Grassley: Vote on bill's constitutionality is likely meaningless

Senate Republicans' plan to vote on the constitutionality of the healthcare bill probably won't mean much, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) conceded Wednesday.

The point of order on which senators will vote this afternoon challenging the constitutionality of the Senate's health reform bill isn't likely to sway courts, Grassley said.

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"Yeah, but I don't think that means much," Grassley told Iowa reporters when asked if he'd support the point of order.

"Democrats are not going to admit that they didn't write a bill that's constitutional," Grassley said, adding that while he "would vote to challenge it constitutionally, the courts are going to make that judgment."

Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) raised the point of order challenging the individual mandate in the bill through the Fifth Amendment and the Commerce Clause. Some other lawmakers have questioned whether carve-outs in the bill funding certain states' Medicaid obligations are constitutional.


Grassley said he hoped the bill would be declared unconstitutional, but doubted the Congress would have little, if anything, to do with it.

"And I do hope that this part of the bill would be unconstitutional," Grassley said. "And maybe the vote means something in the sense of a majority of the Senate saying it might be constitutional. Would that have an impact on the Supreme Court? I doubt it."

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