Some call me a conservative, some call me a libertarian & some call me a tea party member. I call myself a “conservatarian” (you can use it if you want). Regardless, there is something that needs to be known. It’s something the pundits of the left and right regularly ignore. Those who embrace it, are often accused of “neoconfederacy”, or my favorite “racism”. I’m talking about State rights. It’s odd that opponents of State rights who cry “racist!” regularly cite the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare. It seems they forget that the same court ruled African Americans were not human, but property in Dred Scott v. Sandford.
You see, it makes little sense to vest much value in Supreme Court decisions made after 1803. The Supreme Court has not ruled within its constitutional jurisdiction since Chief Justice John Marshall gave the majority opinion in Marbury v. Madison. In this case, Chief Justice John Marshall unconstitutionally expanded the power of the Court to rule on cases, which would apply to the entire country. This was not the original intent of the Supreme Court of the United States. Every case ruled on since then is null and void. Even so, it’s imperative to remember that the Court issues opinions, not decrees.
We know that America was founded on compact theory. This is made crystal clear by Madison, the father of the Constitution, when he drafted the Report of 1800. Compact theory dictates that the states compose the country. These states explicitly grant the federal government its power. Compact theory also sets the paradigm that the State has the authority to dictate whether or not a federal law is constitutional. If you asked Americans on the street today they would most likely tell you the opposite is true.
All that build up for what? Well, why wait for the Supreme Court to strike down the law? There are multiple cases making their way to the SCOTUS, which very well may cripple Obamacare. However, if we are a nation of principled citizens we should not rely on these Supreme Court opinions regardless of how they sway. As I said before, the SCOTUS is operating outside of its jurisdiction.
Individual states have the power to nullify Obamacare, if they so choose to take that path. However, there is another way the law can also be killed.
Let us consider that only 17 states are running their own health care exchange under the Patient Care Act (PCA). Another 26 are leaving it completely up to the feds, and the remaining few are doing a joint exchange. Now, in this case, it may seem that more states have opted for greater government control. Not so, because of text of the PCA states who opted for the federal exchange are actually on their way to opting out of Obamacare. This is why essentially every state run by republicans opted for the federal exchange. Many states are now in the process of trying to kill the medicaid expansion under Obamacare. If successful, with a few more steps, these states have effectively nullified Obamacare. These states are now in a stronger position to move on to the next phase–
Next, let us consider how many states are run by republicans. Democrats only have complete legislative control over 17 states. Also, they could soon be losing Virginia, as the gubernatorial race between McAuliffe (D), Cuccinelli (R) and Sarvis (L) tightens. A recent poll shows Sarvis dropping 1 point, and McAuliffe/Cuccinelli in a statistical tie.
Regardless of that race, republican ran states are on the rise. Since Obama took office, republican governors have taken over 9 states. If the trend continues, republicans will continue to gain ground in the states. Also, libertarian candidates are taking the field with relatively impressive results.
Given time, it’s more than possible that the magic number 38 could be reached. What is this number? It’s the number required for a constitutional amendment. If republican and libertarian state representatives, senators and governors held to the principles, which they claim are of their core convictions, then a constitutional amendment could be achieved. Such an amendment would block the healthcare law across the board. More so, the path of constitutional amendment is one of maintained principle.
An amendment most likely isn’t the answer though. The federal government doesn’t listen to the Constitution we have today, so there is little warrant to believe an amendment would suffice. Nullification is likely the rightful remedy.
Although I do not agree with Obamacare, I would not support the Supreme Court striking it down. Why? Because, in doing so, the Supreme Court continues to act outside of its constitutionally delegated authority. With this avenue, it is only a matter of time until someone with differing values tries to impose those values onto the rest of the country. Again, this was never the intended purpose of the Supreme Court. Supreme Court opinions are not the “law of the land”. The Constitution is the law of the land. Madison, the father of the Constitution, has explicitly defined for us that the Constitution restrains the federal government through avenue of the people composing the states. The states give the federal government its power. The inverse is the greatest modern fallacy America faces.
The founders have given us a principled avenue to resolve overbearing federal government power. It is of paramount importance that Americans rediscover their resolve for true freedom. However, this resolve must be rooted in principle. It must not rely upon those who act without principle. If we simply rely on the Supreme Court we will lose. Whether the law is struck down or upheld is of no importance. The Supreme Court should have never been allowed to rule on the legislation in the first place and therefore we should not look to the problem for a solution.
OPINION: Follow Michael Lotfi on Twitter: @MichaelLotfi