Missouri House Committee Votes to Nullify Obamacare

Missouri’s HB:1534, also known as the Federal Health Care Reform Law, declares the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as unauthorized by the United States Constitution. Furthermore, language utilized in the bill creates criminal penalties for persons enforcing or attempting to enforce the act…

According to Article 1 of the Missouri Constitution, the purpose of the government is to protect the rights and property of the people, and that neither other states nor the general government has the right to regulate their internal affairs. So it seems pretty clear that Missouri Government isn’t supposed to allow tyranny to proceed unchecked, but should be working to protect its citizens from the abuses of Big Government. Because of this, passionate supporters of HB:1534 spoke at a recent hearing not only about the unconstitutionality of the Federal Health Care Reform Law, but that Missouri citizens shouldn’t be required to accept health care that includes provisions that they are morally or religiously opposed to. Additionally, there was the thought that people should be free to opt out of certain services and providers. Testifying for the bill were Representative Bahr; James Coyne, Mid-Missouri Patriots; Ron Calzone, Missouri First; and Missouri Right to Life.

However, those who opposed HB:1534 noted that access to affordable health care is vital to people living with certain diseases, such as AIDS and HIV. And rather than encourage individual responsibility, such opposition believed that robust Governmental measures are necessary in order to protect life and prevent the further transmission of dangerous diseases. Testifying against the bill was Gretchen Waddell of the Missouri AIDS Task Force.

Meanwhile, others like Dave Roland of the Freedom Center of Missouri, noted that when the United States Constitution was ratified, several states demanded that certain rights be protected, such as a state’s ability to reject certain federal actions.

As a result, the Committee on General Laws voted “do pass” by a vote of 5 to 4 on March 29, 2012.

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Forbes: Nullification Is “Loopy”

In an unintentionally funny aside in an article at Forbes.com, a guy named Richard Salsman (who runs an investment research firm) condemns nullification in the most uncomprehending words — and as someone who’s written a book on the subject, I can tell you this is quite a feat.

(If you are unfamiliar with nullification, here’s what it’s all about.)

He tells us: “Such hostility to the judiciary today isn’t found only in Mr. Obama and his ilk or in the Democratic Party, but also in the Jeffersonian libertarians, as is obvious in the works of Thomas Woods and Andrew Napolitano, which defend the Jeffersonian notion of ‘nullification’ (a loopy, anarchic idea that says juries, legislators, and executive branch officials can decide on their own what’s constitutional, and thus can ignore, defy or nullify’ rulings by courts and judges).”

So he speaks of this “loopy” idea without once using the word “states”! This is his level of knowledge. Juries is one thing — there he’s just confusing state nullification with jury nullification, which of course (as I note in my 33 Questions) the Founding Fathers also supported. But legislators and executive branch officials? Does he mean federal or state? He never says. If federal, then he is confusing nullification with concurrent review, another Jeffersonian position.  (Concurrent review holds that all three branches, not just the judicial, have a responsibility to determine the constitutionality of proposed federal activities.) And of course if he means federal, then one might cite both Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln as fairly well known fellows who had a different view from that of Richard Salsman.

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A Question of Supremacy

In the latest attack on States passing resolutions or bills they perceive as unconstitutional actions by the federal government, Benjamin Wittes article Does the Virginia Federal Assembly Understand the Supremacy Clause in LawFare state, “I’ve been doing my best to ignore to the hysterical, paranoid, delusional howls of rage on both the Right and the Left about the NDAA, but they are starting to reach critical mass in a way that one ignores at one’s own peril.”

What seems to have prompted this article was the recent passage by Virginia of a bill stating that officials of Virginia would not comply with Articles 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA passed by Congress which does not exclude citizens from possible arrest and indefinite detention by the Military on orders of the President.  He goes on the state, “I have one question about this bill—which passed the House of Delegates on 96-to-4 vote and passed the Senate on a 38-to-1 vote: Do any of the members who voted for it remember that the federal Constitution contains a Supremacy Clause—which elevates an act of Congress just a wee bit over ‘any regulation of the Virginia Administrative Code’?”

His argument seems to be based solely on the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution which states;

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, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. (Emphasis added)

Since the “Supremacy Clause” is used to justify numerous actions by the federal government and to oppose any assertion by the states that they could nullify those actions then let’s focus solely on that argument.

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