The “Equal Protection Under the Law” Myth

The fourteenth amendment (ratified in 1868) to the US Constitution, has within it what is known as the “Equal Protection” clause. Part of the fourteenth amendment states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”   [emphasis mine]   We are ALL supposed to receive “Equal Protection,” to be treated equally.

That is well and good, but the quoted phrase begins, “No State.” So, to have the “Equal Protection” clause apply to the federal government, as well as individuals within it, we must turn to the fifth amendment (ratified in 1791). The “Equal Protection” clause has been interpreted (by no less than the Supreme Court) to apply to the federal government under the fifth amendment, specifically under the “Due Process” clause. The fifth amendment says (in part) “… nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”   [emphasis mine]

But UNequal protection is what is happening as you read this. One of the provisions of ObamaCare (about which the MSM has given little coverage) is the exemption from its provisions/mandates/requirements that Obama and his minions can grant. As we are witnessing today, meeting ObamaCare requirements can cost literally millions of dollars. And guess what – the cost increase will be passed on to consumers, resulting in higher prices. That simple concept forms the crux of “Equal Protection” argument.

For illustrative purposes, suppose there are two equally efficient businesses that offer (virtually) identical products. The only difference between the two businesses is that one has received an ObamaCare exemption and one has not. The business that has received the exemption can offer its product at a lower price. The business that did not receive the exemption must either absorb the increased costs caused by ObamaCare in order to remain competitive (thus reducing profit that can be paid as dividends to stockholders), or increase prices (which will reduce sales and have the same effect on profit).

The business that does not receive the exemption is “between a rock and a hard place.” The ObamaCare exemption can, therefore, become quite a political weapon. And just who/what businesses have received exemptions? Unions, businesses in Nancy Pelosi’s district, and (as Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise”) healthcare insurance companies.

As John Boehner (R-OH) said, “Obamacare is the law of the land.” If Boehner feels that way, is it too much to ask him to be sure that ObamaCare be applied equally, that we ALL receive equal treatment under the law?

But that’s just my opinion.

Please visit RWNO, my personal web site.

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  1. How about defined benefit plans that are so popular with burros, public unions, politicians and the like? Their pensions are (unequally) protected from market forces and backed by the taxpayers who typically have IRAs and 401ks. Defined benefit plans allows bureaucrats, politicians and unions to run amok thru the private sector with regulations and taxes that cause all sort of harm to the marketplace, but not to their defined benefit pension plans.

    Devolve defined benefit protections into market based pensions and its likely that there will be a different attitude about excessive burdensome regulation and high taxation of the private sector. The schism in politics would likely start to heal.

    Just saying…

  2. Good article Warren.Great minds think alike 🙂 I too posted an article on Obamcare and spent about 20 minutes looking for a suitable image to put to it only to find the one I chose was the same as yours. Like I said Great minds think alike.:)

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