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.