No, this is not a post about the medicinal values of mushrooms. This is about the 2001 Supreme Court ruling that a “Commerce Power” “corporate mandate” was unconstitutional, and what it should say about the Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate (hat tip John Hindraker)
In a 6 -3 decision written by Justice Kennedy, UNITED STATES v. UNITED FOODS, the Supreme Court struck down the Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act mandate, ruling that the USDA could not force companies to give money to a program to “strengthen the market” for the commodity they produce. The Federal government argued:
[A]s long as Congress has a legitimate interest in strengthening the market for a particular agricultural commodity, Congress is entitled . . . to enact this sort of program and impose it on an industry.
Sound familiar? It should, if you’ve listened to any lefties arguing that Congress’ legitimate role in regulating the health insurance industry entitles it to impose the Individual Mandate on all American citizens. However, Justice Kennedy wasn’t impressed. In that case he said they Federal Government was trampling companies First Amendment rights, including the right not to say anything. Which fits right in with the concerns stated by Justice Kennedy during Oral Argument, that the Individual Mandate was an Federal Government assault upon individual liberty.
Hopefully he’ll decide that individuals are entitled to the same liberty as corporations, when it comes to the right not to do things.