Randy Barnett: Stupidest Man Alive for March 30, 2010
Second Congress, Session I:
An ACT more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States.:
- Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.... That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service...
Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse "Professor" of Legal Theory:
Is the Health Care Law Unconstitutional?: Exceeding Congress’s Authority: The smart money is always on the Supreme Court upholding an act of Congress. And the smart money is right until the day it is wrong — as when constitutional law professors confidently predicted the court would uphold the Gun Free School Zones Act in 1995 and the Violence Against Women Act in 2000. The professoriate was shocked when both laws were held unconstitutional because they exceeded Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause.... The individual mandate goes far beyond these previous acts. Congress has never before mandated that a citizen enter into an economic transaction with a private company, so there can be no judicial precedent for such a law. Telling someone how they must do something is one thing; commanding that they must do something is entirely different. Imagine if Congress ordered the majority of American households without a firearm to buy a handgun from a private company, and punished their failure to do so with an escalating monetary fine, which it labeled a “tax.” Would the supporters of the health insurance mandate feel the same about the constitutionality of such a measure?.... Does the text of the Constitution authorize this exercise of power? No, it doesn’t. Has the Court ever before upheld this claim of power? No, it hasn’t. Can the challengers get this mandate invalidated? Yes, they can.