The Supreme Court noted that one of Congress' many powers is to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises." This, the court found, gives the federal government considerable influence even in areas where it cannot directly regulate." Because the Constitution permits such a tax, "it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness."
Although upholding the law, Chief Justice Roberts wrote this: "We possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our nation's elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."
The name of the case, the "case caption" as attorneys refer to it is "National Federation of Independent Business, et. al, v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et. al." The petitioners, independent business, lost. The government won.
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Andrew Myers of Derry has law offices in Derry and North Andover. He is a member of the American Association for Justice and the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Send questions to email@example.com.