I don’t receive very many comments on this blog (excluding spam, for course). Now that could be a blessing or a curse, depending on the type of comments I suppose, but I don’t automatically disregard serious responses. This is true irrespective of agreement or disagreement. For example: from “On the matter of the mandate (not) being a tax”:
No. I’m sorry, but that’s just incorrect. Many dissenters had considered the idea of the mandate being a tax prior to the decision and decided that even if the mandate were considered as such, then it *still* is unconstitutional because it must necessarily be a direct tax and therefore runs afoul of the apportionment provision.
This was from commenter “David,” and I updated the post to reflect disagreement on this aspect of the argument.
Later, from the same commenter:
PS: I’m not a lawyer (just an interested layman) […]
I’m not reposting all this to expand on the specific subject matter in question, but to use it as a means to partially explain what I’m doing with Punditocracy.
I occupy the same layman space as “David.” I’m definitely not a lawyer nor a constitutional scholar. For that matter neither am I a professional economist, pollster, political scientist or philosopher. I’m just a undergrad student. So any argument I make based in the law (constitutional or otherwise) or any other academic field is founded largely on the arguments of others. This necessarily includes how I interpret and understand those arguments, as well as the accompanying opposing arguments, amidst the backdrop of long and short-held assumptions. I’m a bit of a relativist in this regard, insomuch as that my opinions are shaped by all perspectives – even those I might ultimately reject. All of this is, I suppose, a long way of establishing a caveat of sorts towards whatever I presume or contend to be true.
In other words it’s not my contention that I know, and therefore argue, the “one-true way” or anything. If not for the communicative simplicity inherent in declarative statements I’d couch everything in the aforementioned caveat. This blog is a process of discovery that I’m documenting in an effort to work things out. You’re welcome to comment on the journey, agreeing or disagreeing as you see appropriate.