Open Thread: Judge Upholds Obamacare, Rules Congress Can Regulate 'Mental Activity'

On Wednesday, the fifth federal judge to examine constitutional challenges to Obamacare on their merits upheld the law, reiterating that the Congress's Commerce Clause power gives it the authority to mandate the puchasing of health insurance (the judge rejected the argument that the mandate is a tax and therefore permissable under Congress's power of the purse).

The most interesting passage of the ruling was the following one, in which the judge ruled that "mental activity" is within the domain of activities that can be regulated by the federal government, and by Congress under the Commerce Clause:

As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power….However, this Court finds the distinction, which Plaintiffs rely on heavily, to be of little significance. It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not “acting,” especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.

Don't ignore reality, support Obamacare! But seriously, is there any activity that Congress can't regulate under this ruling?

Open Thread

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