3 years, 7 months ago
Infuriated by what they see as the long arm of Washington reaching into their business, states are increasingly telling the feds: Keep out!
Bills that would negate a variety of federal laws have popped up this year in the vast majority of states — with the amount of anti-federal legislation sharply on the rise during the Obama administration, according to experts.
The nullification trend in recent years has largely focused on three areas: gun control, health care and national standards for driver’s licenses. It has touched off fierce fights within the states and between the states and the feds, as well as raising questions and court battles over whether any of the activity is legal.
In at least 37 states, legislation has been introduced that in some way would gut federal gun regulations, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The bills were signed into law this spring in two states, Kansas and Alaska, and in two others lawmakers hope to override gubernatorial vetoes. Twenty states since 2010 have passed laws that either opt out of or challenge mandatory parts of Obamacare, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. And half the states have approved measures aimed knocking back the Real ID Act of 2005, which dictates Washington’s requirements for issuing driver’s licenses.
There is more:
With the help of a few Democrats, Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature appears to be positioned to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a high-profile bill that seeks to nullify federal gun-control laws in the state and make criminals out of federal agents who attempt to enforce them.
Several of Nixon’s fellow Democrats confirmed to The Associated Press that they would vote to override his veto when lawmakers convene in September, even while agreeing with the governor that the bill couldn’t survive a court challenge. Many of them noted that in some parts of Missouri, a “no” vote on gun legislation could be career ending.
“We love our guns and we love hunting. It’s not worth the fight for me to vote against it,” said Rep. T.J. McKenna, D-Festus. But, he added, “the bill is completely unconstitutional, so the courts are going to have to throw it out.”
Ands that’s the issue, isn’t it? This lawmaker reverts to what so many do when faced with an upcoming fight. He refers to what the federal courts might decide. Here’s a hint for the legislator. A totalitarian federal court will always decide that totalitarianism is acceptable, federalism is dead, and the states must simply do what they have been told to do. Referring to the federal courts is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.
The states would have been far better off had they never began this trend if they aren’t serious about it. The first volleys have been sent and there is a battle on the horizon. For nullification laws to make any difference whatsoever, the states must be willing to ignore the federal courts. They must be willing to impeach judges, imprison federal agents who enforce federal laws, and enforce punitive action against any agent of the federal government who crosses state lines to hassle citizens of the state for any reason pertaining to rules and regulations that the federal government wants to enforce.
And here’s a word about Obamacare. It’s already being implemented – don’t believe the hype about delays. Doctors are already spending all night doing charting for the patients they have seen all day, completing Obamacare paperwork. And nonparticipation in the Obamacare exchanges doesn’t mean that the financial burden for it won’t fall to a state. The penalties, charges, and other revenue-collecting aspects of Obamacare obtain regardless of opting out of Obamacare – notwithstanding something like imprisonment of IRS agents who attempt to collect such penalties.
Nullification laws have the teeth that states give them, neither one bit more nor one bit less. But since the first volley has been sent, the states must decide. The battle ensues as we speak. If they run and hide, the states were never more than just a little yap-yap dog, all bark and no bite. This isn’t so theoretrical after all. One mustn’t turn it into an ethereal, theoretical conversation about what the federal courts might do. Conversations along these lines indicates that the battle has been already lost. They may as well bow down and lick Eric Holder’s jackboots.