Celebrate Independence, Not Dependence

During some recent travels, I found myself once again engrossed, in Tom Wood’s book Nullification. As I read through a particular passage, it occurred to me that my past Fourth of July celebrations have been somewhat misguided.

I paused and recalled the section of the Declaration of Independence that discussed “…free and Independent States.” But what was the trade-off? I wondered. Becoming “free and independent states” compared to what?

At that point in history – and really, I think for all of time – “free and independent states” stand in direct contrast to dependence on a singular, monolithic power dictating how our wealth is allocated and what we may or may no do as we walk through our daily lives.

Why do I think decentralized states choosing their own destiny, associations and relationships is better than one entity determining everything for them? I guess you could ask: why is walking better than crawling for a child?

As parents, we all hope our children will eventually grow up. We nurture our kids, teach them, instill values in them, and eventually we push them out of the nest to fly on their own. We celebrate their independence when they graduate college. We praise them for standing on their own two feet when they land that first job or purchase their own home.



Oklahoma State Rep to File Bill to Nullify Individual Mandate

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mike Ritze plans to reintroduce a bill to “nullify” the individual mandate in the 2010 federal health care legislation in Oklahoma. “I disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling and believe that state governments were intended to serve as a check on the federal government,” said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. “The Patient…


States are Resisting Obamacare

This episode is made possible in part by the new Nullification Movie. Now available for pre-order at tenthamendmentcenter.com/movie


After the Roberts Court handed down the Obamacare decision, people in the states immediately taking steps to reject the act – and what they see as a supreme court ruling in violation of the Constitution.

As we reported last week, John Lynch, the Democratic Governor of New Hampshire, signed into law HB1297. The new law declares, “No New Hampshire state agency, department, or political subdivision shall plan, create, participate in or enable a state-based exchange for health insurance under the Act, or contract with any private entity to do so.”

A number of governors are lining up to follow New Hampshire’s lead.

On Fox News last Thursday night, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared, “Absolutely, we’re not implementing the exchanges. We’re not implementing ObamaCare”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s reaction to the ruling was essentially the same thing: “Wisconsin will not take any action to implement ObamaCare.”

And in Florida, from Governor Scott, “We’re not going to implement Obamacare in Florida. We’re not going to expand Medicaid because we’re going to do the right thing. We’re not going to do the exchange.”

While opponents of Obamacare certainly have something to cheer about with this level of non-compliance, they shouldn’t consider these small steps a silver bullet to stop the act either.


Montanans Plead the 10th

Last August, a group of medical practitioners and pharmaceutical manufacturers filed suit against the federal government in U.S. District Court. They claimed the feds violated their rights by sending armed agents into their businesses and, according to a report in the Santa Fe New Mexican “‘seized and destroyed thousands of live plants,’ and ‘took away hundreds of pounds of dried marijuana’ during a March 2011 raid on licensed producers, and stripped certain providers of lights and other equipment used to grow and distribute the herb, which caused […] significant financial damage.”

But the district court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims, saying the issue had “already been decided.”

However, as Daniel Abrahamson notes, medical marijuana hasn’t really been decided by the courts, as most of the relevant cases haven’t actually been argued in court. In nearly all cases, the parties have settled or withdrawn their appeals. So it would appear to be an open question, ripe for such a challenge.

The group hopes they’ll have their chance to advance their case later this year in the 9th Circuit Court. One of the chief complaints raised by attorney Paul Livingston, who represents this Montana group, is that “It is truly astonishing that so much weight is given, so many actions taken, and so much reliance placed on a demonstrably false notion; that marijuana has no known medical uses.”

But the main thrust of their case doesn’t rest solely on the medical science regarding cannabis, the 10th Amendment will also be key to their argument. Livingston will attempt to show that both the power to police and provide safety to the public lie not with the Feds, but with the several states. Such a two-pronged approach ought to be the most effective, insomuch as petitioning the government courts to limit their own powers is concerned.