Health-care reform and the courts

Tuesday, February 8, 2011; 8:16 PM

Matt Miller ["The GOP's Obamacare boomerang," op-ed, Feb. 3] suggested that opponents of the health-care mandate are shortsighted, because a judicial ruling that the mandate is unconstitutional might lead to an expansion of Medicare. But perhaps these opponents simply recognize that personal policy preferences are irrelevant to the question of the mandate's constitutionality.

The Constitution was designed to prevent the kind of runaway government we have today. Legislative and executive overreaching and judicial abdication have transformed the Constitution from a charter of liberty into a source of virtually limitless government power.

Now Congress asserts the far-reaching power to force Americans to enter into private contracts. It is not our courts' job to decide whether this action preserves the role of the private sector in health care. Rather, the role of a properly engaged judiciary is to enforce the limits on government power enshrined in our Constitution.

Paul Sherman, Arlington

The writer is a lawyer with the Institute for Justice.

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