Lottery Case Analysis

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In his dissent in the Lottery Case, 188 U.S. 321 (1903), Chief Justice Fuller makes the assertion that “Our form of government may remain notwithstanding legislation or decision, but, as long ago observed, it is with governments, as with religions: the form may survive the substance of the faith.” Although at first Fuller’s comparison between governments and religions seems strange, upon closer examination the statement reappears as legitimate point. Essentially, to understand Fuller’s quote in its entirety one must first understand why Fuller would go about comparing governments to religions in the first place. A religion exists as a structure of faith, and this structure is built about basic rules. These rules typically remain unaltered over …show more content…
For example, even more so than Congress’s commerce power, there is a broad interpretation of the federal legislature’s taxing power. This fact was exploited by SCOTUS in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. ___ (2012). This particular case had to do with the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate. In the opinion of the court, Justice Roberts wrote that “the commerce power… does not authorize the mandate”. However, the case did not stop there. Justice Roberts goes on to say “[t]hat is not the end of the matter. Because the Commerce Clause does not support the individual mandate, it is necessary to turn to the Government’s second argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s enumerated power to ‘lay and collect Taxes.’ Art. I, §8, cl. 1.” The court ended up justifying that the Individual Mandate was constitutional. SCOTUS’s logic was that the Individual Mandate functioned not as a penalty, but as a tax and that as a tax it was permissible thanks to Congress’s taxing powers. The court, however, was not unanimous in this decision whatsoever. In his dissent, Scalia goes on to argue that the use of the taxing power is ridiculous because to say that “the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to rewrite it.” Of course, this is where the concept of separation of powers comes into place. The Supreme Court’s job is to interpret law. They are not to make or rewrite laws. The creation of law is a job that is left up to congress just as the enforcement of laws is left to the executive. Clearly, SCOTUS went past the limits of its constitutional duties when it ruled the Individual Mandate as constitutional on the basis of

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