Sen. Vitter: Health Care Mandate Violates Constitution Because It's Unprecedented

February 03, 2011 3:29 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Unlike several of his Republican colleagues, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) never supported a health care plan with an individual mandate, so his stated view that the requirement is unconstitutional isn't necessarily hypocritical. It is, however, deeply confused. Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, Vitter argued that mandated ownership of health insurance is "unprecedented and for that reason it is unconstitutional."

VITTER: So this absolute mandate that every man, woman, and child in the United States go out and purchase health insurance, purchase a product in the private marketplace, is unprecedented and for that reason it is unconstitutional. And it's an unprecedented expansion of the power and role and authority of the federal government.  


Of course, by Vitter's reasoning, every landmark bill ever passed should have been constitutionally prohibited by virtue of the fact that it hadn't passed before. Unfortunately, Judge Roger Vinson's logic wasn't much better in his decision striking down the Affordable Care Act earlier this week. As we previously documented, legal scholars and policy experts from across the political spectrum have rejected Vinson's error-filled opinion.

Read more about Judge Vinson's decision and the constitutionality of health care reform HERE