"An individual's personal decision to purchase -- or decline purchase -- (of) health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the U.S. Constitution," Hudson wrote. "No specifically constitutional authority exists to mandate the purchase of health insurance."
"Despite the laudable intentions of Congress in enacting a comprehensive and transformative health care regime, the legislative process must still operate within constitutional bounds," Hudson added. "Salutatory goals and creative drafting have never been sufficient to offset an absence of enumerated powers."
"Enumerated powers? Whuzzat?" responded the New York Times,
The case centers on whether Congress has authority under the Commerce Clause to compel citizens to buy a commercial product – namely health insurance – in the name of regulating an interstate economic market. Plaintiffs in the lawsuits argue there effectively would be no limits on federal power, and that the government could force people to buy American cars or, as Judge Hudson remarked at one hearing, “to eat asparagus.”
Well, presumably if Congress could make a good case that the interstate market for asparagus was unsettled, they actually would pass a law to make us all eat asparagus. But does anybody else feel that the Times's reporter's use of the asparagus reference is pejorative? Intended to make the judge seem like a feeble-minded old rustic?