Freedom Flix

IJ on the Individual Mandate

 

 

If government-mandated health insurance is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) case is argued in March 2012, the Institute for Justice warns in its amicus brief that there will be dire and predictable threats to individual liberty and voluntary relations that have been the foundation of American contract law for centuries. Constitutional law professor Elizabeth Price Foley, who is the executive director of the Institute's Florida Chapter and who co-authored IJ's brief, said, "The individual mandate violates a cardinal rule of contract law—to be enforceable, all agreements must be voluntary. The Framers understood this, and would never have given the federal government the power to force individuals into lifelong contracts of insurance. The Court should not allow the government to exercise this unprecedented and dangerous power." As IJ's brief shows, the principle of mutual assent, under which both parties must consent for a contract to be valid, is a fundamental principle of contract law that was well understood during the Founding era and is still a cornerstone of contract law today. Indeed, contracts entered under duress have long been held to be invalid. Yet the mandate forces individuals to enter into contracts of insurance that would never be valid under this longstanding principle. (For a copy of IJ's brief, visit: www.ij.org/PPACAbrief.) If the U.S. Supreme Court fails to strike down the individual mandate, there will be nothing to stop Congress from forcing people into other contracts against their will—employment contracts or union membership, for example. If we still have a constitutional republic in which the federal government's powers are limited, then the Court should strike down this law. The Institute for Justice's brief is the only amicus brief filed with the Court that examines this case in the context of the history of contract law. The brief illustrates how the Supreme Court has recognized the principle of consent in commercial relations in its Commerce Clause and Tenth Amendment cases, and it explains why the U.S. Supreme Court has a key role in acting as a check against this unconstitutional power grab by the federal government.

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Freedom Flix

The Institute for Justice is always looking for new ways to promote the message of freedom. To that end, IJ produced the following videos in-house to tell the stories of our clients and their fight for individual liberty.

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   Newspaper Censorship in America: Is this Celebrated Advice Columnist a Criminal? (2:54)
In May 2013, John Rosemond—America's longest running newspaper columnist—received an astonishing order from the Kentucky attorney general: Stop publishing your advice column in the Bluegrass State or face fines and jail.
   Epic Public Interest Boot Camp, a Weekend for Law Students (1:58)
IJ's law student conference is like boot camp for future freedom fighters. You'll learn cutting edge constitutional theory, how to sue bureaucrats and winning in the court of public opinion.
   Ending Forfeiture Abuse: How States Can Be Tough on Crime and Respect Property Rights (7:32)
Civil asset forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to private property rights in our nation today.  Law enforcement can take your property without even charging you with a crime. According to reports from the Institute for Justice, law enforcement..
   Court Gives a Victory to Atlanta Street Vendors by Striking Down Government-Granted Vending Monopoly (2:20)
On 12/21/12, Christmas came early for Atlanta vendors Larry Miller and Stanley Hambrick when Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua of the Fulton County Superior Court struck down the city’s Public Vending Management Program. In 2011, the two longtime street vendors wh
   A Deadline Looms for Your Tax Preparer (1:59)
As part of a sweeping new licensing scheme, the IRS won't let tax preparers continue to prepare your tax returns in 2013 unless they first get a special permission slip from the government by paying for and completing 15 hours of continuing education by t
   Game of T̶h̶r̶o̶n̶e̶s̶ [Food Trucks]: Chicago's Mobile Vendors in an Epic Food Fight (3:59)
Should the city of Chicago be in the business of protecting restaurants from food trucks?
   POLICING FOR PROFIT: Feds try to take innocent elderly couples' Mom-and-Pop motel (2:47)
Seeking to circumvent state law and cash in on the profits, the Tewksbury Police Department is working with the U.S. Department of Justice to take and sell the Caswells property because a tiny fraction of people who have stayed at the Motel Caswell...
   IJ's Jeanette Petersen Explains Three Reasons You Can't Get a Cab (1:40)
Ever wonder why it's so hard to get a taxicab? IJ's Jeanette Petersen explains that government-imposed barriers like caps on permits and minimum fare laws are designed to protect entrenched transportation companies at the expense of enterprising drivers a
   Sign Codes vs. Free Speech (3:02)
Across the country, government is dealing a one-two punch to property rights and free speech. Using sign codes, cities are demanding large signs protesting eminent domain abuse be taken down.
   Caveman Blogger Fights for Free Speech and Internet Freedom (2:58)
Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what food people should buy at the grocery store?
   Speed's Auto Services v. Portland Protectionism in Portland, Oregon (1:19)
Can the government bar entrepreneurs from offering competitive prices, online discounts and prompt service merely to protect politically powerful insiders from competition?
   Gov't Bully to Citizen Activists: Lie or Face Crippling Fines (2:53)
Washington's Public Disclosure Commission, which works to shut down political debate, is now seeking to drastically restrict free civil rights advocacy—advocacy that has guided our nation to live up to its ideals of freedom and justice...
   FOOD FIGHT IN WASHINGTON: Let's Save DC Food Trucks (3:00)
D.C. is one of the best food-truck cities in the country. That's something city officials should be proud of. But unfortunately, city leaders are considering new restrictions on food trucks that could be used to ban them from serving their customers...
   Puppies & Kittens & Censors…Oh my! Gov't Muzzles Internet Pet Vet (1:31)
This Institute for Justice lawsuit involves free speech and Internet freedom while centering on one of the most important unresolved issues in First Amendment law:  When does occupational licensing trump the First Amendment?  
   If a Police Dog "Alerts," Should You Lose Your Cash, Car and Other Property? (2:42)
IJ attorneys Darpana Sheth and Scott Bullock explain IJ's new amicus brief about civil forfeiture. Learn more at this link: http://www.ij.org/l-l-10-12-ij-amicus-brief-alerts-high-court-to-abuse-of-civil-forfeiture-using-drug-dogs
   Gov't to makeup artists: Put down the blush, or we'll shut you down (2:51)
In Nevada, teaching others how to apply makeup without a government-issued license can subject you to up to $2,000 in fines.
   Is your state pulling a medical CON job? (1:22)
Medical professionals join forces with Institute for Justice, file major federal health care lawsuit. Laws limit medical options for patients, funnel millions of dollars to politically connected businesses.
   Chip Mellor Acceptance Speech, Bradley Prize 2012 (13:13)
Thursday, June 7, 2012, the Bradley Foundation presented the Bradley Prize to IJ President and General Counsel William H. "Chip" Mellor during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
   Should You Need the Government’s Permission to Work? (5:00)
Barriers like occupational licensing make it harder for people to find jobs and build new businesses that create jobs, particularly minorities, those of lesser means and those with less education.
   IRS Protectionism: New Licensing Scheme Challenged in Major Federal Lawsuit (3:58)
Congress never gave the IRS the authority to license tax preparers, and the IRS can't give itself that power. But last year the IRS imposed a sweeping new licensing scheme that forces tax preparers to get IRS permission before they can work.

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