Principle, not Politcs: A Response to the AARP

For Immediate Release: Feb. 14, 2011

Tenth Amendment Center responds to AARP opposition to health care nullification

Last week, the AARP came out strongly against attempts in Idaho to nullify the federal health care act passed last year, saying “As if Idaho’s budget woes weren’t bad enough, legislative efforts to ‘nullify’ the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could cost the state billions of dollars and the loss of thousands of health care jobs, all the while forcing seniors to go without needed prescription drugs.”

But Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin points out that AARP’s opposition has more to do with its support for national health care than a principled opposition to nullification, saying for all of its passionate defense of the act, the organization misses the real point.

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First in the Nation: Idaho House Passes Health Care Nullification

In an historic vote in the Idaho House of Representatives, the Federal Health Care Nullification Act (originally authored by the Tenth Amendment Center) passed by a vote of 49-20.

House Bill 117 (H117) states, in part:

The state of Idaho hereby exercises its sovereign power to declare the public policy of the state of Idaho regarding the right of all persons residing in the state of Idaho in choosing the mode of securing health care services free from the imposition of penalties, or the threat thereof, by the federal government of the United States of America relating thereto

The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.

Implied in any nullification legislation is enforcement of the state law. In the Virginia Resolution of 1798, James Madison wrote of the principle of interposition:

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We the People are the natural guardians.

Grab a copy of the Constitution.  The first three words are We the People.

Then it drops down to Article I and that deals with Legislative Powers… Article I,Section I reads:  “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.   It does not mention anything about “Executive Orders”. So are they constitutional?

The next step down is Article II and that deals with Executive Powers.

The next step down is Article III and that deals with Judicial Powers.

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Snowe Challenger Scott D’Amboise Signs 10-4 Pledge

U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, controversial moderate Republican from Maine, has been facing increasing opposition as the constitutional awareness among Americans continues to rise. In a 2009 Public Policy Polling survey, it was found that she has lost a lot of ground when in years past, her shaky stances would gain her popularity as a bipartisan moderate. A conservative candidate would have the upper hand by over ten percent against her.

Scott D’Amboise, a life-long Mainer, announced his candidacy over a year ago. Born and raised in Carmel, Maine, he graduated from Hermon High School and attended the University of Maine. He lives currently in Lisbon Falls, where he has served as Town Selectman.

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There ought to be a law

It is so common to hear, “There ought to be a law.” In fact, the knee jerk response of legislators and citizens alike is almost always to invoke the government to fix things. Since we are too often too busy with our lives otherwise, it is easy to accept government solutions. But if we allow ourselves to be lulled into perpetual indifference, we will find that solutions we don’t like will be forced upon us and our Liberties lost. Many think that we are already there.

Strict adherence to the Constitution of the United States in its original form would limit the national government from infringing on our rights. Yet we have seen many decades of overreaching by Congress and the inaction of states to defend its citizens. There is a new awakening to the proper balance, but it comes after so much expansion of national law that we are now on our heels and reeling.

The fight over individual rights, and the power of states to protect them, began before the ink was dry on the hemp of the Constitution. But the modern era of bloated regulations and taxation began around 100 years ago during the worldwide expansion of socialism. We now have many generations that have grown up inured to the loss of rights and habituated to government solutions. So the first response to each lost liberty is to look for another law to protect us. Now we find that the balance of power is upside down and the leviathan national government disregards its limits with regularity.

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To Legislators Opposing “Sheriffs First” Bill

Those who oppose Montana SB 114-The Sheriffs First Bill have incorrectly expressed that the States are subservient to the federal government according to the United States Constitution (USC).

However, nothing could be further from the truth regarding the political association and federal system designed by founding fathers like James Madison—the father of the USC—who was among the first State participants to pass a nullification bill against the federal government only one decade after the States ratified the USC. Likewise, the Federalist Papers reveal the understanding of even the most nationalistic-monarchical founder father (Alexander Hamilton) that the States must interpose against federal usurpation. This usurpation was to be watched and determined not by the United States Supreme Court, but by the State government. To ignore the historical, legal and political facts of our founding is a serious act of opposition to the freedom supposedly protected in this union of States, and it destroys the very purpose for which the union was formed.

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The Supremacy Clause Tutorial

Oregon 912 is giving brief tutorials on misunderstood, and abused portions of the US Constitution, and I have been asked to create some indepth discussion materials for those interested, here is the 1st article on the Supremacy clause:

The Supremacy Clause

The U.S. Constitution was written precisely, and gives the Federal government “supreme” power in all laws made in pursuance of it.  This power is granted in the “Supremacy” Clause. This clause reads: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwith-standing.

I would like to call attention to the bolded part -“in Pursuance thereof.” This is the key to understanding which laws are supreme, or not.  In order then to determine whether or not laws are “supreme,” we need to determine if they are indeed in pursuance of the Constitution.  To do this, we first need to understand how the Constitution gives powers to the Federal government, as well as which of the powers it reserves for the states.  The best description of this is in Federalist 45, when James Madison (the Father of the Constitution) said : “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce.”  How do we know what the “few and defined” powers are, you ask?

You have to look in the Constitution itself.  In Article1 Section8, the Constitution lays out a majority of the powers given to the Federal government.  More are given throughout the document, but an important thing happens once you reach the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  To paraphrase, this Amendment says that any powers which have not been expressly granted, have been expressly denied to the Federal govt.  In a nutshell, this means we need to find the power in the Constitution in order for a law passed by the Feds to be “in pursuance thereof” of the Constitution.

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