Thomas Jefferson believed that “legislators ought not to stand above the law they create but ought generally to be bound by it as are ordinary persons.” So noted the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1972 decision in Gravel v. United States.
James Madison expounded on this principle in The Federalist, No. 57, explaining that Congress “can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”
It is a principle based on plain fairness and common sense. And it is going to play a key role in the ongoing battle over ObamaCare.
Every member of Congress who voted for the deceptively named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, or ObamaCare) knows that he is facing potential political extinction in the November 2014 elections because of that vote. That means the entire lineup of Democrats in the House and Senate, with the exception of Reps. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.).
Many Democrats are desperate and are openly, vocally in revolt against the Obama White House and their party leadership. Zeke J. Miller at Time.com noted on November 14:
President Barack Obama is facing one of the toughest tests of his political life: a Democratic revolt that threatens to do irreparable harm to his signature legislative achievement.
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