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    The Dumbest Judge in America

    In declaring mandatory health insurance unconstitutional, Federal Judge Henry Hudson uses a perfect tautology—a fallacy that proves a point by restating it. Buying insurance isn’t covered under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, the judge says. Therefore, he says, the law can’t be covered under the Necessary and Proper Clause.  

    The problem is, the Necessary and Proper Clause exists to extend federal power over things not covered by the Constitution. 

    In other words, Hudson argues that because insurance isn’t covered by the Constitution, it can’t be covered by the part of the Constitution that exists to cover stuff that isn’t otherwise covered. You follow?

    While striking down a key part of the health care law, Judge Hudson has pulled off an equally impressive feat: embarrassing his fellow conservatives.

    See this piece in Talking Points Memo. Then laugh till you cry.

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    Reader Comments (9)

    "This isn't covered under this part of the Constitution. Therefore, the part of the Constitution that does cover it...doesn't."
    December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia Sordira
    Well said, Alicia.
    December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    So where's the tautology in that, exactly?
    December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBobby McGee
    "It's not covered under the Constitution because it's not covered under the Constitution."
    December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    With all the Supreme Court justices to choose from, you say THIS guy is the dumbest?
    December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterC. sativa
    Disagreeing with justices doesn't make them stupid, C. Unless they disagree with me, of course.
    December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Well, the side arguing the tautology won. Didn't that make it rhetorically fair? Whether it was a fallacy or not - most politics in my experience falls into that category - the judge struck down the part of the bill he was ideologically pre-disposed to strike down. And since to most of us tautology is the study of how tight the body of a starlet is, only people who pay attention to such things will notice.
    December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNosybear
    “Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional.” Justice John Marshall on the Necessary and Proper Clause

    Before getting out of your area of expertise, it would be good to learn a little of the history of your topic. While reasonable people may debate what is within the scope of the Constitutiion, within its letter and spirit, it is not reasonable, nor adult, to call someone expert in his field the "dumbest" of his kind.

    While I, as a teacher of rhetoric, enjoy your work, I do not care for your narrow partisanship. How about some "Obamaism'?
    December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMDN
    Good point, MDN. Figaro may be the dumbest political rhetorician in America. As for Obamaisms, as I mention in my last post, I believe in special education. The Dems are hideously bad at rhetoric, while the Republicans are exceptionally good at it.
    December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro

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