Oklahoma Legislator Joins Fight to Nullify ObamaCare

cross-posted from The New American Magazine

On January 16, Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze re-introduced a bill stopping the enforcement of ObamaCare at the borders of the Sooner State.

In a statement announcing the newest effort to protect citizens of Oklahoma from the devastating effects of the president’s healthcare law, Dr. Ritze quoted Thomas Jefferson is support of his right to reject unconstitutional federal acts. Said Ritze:

Thomas Jefferson made it perfectly clear in the Kentucky Resolution of 1799 when he wrote; “That if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact, by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, annihilation of the state governments, and the erection upon their ruins, of a general consolidated government, will be the inevitable consequence.”

Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolution plainly sets forth his understanding of the source of all federal power. Later in that document, Jefferson wrote:

That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour [sic] of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.

Simply stated, nullification is a concept of constitutional law that recognizes the right of each state to nullify, or invalidate, any federal measure that exceeds the few and defined powers allowed the federal government as enumerated in the Constitution.

Nullification is founded on the assertion that the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the compact, they hold ultimate authority as to the limits of the power of the central government to enact laws that are applicable to the states and the citizens thereof.

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“Kaine” is a Code Word. For Idiot.

Earlier today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine observed to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that “Nullification is a code word.”

“For what?” inquired O’Brien.

Sen. Kaine, aggrieved that his colleague Senator Rand Paul used the “N” word in the recent gun control debate, responded: “It’s a states right argument that gets used in times of great controversy. The President is acting by executive power that is legally conferred on him. And as you pointed out, you went over these executive orders. They’re basic, common sense things.”

Indeed, it is precisely the states’ rights argument used by two heaps more famous Virginians, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, when they spat in the eye of President John Adams and his hyper-partisan, First Amendment-trampling Alien and Sedition Acts. And during the time of that other great controversy, i.e., slavery, the “N” word was used by northern states when they interposed against the federal Fugitive Slave Acts of 1850.

You see, Sen. Kaine, nullification, if a code word at all, is a code word for freedom.

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Michigan Senators Introduce Firearms Freedom Act

Michigan legislators, perhaps inspired by the interrupted drive to nullify NDAA indefinite detention in the Wolverine State during the last legislative session, have now introduced a bill in the  Senate to protect Michiganians’ natural and inherent right to be armed for self-defense.

Senators Pavlov, Jones, Green, Casperson, Meekhof, Proos, Jansen, Brandenderg, Hildenbrand, Nofs, Colbeck, Emmons and Marleau introduced SB0063, which would protect firearms made and remaining in Michigan from unconstitutional federal regulation. SB0063 was referred to the Committee on Judiciary, chaired by Senator Jones.

The bill specifically prohibits federal interference with intra-state commerce with a few exceptions

 (a) A firearm that cannot be carried and used by 1 person.  (b) A firearm that has a bore diameter greater than 1-1/2 inches and that uses smokeless powder, not black powder, as a propellant. (c) Ammunition with a projectile that explodes using an explosion of chemical energy after the projectile leaves the firearm. (d) A firearm that discharges 2 or more projectiles with1 activation of the trigger or other firing device.

The bill blocks federal overreach in two very important areas: the inalienable right of the people to be armed and the lack of Constitutional authority for D.C. to regulate, mandate or prohibit any form of commerce which begins and ends inside of one states’ boundaries.

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Juan Williams: Constitution Is Pro-Gun Control

In an article called “What Everybody Needs to Know About Our Constitution and Gun Control,” Juan Williams of FOX News writes:

Gun control is completely consistent with the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And President Obama is on target with the great American tradition of proposing gun control laws for Congressional approval as well as by issuing executive orders on gun control.

The only opinion that matters here is the Supreme Court’s opinion. And the high court has ruled, several times, that the president, the Congress, state and local government all have the power to regulate guns.

So we discover at the very beginning of this article that “what everybody needs to know about our Constitution and gun control” is precisely nothing. All that matters is what the infallible Supreme Court has said on the subject. According to Williams’ argument, there is in fact no need to know anything about the Constitution at all.

As for executive orders, Williams writes:

Article II of the U.S. Constitution clearly grants Obama and any other president the authority and the discretion to issue executive orders with the force of law over the sale of guns and ammunition.

“Clearly”? Williams might say Article II suggests that Obama has this power (and even here he’d be wrong), but come on — clearly?

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2nd Amendment Preservation Act Introduced in Oklahoma

Introduced by Oklahoma State Senator Nathan Dahm is the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. Senate bill 548 (SB548) would nullify any and all federal acts, orders, laws, statutes, rules, or regulations of the federal government on personal firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition.

The bill states, in part:

“federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations, bans, or registration requirements regarding firearms constitute an infringement on the individual right, are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violate its true meaning and intent as given by the founders and ratifiers, and are hereby declared to be invalid in the State of Oklahoma, shall not be recognized by this state, are specially rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.”

