Price found his Princess and they all lived happily ever after plinking with 9mm cause it was cheaper. Your bed time stories made this old man sleepy. I'll leave you with this, Hillary isn't standing with Obama because she's going to run as the moderate with a heart who can fix what Obama messed up.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

BTW - one of the other reasons .22 specifically is hard to find is due to the fact that profit on a .22 round is quite small compared to profit on a larger round.

Therefore the manufacturers are not making as much .22 ammo in general.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

The only backlash at election time is going to be against the Republicans, you can already see it happening after the entire Govt. shutdown crap.

As to the ammo, yes I am aware, I am also aware that the reasons the right is quoting are bullshit. 

The ammo shortage was and is because of a few things:

1. Govt. Resupply of Ammo for the Departments that need it - ammo suppliers LOVE govt resupply times and will put regular manufacturing orders aside in favor of the Govt resupply because the Govt. contract is so much more lucrative

2. We have a lot of ammo going to the military right now since we are still in two warzones

3. overall metal shortage (metal for casings) and cost increase

Americans did not put the Reps in the house, the Reps cheated their way into the house, so it was not american wallets that were being expressed. If anything it was american apathy in letting them do it and not realizing the problems it could cause until the Republicans turned around and slapped the american public in the face, again.

Americans DO NOT WANT TO REPEAL THE ACA. 

Do they want to fix it, yes, but support for repeal is only at 12% overall.. only at 8% when you ask exclusively Republicans, compared to 56% want it fixed and taken to single payer, which is what it was supposed to be in the first place. 

It was Republicans who insisted it not be, since a non-single payer system is more lucrative for the hospital and insurance industries and people know this, which is another reason the Republicans are being blamed and losing support.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

I'm glad that I'm wrong. I tried finding some a couple weeks ago and couldn't. Other ammo has been available for a while. But as a shooter, you know that wasn't the case several months ago. Americans were expressing their will with their wallets. And if they could, they would do the same with Obamacare. They can't because the law won't let them. So get ready for a backlash at election time.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

You can definitely get some tomorrow at the gun show itself, Cross Roads of the West.

As to where locally, what I bought today I bought at shooters world.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Where? I'll be happy to correct myself if I can get some tomorrow.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

Bull, I bought a brick of it earlier today. Also bought 9mm and .357, 250 rounds each.

Had no problem getting it.

Please stop lying

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

I don't know why Hillary is not doing that, per you, go ask her.

And those same polls showed that Obama was going to win a second term.. and he did.. and who were the Republicans listening too? Fuax Media and Carl Rove who still think Romney is going to win in a landslide.

The polls are accurate, we know that and attempting to say that because 90% of Americans want gun control and yet it didn't pass because the poll was wrong (which is what you are saying) is ludicrous since that was not the case no matter how much you attempt to tell people it was.

It was gridlock in Washington and political games that caused gun legislation to fail, not inaccurate polling.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753  

If ACA had been enacted by each state, the Constitution wouldn't even be an issue.  That's like asking if baserunner interference should be a 5 yard penalty in football.  Wrong rulebook,

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @valleynative  

I've explained it.  You don't understand.  Should I keep trying?   If it were enforceable by law, they wouldn't be forced to pervert taxes as pressure.

That's very simple.  Very clear.  Isn't it?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative @Flyer9753 

Valley I already re-phrased the question regarding car insurance.

Do you understand how to scroll, read and comprehend english? 

It is 100% enforceable. Simply saying it isn't is not an answer, it's your answer but not one backed up by anything  - WHY IS IT NOT ENFORCEABLE?

I know you don't understand the concepts here.. which is not surprising for you.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @valleynative  

It is unenforceable as law, or else they simply would have enacted it as law, rather than as a tax.

I don't think you really understand the concepts here.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753 There is no federal mandatory auto insurance.  Do you understand what the Constitution is?  It has little to do with State law.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@jonnyquest 

You are correct, but the argument is still valid, since it's a mandate.

But for the sake of discussion let me rephrase the question - would people still consider the ACA unconstitutional if each state had enacted it?

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

I believe that's a state law.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative @Flyer9753 

So you object to Mandatory Auto Insurance too right?

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