Antonin ScaliaEzra Klein is discussing the Commerce Clause again. There has been lots of this recently because of the Supreme Court hearing the constitutionality of the ACA. Today, Klein quotes Ben Smith quoting some unnamed conservative lawyer claiming that the Court made a mistake back in 1942 in Wickard v. Filburn. This case should be interesting to readers here because it had to do with the fact that "the federal government fined Roscoe Filburn for growing wheat in excess of the quotas set out in the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938. They also forced him to destroy the excess wheat, even though he said it was only for personal use." (Italics mine.)

What bugs me about the current debate about the Commerce Clause is that it doesn't go back this far and father still. At least the Democrats are consistent: they think the federal government can regulate anything. And this is certainly the way things have been my entire life. But the Republicans are inconsistent. Take the supposed intellectual heavy weight Antonin Scalia. Back in 2005, Scalia considered the Commerce Clause very broadly. That's because he was arguing against people being able to grow their own cannabis. But when it comes to healthcare, suddenly the Commerce Clause is interpreted very narrowly. Read BuzzFeed's excellent take down of this issue in Justice Scalia Flip Flops.

When it comes to providing 30 million Americans with healthcare, the Commerce Clause is narrow as the Panama Canal. When it comes to allowing individuals to make their own personal decisions, the Commerce Clause is wide as the great blue ocean. With all this water moving, I fear Scalia (and the other conservatives on the Court) will suffer a Moses complex.