by Michael Boldin

“The several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government.”
–Thomas Jefferson

Today, voters in Missouri helped bring the Jeffersonian principle of Nullification one step closer to the mainstream by approving Proposition C – the Health Care Freedom Act.

The new Missouri statute is nearly identical to Virginia’s Health Care Freedom Act – which is being defended by Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli, and was given the green light to proceed in court by a Federal Judge this week. The Missouri proposition passed the Senate on May 4th by a 26-8 vote, and the House on May 11th by 108-47 vote. Today, voters approved Prop C by a wide margin – early returns showed over 75% in favor.

The legislation provides that:

No law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.

and

A person or employer may pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required by law or rule to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment for lawful health care services and shall not be required by law or rule to pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.

NULLIFICATION

The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned. Implied in such legislation is that the state apparatus will enforce the act against all violations – in order to protect the liberty of the state’s citizens.

Early nullification movements began with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. These resolutions, secretly authored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, asserted that the people of the states, as sovereign entities, could judge for themselves whether the federal government had overstepped its constitutional bounds – to the point of ignoring federal laws.

Virginia and Kentucky passed the resolutions in response to the federal Alien and Sedition Acts, which provided, in part, for the prosecution of anyone who criticized Congress or the President of the United States.

Nullification was regularly called upon by states all over the country in response to everything from higher taxes to the fugitive slave law of 1850.

A MODERN NULLIFICATION MOVEMENT

Besides the Health Care legislation passed in Missouri, activists and state-legislators are pushing forward with nullification efforts all across the country – and it spans the political spectrum.

Virginia, Idaho, Louisiana and Utah have already passed their own Health Care Freedom Acts. Voters in Arizona and Oklahoma will vote to choose if they want to do the same in November.

Eight states have already passed Firearms Freedom Acts to nullify some federal gun laws and regulations within their states.

Fourteen states now have some form of medical marijuana laws – in direct contravention to federal laws which state that the plant is illegal in all circumstances.

And Massive state nullification of the 2005 Real ID Act has rendered the law virtually null and void in most of the country.

THE BLUEPRINT

Supporters of these modern nullification efforts look to the successful rebellion by states against the Bush-era Real ID Act.

In early 2007, Maine and then Utah passed resolutions refusing to implement the federal Real ID act on grounds that the law was unconstitutional. Well-over a dozen other states followed suit in passing legislation opposing Real ID. Since then, a total of 25 states have passed laws or resolutions defying the federal law.

Instead of attempting to force the law to implementation, the federal government delayed implementation not once, but twice. And in June of 2009, the Obama administration, recognizing the insurmountable task of enforcing a law in the face of such broad resistance, announced that it was looking to “repeal and replace” the controversial law. At the end of last year, they “delayed implementation” of the law yet a third time.

Supporters see this as a blueprint to resist various federal laws that they see as outside the scope of the Constitution.

THE LESSON

Whether the issue is healthcare mandates, national id cards, or marijuana – the bottom line is straightforward. When enough people refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal laws, and enough states stand with them through legislation nullifying those same laws – there’s not much that D.C. can do in response.

20+ States resisting DC can do what calling, marching, yelling, faxing, and emailing has almost never done. Stop the feds dead in their tracks.

Thus, the real way to resist DC is not by begging politicians and judges in Washington to allow us to exercise our rights…it’s to exercise our rights whether they want to give us “permission” to or not. Nullification – state-level resistance to unconstitutional federal laws – is the way forward.

**********

NOTE: If you’re interested in helping the momentum of the 10th Amendment/Nullification movement, please support our new event tour, Nullify Now! – with initial stops in Ft. Worth, Orlando, Chattanooga and Phoenix. Just click the banner below for more information.

NullifyNow.com

CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s Health Care Freedom Act legislative tracking page

The Tenth Amendment Center has released the Federal Health Care Nullification Act, which directly nullifies the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” on a state level. Click here to learn more.

Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center

Copyright © 2010 by TenthAmendmentCenter.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


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