NASHVILLE, January 4, 2014 — Calling the execution of the healthcare law a “real constitutional crisis”, former Congressman Allen West was interviewed on Fox News’ “On the Record with Gretta Van Susteren” Friday night.
When Susteren asked West whether or not the state attorneys general were actually going to take any action against the Obama administration’s lawless handling of the healthcare law, West told Susteren that they wouldn’t have a choice because states were stepping in to keep the feds in check.
“One of the things you have to look at is whether or not they [the states] can go back and challenge this based upon a thin possibility of nullification; sovereign states using the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution are not going to follow this [Obamacare]…”
But can the States nullify Obamacare?
According to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution”: Absolutely.
West referred to the Ninth & Tenth Amendments as warrant for nullification. Here are those two Amendments broken down with the founders’ notes expounding this right of the states.
Jefferson wrote in the Kentucky Resolutions how to handle such federal usurpations of power:
“… Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the Act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits…”
Madison also confirmed Jeffersonian nullification in his Report of 1800 and his Notes on Nullification.
The powers delegated to Congress are few and defined. The Tenth Amendment provides explicit validation for nullification, “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”
In regards to nullification, the Constitution does not delegate this power to the federal government. The Constitution also does not clearly prohibit nullification. Therefore, it can now clearly be concluded that nullification is a power reserved for the people of their respective states.
The Ninth Amendment expounds even further the right to nullification. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Jefferson explained that nullification was a natural right belonging to the people and their respective states. Because the Constitution does not expressly prohibit nullification, the federal government cannot deny or disparage this natural right of the people.