A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Prior to the American “War Between the States,” the southern states began to nullify those laws passed by Congress they felt were overbearing, or would harm the people of the states in any way. It was a legal approach toward a too powerful federal government, which was created by the states to act as an agent of the states and not as the master of the states.
We don’t see much of that today. The federal government has had a great deal of success through their government run schools of re-educating the citizenry that the states are subservient to the federal government.
There are some reports that at least ten states are currently, or soon will be considering nullification laws in their sovereign states that would make ObamaCare illegal with their borders. Fourteen other states are suing in the courts in an effort to have ObamaCare overturned and tossed out. We wish them all good luck.
If a new bill, which has already been filed in Texas ahead of the 2011 session of the Texas state legislature should pass it would nullify Obamacare. The bill provides penalties of up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in jail for anyone guilty of the "felony" of attempting "to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation" of ObamaCare.
The bill was pre-filed by Leo Berman, a Republican, from Tyler, Texas. It is House Bill 297 in case you would like to look it up.
The bill would simply nullify Obama’s federal health care law in the state of Texas. Texas HB 297 says that federal health care legislation is invalid in the state of Texas, is not recognized by the state of Texas, is specifically rejected by the state of Texas, and is null and void and of no effect in the state of Texas. The bill explains: “The federal Act is not authorized by the United States Constitution and violates the Constitution’s true meaning and intent as expressed by the founders of this country and the ratifiers of the Constitution.”
Just so everyone knows the bill is serious it says, plainly and simply the following: “"a person who is an official, agent, or employee of the United States or an employee of a corporation providing services to the United States commits an offense if the person enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the United States in violation of this chapter." The bill goes on to say: “assumption of power by the federal government in enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590; Pub. L. No. 111-148) as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872; Pub. L. No. 111-152) interferes with the right of the people of this state to regulate health care as they determine is appropriate …”
Understand this: This nullification of a federal law within a state is legal. It is well within the scope of all the sovereign states. In fact, James Madison often praised as the writer of the Constitution, but undeniably one of those who did said that the states have a duty to assert their power as a sovereign state when the federal government oversteps its authority. Madison had this to say in the Virginia Resolution of 1798: “That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”
Somewhere along the line, Americans have forgotten that the states are sovereign. They are separate countries with their own governments elected by the people of those states. We have forgotten the formation of the federal government was an act of the states, not to create their own master, but to create a servant of the states.
I suspect many of the leaders of the various states are frightened witless that should they buck the federal government, the same thing will happen to them as happened to the southern states when they asserted their right to secede from the union and form their own country over their dissatisfaction with a federal government that had grown, even at that early stage of American history, into a near tyrannical regime. They fear the revenge with which the federal government savaged the southern states. It was called “Reconstruction” and it was damaged the southern states even more than the shooting war.
As a southerner, I am convinced the current federal government has stepped way across the line with ObamaCare and deserves to be confronted with nullification laws in as many states as believe it to be the act of a federal government grown intoxicated with power and intend to use that power to force their will on the people of the states who want no part of the takeover of a huge chunk of the US economy and intervene directly into the lives of Americans who do not want them there.
The states have a right, AND the DUTY, to say no. We will not bow to the will of an out of control federal government that has over-stepped its constitutional restraints.
ObamaCare is a slap in the face to freedom loving Americans across this great land. The states must band together to stop it and destroy it.
J. D. Longstreet
NOTE: Two articles you might enjoy reading on this same subject can be found at:
Tenth Amendment Center
World Net Daily