Healthcare Freedom Amendment Discussion

Maurice Thompson discussed Issue 3 (The Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment) with Empower U, which is an initiative of several Tea Party groups, built to help educate people about limited government and fiscal responsibility.

Ohioans Submit Brief to U.S. Supreme Court Challenging Constitutionality of Individual Mandate

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law has submitted to the United States Supreme Court a “friend of the court” brief asserting that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional.  The brief highlights for the High Court Ohioans’ placement of the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment (“Issue 3”) in Ohio’s Bill of Rights, and its role in the Court’s analysis of whether the mandate withstands constitutional scrutiny.

The individual health insurance mandate, described as a “minimum essential coverage requirement” in the PPACA, attempts to require each citizen of the United States to purchase a qualifying heath insurance policy that, thus far, must cover items ranging from substance abuse and mental health coverage to maternity care.  Through requiring these coverages and others, the mandate is expected to drive up costs of health insurance premiums nationwide.

The 1851 Center’s Brief recognizes that because the mandate is not a regulation of commerce, per se, it must be “necessary and proper” for carrying into execution Congressional Commerce Clause power.  The Brief then chronicles legal principles and factual background demonstrating that, in light of efforts in Ohio and elsewhere, the mandate is not “proper,” as the Court has historically understood that term.

Specifically, the brief asserts:

  • The Constitution is animated by federalism, and because its purpose is to protect liberty, the mandate violates the “letter and spirit” of the constitution, insofar as it may displace state protection of a fundamental right.
  • Freedom from compulsion to purchase government-defined health insurance is the type of liberty states must be permitted to protect.
  • The Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments protect, from Necessary and Proper Clause power, rights specifically enumerated under state law.
  • The Necessary and Proper Clause has never before been used to displace a state constitutional provision protecting liberty.
  • The mandate forces 49 states to adhere to a policy only heretofore adopted by Massachusetts, even though that policy has been vigorously debated in each state.
  • States may protect liberty above and beyond the baseline protections afforded by the federal Constitution.

Ohio is one of three states with constitutional prohibitions against forced purchase of health care insurance.  Ten other states maintain statutory prohibitions, and 36 of the remaining 39 states have deliberately abstained from enacting individual health insurance mandates, despite debate over the policy since California first proposed such a mandate in 1939.

The Ohio Amendment, approved by 66 percent of the vote, over 2.2 million voters, added a 21st Section Ohio’s Bill of Rights “to preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage.”  In approving the amendments Ohioans specifically found “The freedom to not be forced to purchase government-defined private health insurance is a fundamental right.”

“One of the purposes of enacting the Health Care Freedom Amendment was not only protect Ohioans’ health care freedom from state and local government, but also to place Ohioans in the nation’s strongest position to challenge invasive elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” said Maurice Thompson, Executive Director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law.

“The 1851 Center’s Brief is a reminder, like the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment, of our view, and the founders’ view, that government exists to secure rights, rather than to take from some so as to provide benefits, amenities, and comfort to others,” added Thompson.  “We thought it important to share this view with the Court, along with a reminder of the impropriety of the federal government eradicating rights that the states have essentially ‘federalized’ through the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments, as it decides the extent of our liberties.”

The Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment was drafted, initiated, and defended by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law.

Read the Amicus Brief here.

Center Provides A Guide to Reducing Your School District Tax Burden

Ohio school districts continue to surrender to political pressure at the collective bargaining table, failing to curtail school employees’ lucrative compensation packages. And while this undisciplined spending could manifest itself in the form of reasonable lay-offs or pay-cuts, history demonstrates it to be more likely that Ohioans across the state will soon confront a flurry of school district levy elections, oriented towards raising their property or income taxes.

So long as local taxpayers apply less pressure than public sector unions, this trend will continue. This guide is intended to teach you how to apply much-needed political pressure, and induce fiscal restraint, rather than profligacy, through the ballot box.

This Guide is a tutorial on how to use heretofore obscure parts of the law, alongside the initiative process, to roll back either a recently-enacted, or even a not-so-recently-enacted school levy tax.

Download the Citizens Guide to Reducing Your School District Tax Burden here.
Download a Petition for Repeal of School District Income Tax here.
Download a Petition for a Levy Decease here.

Workplace Freedom Amendment

Press conference for the unveiling of the Ohio Workplace Freedom Amendment, an effort to place a constitutional amendment before voters to make Ohio a Right to Work state.

Ten Principles Vital to Engaging in Civic Duty

1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson discusses “Ten Principles” of civic involvement during a forum at the LC Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio.

Healthcare Freedom Amendment Discussion

Workplace Freedom Amendment Videos

Click here for videos related to the Ohio Workplace Freedom Amendment

Issue 2 Debate

Here, management-side labor attorney Gary Greenberg and union counsel Stephen Lazarus debate the legal impact of Senate Bill 5 at a forum hosted by the Columbus Chapter of the Federalist Society and the 1851 Center.

Freedomwatch Appearance

Maurice Thompson and Judge Andrew Napolitano discuss how the government strays from the Constitution during a special taping of Fox News’ Freedom Watch Live at OSU.

OSU Federalist Society Address

Maurice Thompson addresses smoking bans, state constitutional law and private property rights during a presentation to the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Federalist Society on January 13, 2011.