The entire health care saga reveals that Americans and their elected representatives no longer think about structure. They see no problem in turning to the federal government to solve any problem in any way, regardless of whether it is structurally proper for it to do so. Nancy Pelosi made quite clear how deeply she considered the structural, constitutional merits of the health care law. Her response when asked which part of the Constitution authorizes Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
The demise of structural analysis in politics is a fundamental problem that extends far beyond five individuals in the third branch of government. As a people, we have forgotten why America came to be called the Great Republic. That is the real tragedy. Such a Great Republic cannot be sustained by nine people. It is a gift given to us all by our founders, and we are all responsible for letting it slip away.
Joseph Petros is an associate at the law firm of Warren and Young PLL in Ashtabula, Ohio. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he served as executive editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.