Utah State Representative Carl Wimmer has introduced House Bill 67 (HB67), which, if passed, would require the state “to opt out of federal reform when the state determines that opting out is in the best interest of the citizens of the state.”
20-25 states are expected to consider similar legislation in the 2010 legislative session. Click here to see current bill tracking on Health Care Nullification efforts.
My question, though, is this – does the state of Utah have the resolve to say “NO!” to national health care if (and when) the federal government tells them that it doesn’t care about HB67?
Hard to say for now – and Rep. Wimmer’s statements imply that instead of really standing up to D.C., this is just a way to start a court battle:
“I have no doubt whatsoever this bill will result in a lawsuit and will result in the state going to court against the federal government so we can enforce our law”
Personally, I don’t have too much hope for the federal government (through the courts) restraining the power of the federal government – but I’d certainly be happy if they do.
In the Virginia Resolution of 1798, James Madison wrote of the principle of “interposition”:
That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.
Here Madison asserts what is implied in nullification laws – that state governments not only have the right to resist unconstitutional federal acts, but that, in order to protect liberty, they are “duty bound to interpose” or stand between the federal government and the people of the state.
The bottom line? State Reps who seriously want to champion the constitution are going to have to stand up to the federal government and protect the rights of their citizens – whether the politicians in D.C. or the federal courts give them “permission” to or not.
I sure hope Rep. Wimmer is on board…