South Carolina: Following James Madison’s Advice to Nullify Obamacare

The Tenth Amendment Center who has been a huge supporter and resource for Rep. Bill Chumley’s H3101 bill has a thorough write up on the state of the bill as it sits in the Senate. It lays out the yays and nays of what the bill will/won’t does/doesn’t can/can’t do.

I hesitate to put excerpts because I want each of you to GO READ THE ARTICLE. But if you promise you will, I’ll give you a few highlights:

WHAT YOU GET PASSING THE BILL

– Exchange: Banned
– Keep Your Money: Mandate is toothless
– Increases executive power to “interpose”
– Political Mechanism for future actions
(determining future provisions unconstitutional and unenforceable)

What you get if H3101 Dies

– Pay that mandate penalty. It’s coming
– Expect an SC exchange further helping Obamacare nationally
– No mechanism to do anything in the future

DIGGING DEEPER

1. H3101 specially bans creation of an exchange.

2. H3101 crushes the individual mandate.

3. It bans the state from participating in unconstitutional provisions of Obamacare and by default creates a political mechanism for the state to make that determination.

4. It increases the ability of the State executive to interpose and refuse to enforce.

and …

The greatest concern shared by friends about the legislation appears to be in Section 1, the “declaratory” clauses of the legislation. As stated above, declaratory statements in Section 1 don’t hold the effect of law like the text of Section 2 that will be amended into the 1976 Code of the State of South Carolina. But, since they show a policy intent, it’s good to see what’s there. In general, the intent in the bill is actually very good for nullification. Here’s the main clauses:

1. “The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that the United States federal government is authorized to exercise only those powers delegated to it in the Constitution.”

This is self-explanatory. And it’s good that the General Assembly is going on record in support of the 10th Amendment limiting federal power – strictly – as a policy objective.

2. Article VI, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States provides that laws of the United States are the supreme law of the land provided that they are made in pursuance of the powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution.

This is VERY good. The entire establishment takes the view that all federal laws are supreme and the fact that a state would correct them all on this is extremely good. This goes beyond what most states are doing. (learn more about the supremacy clause here)

3. It is the stated policy of the South Carolina General Assembly that provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 grossly exceed the powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution.

and

4. The provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 which exceed the limited powers granted to the Congress pursuant to the Constitution, cannot and should not be considered the supreme law of the land.

This kind of statement is exactly what Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both referred to when advancing the principles of nullification and interposition back in 1798. The core? The federal government cannot be trusted to police itself. Therefore, the states must – and do – have a role to determine constitutionality of federal acts. This is a big deal and very good.

Some would have you believe that because the policy statement in H3101 isn’t taking the position that all of Obamacare – every last word of it – is unconstitutional – that you should oppose the bill. This is absurd. That would be like opposing a bill nullifying federal background checks on firearms because that same bill didn’t also nullify every other federal law on firearms.

Now you promised … go read the whole article at the link above. Then spend some time calling SC senators this weekend, leaving messages, texting them, letting them know you want this bill in a subcommittee ASAP so they can begin work on it.

May 10, 2013   Posted in: Uncategorized

One Response

  1. Jim Lee - May 11, 2013

    Why is there such disparity between the SCPC’s analysis, the Weekly Standard’s analysis, and the 10th Amendment Center’s analysis of the current state of H.3101?

    Given the often deceptive nature of the legislative process in the SC General Assembly (see H.3101, H.4095, and ethics, for starters) color me very, very skeptical.

    Read carefully, my friends!

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