In an otherwise tedious and uninteresting column arguing, hold onto your knickers, that the Americans for American Health America Act is the most important piece of domestic legislation since Napoleon signed the Magna Carta, Ronald Dworkin stumbles, like a corpse-sniffing dog, upon a corpse . . . or like a beagle upon a bedbug . . . or, anyway:
If the Court does declare the act unconstitutional, it would have ruled that Congress lacks the power to adopt what it thought the most effective, efficient, fair, and politically workable remedy—not because that national remedy would violate anyone’s rights, or limit anyone’s liberty in ways a state government could not, or be otherwise unfair, but for the sole reason that in the Court’s opinion our constitution is a strict and arbitrary document that denies our national legislature the power to enact the only politically possible national program. If that opinion were right, we would have to accept that our eighteenth-century constitution is not the enduring marvel of statesmanship we suppose but an anachronistic, crippling burden we cannot escape, a straitjacket that makes it impossible for us to achieve a just national society.While I suspect that Ron's and my definitions of a just society differ--I cannot, for instance, see how the word "national" quite worked its way in there--I am (of course I am) plainly in agreement on the anachronistic, crippling burden part. I'm not sure why it takes the potential overturn of a bunch of congressional backwash, a half-measure nationalization of a for-profit insurance model, for example, to get you there, but whatever works. You mean to say that a set of bylaws drafted by the de facto peerage of a native-extirpating Roman-style slave republic are inadequate to the task of infinitely expanding the anti-communist bribe package of New-Deal liberalism? Next thing you're going to tell me is that Aristotle is an insufficient text for Intro to the Principles of Cell Biology.