Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, said on Tuesday afternoon that repealing the national health care law would violate the Constitution.
Arguing that the Commerce Clause provides the constitutional basis for ObamaCare, Jackson Lee said repealing the law by passing Republicans’ H.R. 2 violates both the Fifth Amendment’s right to due process and the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
“The Fifth Amendment speaks specifically to denying someone their life and liberty without due process,” she said in a speech on the House floor moments ago. “That is what H.R. 2 does and I rise in opposition to it. And I rise in opposition because it is important that we preserve lives and we recognize that 40 million-plus are uninsured.
She continued, “Can you tell me what’s more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the right to equal protection under the law?”
Jackson Lee mentioned the names of several people who she said would be helped by the national health care law, including a schizophrenic, a dialysis patient, and somebody whose mother cannot otherwise get dental care. “I know they would question why we are taking away their rights,” she said.
She went on to declare, “I’m prepared to stand, extend a hand of friendship, standing on the Constitution to enable us to provide for all the citizens of this country. This bill has been vetted. This bill is constitutional and it protects the Constitutional rights of those who ask the question: ‘Must I die? Must my child die, because I am now disallowed from getting insurance?'”
Her comments came during the floor debate on the Republicans’ repeal bill, which is scheduled for a final vote tomorrow.