Va. AG Ken Cuccinelli: Reasserting Federalism in Defense of Liberty
IMPRIMIS reprint of Va. AG Ken Cuccinelli speech: Let me explain a bit about our lawsuit. Our first legal argument is that the government’s attempt to use the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to mandate the purchase of a private product—in this case, health insurance—goes beyond Congress’s power. The reason there has never been a mandate like this in all of American history is because, up until now, everyone knew Congress lacked the power to impose one. I often give the example of the colonial period, when the colonists were boycotting British goods while demanding that King George III and Parliament repeal the Stamp Act and the Intolerable Acts. I am sure it was to the king’s dismay, but his own lawyer—the solicitor general—told Parliament that the boycott was legal under British law. In other words, the colonists could not be forced to buy British goods.