March 26, 2012
The Supreme Court embarks Monday on a three-day examination of the Affordable Care Act “ObamaCare.” Supreme Court handicappers predict the justices will find a way to rule on the main constitutional question they consider on Day Two: Does the law’s health insurance mandate fall outside the Constitution’s commerce clause, which gives Congress regulatory power only when matters of interstate commerce are involved?
Important precedents in health-care case
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819): A landmark in Supreme Court jurisprudence on the power of Congress. The court ruled unanimously that Congress could establish a national bank.
Wickard v. Filburn (1942): The court unanimously ruled in favor of congressional limits on the amount of wheat a farmer could grow, even if the extra wheat was intended for the farmer’s personal use. The limit was part of a 1938 law aimed at stabilizing wheat prices.