Health Care Reform

Peltz-Steele: “Dismantling Federalism Is A Shortcut With A Very Steep Price”

Advance Arkansas Institute associate scholar Richard Peltz-Steele, a former UALR law professor, had an op-ed published at yesterday.  The column focuses on the erosion of federalism, as evidenced by two recent Supreme Court decisions.

From the article:

Recent decisions from the Supreme Court delivered a one-two punch to American federalism.  While media focus on the political impact of the immigration and healthcare decisions on the elections, our constitutional system is reeling from a blow of greater proportion…

The problem of federalism can get lost in the shuffle.  But in using the Taxing Clause, the Court offered precious little in the way of limiting principles.  Indeed, the Taxing Clause now seems poised to become Congress’s favorite new toy to run circles around the Commerce Clause and its carefully erected barriers to federal omnipotence.  Whatever mandates formerly defied the reach of Congress may now be offered to individuals as a “choice,” and persons lacking the wisdom to choose correctly may be “taxed” accordingly.  Congress need not even use the word “tax”; the Justices will strain their eyes to find a tax wherever a penalty lies.

This is a fantastic article on a very important topic that deserves your attention.  Read it in its entirety at


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