Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tossed red meat to attendees of the Republican convention by saying he thinks the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act doesn’t settle the question of the law’s constitutionality.
“I still think it’s unconstitutional!” Paul thundered.
Do you think Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have changed their minds?
I think if James Madison himself — the father of the Constitution — were here today he would agree with me: The whole damn thing is still unconstitutional! This debate is not new and it’s not over. Hamilton and Madison fought from the beginning about how government would be limited by the enumerated powers. Madison was unequivocal. The powers of the federal government are few and defined. The power to tax and spend is restricted by the enumerated powers.
Paul’s comments have a few politically uncomfortable implications — including that other, more straightforward social programs like Medicare and Social Security are also unconstitutional.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.