Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, June 29, 2012
If Individual Mandate is a Tax, What is Eminent Domain?
By Robert Thomas @ 2:05 PM :: 4831 Views :: National News, Ethics

Does The "If It Looks Like A Tax And Walks Like A Tax, It Is A Tax" Rule Apply To Public Use?

by Robert Thomas,

We haven't followed the Obamacare cases except as interested observers, and have largely avoided digging deep into the opinions, preferring to allow minds immeasurably superior to ours to provide the high-altitude view. However, we naturally scanned the majority opinion for any tie-in to our favorite topic, eminent domain.

Starting on page 33, the Chief Justice writes about the "functional" approach to legislative labeling, pursuant to which the majority concluded that the requirement to purchase insurance (the "mandate") was a constitutional exercise of Congress' taxation power, even though Congress did not call it a "tax," and indeed packaged and sold it as anything but a tax. The majority concluded, "[t]hat constitutional question [is] not controlled by Congress's choice of label." Slip op. at 34. The opinion then provides examples where the Court held that particular exactions "not labeled taxes nonetheless were authorized by Congress's power to tax," because the Court is "concerned only with its practical operation, not its definition or the precise form of descriptive words which may be applied to it."

Why that's a splendid idea, bully on that! We're starting to appreciate the Chief's "functional" approach. What say we apply that same test to a legislature's statement regarding the "public use" for which it is condemning property? What, you say, we can't do that, the standard the courts apply in eminent domain is to look only at "the taking's [stated] purpose, and not its mechanics?"

I, for one, am glad that CJ Roberts has seen the light, and will vote to grant cert next time someone files a petition seeking to overturn Berman, Midkiff, and Kelo.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii