“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” ~Samuel Adams
By Alden L. Benton
In my March 29 post, Don’t Wait for SCOTUS — Kill ObamaCare Now, I talked about whether the most onerous part of ObamaCare, the individual mandate, could be severed from the rest of the legislation if the U.S. Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional. I also suggested that Congress take the decision away from SCOTUS and scuttle the entire thing.
Eliminating ObamaCare is the only thing to do. However, Congress is not likely to act so boldly in an election year and their courage always falters under pressure from the special interest lobbies. The best we could possibly hope for is some kind of hybrid re-engineering of ObamaCare that would eliminate some of the most obvious flaws, but leave the guts of the beast untouched.
If SCOTUS succumbs to a severe case of dumb-ass and rules the individual mandate and ObamaCare constitutional, is that the end of the road? No. The states can, and must, act.
Most of what Congress and the Federal government have done in the last 112 years is far beyond the powers granted in the Constitution — the enumerated powers.
In Federalist 45, James Madison wrote about the constitutional limits of government power,
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite…The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) extends federal power far beyond the limits written into the Constitution, but the Statists discarded the rule of Constitutional law long ago.
The remedy, however, is in the Constitution — the 10th amendment.
The operative word in the Constitution is NO. The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, were put in place to quell the fears of the anti-federalists that the Constitution did not adequately protect the rights of the people or the sovereignty of the states.
The 10th amendment clearly states,
“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.”
This is the basis of what Thomas Jefferson called “the rightful remedy.” That remedy is nullification: the right of the states not to follow or enforce federal laws they deem unjust or unconstitutional. The Virginia Resolution of 1798, and the Kentucky Resolution of 1798, authored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, respectively, illuminate the nullification concept.
The race-baiting Statist on the Left will scream that nullification is evil, that it was used to prolong slavery. However, as explained in Thomas Woods’ book Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century (buy here or here), this is no more than the usual ignorant, revisionist lies and distortions spewed by the Left when their goal — total control — is threatened.
We cannot depend on Congress to rein in the powers they have created for themselves. We certainly cannot, and should not, trust the fox to guard the hen house in accepting the Supreme Court as the final word on what is, or is not, Constitutional.
That power resides in the states, and it is through the states that we can more easily control the power of the federal behemoth. However, to do this the states, like the Cowardly Lion, must find the courage to stand up and just say NO to the federal government.
And therein lies the problem for somehow we must remind government, whether it is federal, state, or local, of one basic principle of government illuminated by the Declaration of Independence,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
© 2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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