I’m all torqued-off today about the Supreme Court’s ruling on ObamaCare. The federal government keeps taking over more and more of our lives in a manner that’s completely inconsistent with the Constitution’s limitations. These justices know all about the 10th Amendment, and yet they continue to step across that line.
The lesson is that you cannot rely on a part of the federal government to be the final check on its own power. The incentives to protect liberty aren’t as strong as the incentives to grab power. As is often the case, Ron Paul stated the situation very well:
I strongly disagree with today’s decision by the Supreme Court, but I am not surprised. The Court has a dismal record when it comes to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress.
Yes, by the way, I’m a Ron Paul fan.
Tom Woods wrote a book stating very clearly what the recourse is when the federal government steps outside of its constitutional role. The ink had barely dried on the Constitution before the federal government started its inevitable power grab. John Adams signed the unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts, of 1798 and 1801, respectively. The first allowed the president to deport aliens at will, and the other was a direct affront to the first amendment, making it a crime to write anything “false, scandalous, [or] malicious” against the federal government.
Tom Woods’ book Nullification discusses how Madison and Jefferson wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, stating their positions on the constitutionality of these laws, stating that they were “null and void.”
Tom Woods’ book continues to show how abolitionists used the concept of “nullification” or “interposition” to resist the fugitive slave laws in the 1800s. This was done by outlawing their enforcement in a given state. There is a long tradition of nullification in the United States, and it should be continued.
A modern-day act of nullification was recently passed in Virginia, known as HB1160. This is a response to the notorious NDAA signed at the beginning of 2012, which included wording allowing the executive branch to use the military to intern American citizens captured on American soil for the mere suspicion of being involved in terrorism — without due process. HB1160 makes it illegal for “any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia” to assist in such actions. Without local assistance, it would certainly be more difficult for the military to find and detain a given individual.
Instead of continuing appeals to the Supreme Court to “call it unconstitutional, pretty-please,” states that have a pair should pursue nullification. If the federal government decides to use force to impose its will, then what? Secession?! Let’s hope that things don’t have to go that far, but that the states are truly willing to exert their rights.
-My recipe for success: free markets, more diesel, and less government!