Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oklahoma Lawmaker's Bill Threatens To Arrest Any Federal Bureaucrat Who Attempts To Enforce Obamacare

By Drew Zahn
July 21, 2012

If one Oklahoma lawmaker gets his way, any federal agent who comes the Sooner state trying to enforce the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – a.k.a. Obamacare – will face jail time, a $5,000 fine … or both.

State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, believes Obamacare is blatantly unconstitutional and it is his state’s right and responsibility to declare it “null and void” under the U.S. Constitution’s 10th Amendment, which states any powers not delegated to the federal government are “reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

“I feel very strongly that the 10th Amendment is basically the watchdog of republic,” Ritze told WND. “The federal government was never intended to be as overreaching as it has been with Obama’s health-care act.”

Ritze authored a bill earlier this year, HB 1276, which essentially “nullified” Obamacare in Oklahoma, a controversial approach to fighting the law, but one Ritze believes is legal and justified.
“The Founding Fathers gave us nullification,” Ritze told WND. “James Madison and Thomas Jefferson spoke about it, in the Kentucky Compact, for example, asserting we [the states] created the federal government, not the other way around.”

Ritze cited several precedents, including when states in 1798 nullified the federal Sedition Act, which declared anyone openly speaking against the federal government could face charges of treason.
“They overruled it,” Ritze explained to the Tulsa Beacon. “States started saying they were not going to recognize it.”

Ritze also cited to WND the precedent of northern states during the Civil War that nullified federal laws requiring the return of runaway slaves and the recent example of his state of Oklahoma, which nullified the Real ID Act mandating states put microchips in drivers’ licenses. Twenty-two states don’t recognize federal laws against possession of marijuana, he said, including California, which boasts hundreds of businesses selling marijuana in violation of federal law.

1 comment:

  1. The
    bill might appeal to the legally ignorant but it is foolishly
    misconceived. The press comments about nullification in history are also
    incorrect. Nullification is the abandonment of attempts to enforce
    something, not the acts of resistance to it, and that resistance is passive disobedience, not
    repeal. The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 were a protest, not
    a nullification effort.

    If any state official tried to enforce a penal statute against a
    federal agent, the case would be immediately removed to federal court
    and dismissed, so it could never be enforced. It is likely that hapless
    state official would then be criminally prosecuted in federal court for
    interfering with a federal officer, and that prosecution would be
    effective. The state would also not be allowed to represent him, so he
    would be on his own. The resulting publicity might have some effect as
    theater, but not as law.

    It also misconceives how the Affordable Care Act would be
    implemented. It is only about taxing and spending, and all of that can
    be done from outside the state. The IRS may not levy or lien to collect
    the individual mandate, now called a tax, but only deduct it from other
    money it has received from someone, such as through employer
    withholding. It could enforce collection of other amounts it would
    claim, but not that portion. The only way to get at the IRS for
    collecting a deficiency would be to try to nullify the entire federal
    income tax on compensation for labor.

    Nullification done right is complicated and needs careful planning
    and execution. There is a competent proposal that might work for some
    kinds of
    federal usurpations thoroughly discussed at . That proposal needs to be pushed instead.