Everybody is all a-Twitter (and Facebook) about the SCOTUS decision in the Affordable Care Act case, so I feel no urge to write about it, other than to say I’m relieved. There is enough commentary whizzing around the fluorosphere without me putting my two cents in. I am amused most of all by the people who have tweeted that they are moving to Canada because the Court upheld the individual mandate. * Some people were not paying attention during the debate, methinks. I hope they like the universal healthcare that they have up north. I know I would love it.
The Court also announced its decision in United States v. Alvarez, the Stolen Valor Act case. I have written before about how I wanted this case to turn out; the decision striking down the Act leaves me with mixed emotions. In spite of my feelings on the matter, I do understand the plurality’s opinion that the law was an infringement on free speech:”[f]undamental constitutional principles require that laws enacted to honor the brave must be consistent with the precepts of the Constitution for which they fought.” I guess lying about military service must now be considered a constitutionally protected activity.
In spite of sympathy for the free speech issues, I simply think the dissent made the more compelling argument, likening lying about military honors to fraud and trademark dilution. At least the concurrences seemed to indicate that a more narrowly tailored law — such as one recent bill aimed specifically at punishing false claims of military honors which are made for material gain — would pass constitutional muster.
Passing this bill would be a good thing. Our veterans deserve it.
*Any conservative wanting to leave the U.S. because of the ACA will need to look to developing countries or Belarus: pretty much all of Europe, as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica (to which I have heard Rush Limbaugh has threatened to move), Brazil, Argentina and Chile have some form of publicly-provided universal healthcare.