The legislation also provides for criminal penalties for federal agents who try to enforce unconstitutional gun laws, rules, regulations, orders, and the like:

Any official, agent, or employee of the United States government or any employee of a corporation providing services to the United States government that enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this act shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not to exceed five (5) years, or by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment

While a number of states, including Wyoming, South Carolina, Indiana, and others – are looking to go head to head with the feds on specific issues under the 2nd amendment, the Oklahoma legislation, along with bills in Texas and Missouri, is the strongest introduced anywhere in the country so far.

Tenth Amendment Center national communications director, Mike Maharrey summed up the sentiment:

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HB 0042 Filed to Stop Federal Gun Control in Tennessee

United Nations Gun Ban SculptureToday, Rep. Joe Carr unveiled his legislation to protect Tennesseans against a potential gun ban or registration scheme out of Washington, DC.  Sen. Joey Hensley has agreed to carry the bill in the Senate.

The new Tennessee bill is a verbatim copy of an earlier version of the Wyoming bill currently pending before their state legislature.  Wyoming’s HB 0104 originally provided for only misdemeanor penalties for state and federal officials attempting to enforce any kind of federal gun registration or ban, but has since been upgraded to provide felony penalties for these offenses.

(Click here to download a copy of the Wyoming bill and view the redlined changes.)

Tennessee’s HB 0042 provides for misdemeanor penalties like the earlier version of the Wyoming bill.  Because Rep. Carr specifically told the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center that he feels it is important that the states pass exactly the same bill with exactly the same verbiage, he is looking at filing an amendment to match to the latest version of the Wyoming legislation.

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The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the Obamacare Ruling

By Ilya Shapiro, CATO Institute

The Texas Review of Law and Politics has just published as a law review article an expanded, annotated version of the speech I’ve been giving all over the country regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius.  The title, which I hope will hold up with the passage of time, is “Like Eastwood Talking to a Chair: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Obamacare Ruling.”  Here’s the abstract:

The constitutional challenge to Obamacare was a case that comes along once every generation, if not less often. Not because it could affect a presidential election or was otherwise politically significant, but because it reconsidered so many aspects of our constitutional first principles: the fundamental relationships between citizens and the government and between the states and the federal government; the role of the judiciary in saying what the law is and checking the political branches; and the scope of and limits to all three branches’ powers. This case was not about the state of health care in America or how to fix this troubled area of public policy. It was instead about how to read our nation’s basic law and whether Congress was constitutionally authorized to use the tools it used in this particular instance.

Anyone reading this article will already know at least the basic outline of the Supreme Court’s ruling. As I wrote on the leading Supreme Court blog in the wake of the decision, those who challenged the law won everything but the case. That is, the Supreme Court adopted all of our legal theories regarding the scope of federal regulatory authority and yet Obamacare stands. This article explains and elaborates on those basic points, the good (Commerce Clause, Necessary & Proper Clause, Spending Clause), the bad (the taxing power), and the ugly (John Roberts’s reasoning and motivations).

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Colorado NDAA Nullification Introduced

House Representative Jared Wright has introduced House Bill 1045 which prohibits any assistance by the state of Colorado in enforcing Section 1021 provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill has been assigned to the State, Veterans and Military Affairs House Committee.

Section 1021 of the NDAA which sets up a “legal” framework for the federal government to kidnap and detain anyone under the Authorization of the Use of Military Force. It expands the battlefield to the United States and to US citizens.

HB 1045 states, “This section…shall not provide aid to an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to section 1021 of the Federal “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012″.. if such aid would place the entity in violation of any provision of the United States Constitution, The Colorado Constitution, or any law of this state.”

This bill prohibits aid to the federal government from any agency of the state, political subdivision, Colorado state employee, or any member of the Colorado National Guard.

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Texas Bill: 2nd Amendment is “Inviolate,” Criminal Charges for Feds who Violate it

Introduced in Texas today, House Bill 553 (HB553), is the Second Amendment Preservation Act.

The bill reaffirms the 2nd Amendment, as intended, and would nullify potentially anything from the federal government that contravenes in the State of Texas. It reads, in part:

all federal acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, and rules or regulations of all kinds with the purpose, intent, or effect of confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore, infringes upon Texans’ right to bear arms in direct violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and therefore, any such law is not made in pursuance of the Constitution, is not authorized by the Constitution, and thus, is not the supreme law of the land, and consequently, is invalid in this State and shall be further considered null and void and of no effect in this State.

The bill goes further than just affirmation of the 2nd Amendment. It requires compliance by by state and federal agents.

A person who is a public servant commits an offense if the person, while acting under color of the person’s office or employment, intentionally enforces or attempts to enforce any acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, rules or regulations of any kind whatsoever of the United States government relating to confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore.

The legislation specifies that the new law would apply not just to state employees, but federal ones as well.

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