Pushing back against the unconstitutional overreach of the federal health care legislation is priority number one for many liberty and tea party groups in the Great State of Tennessee. Many ideas have been floated by various groups throughout the country as to the best means of revoking the federal health care legislation. Several interesting ideas have been proposed, among them are federal lawsuits, interstate compacts, and state nullification. When one takes a critical look at these options, it becomes clear that all three of these options boil down to a simple question. Do we ask permission from the federal government to undo Obamacare or simply undo it?
A point to be made with regards to lawsuits is that they will be pursued in FEDERAL courts. We will be asking the federal government to police itself, which it is most likely unwilling and, quite frankly, unfit to do. The judges in these courts are appointed by and employed by the federal government, draw a federal paycheck, and will most likely be unwilling to “bit the hand that feeds them” as it were. The federal court system has proven time and again that it most likely will rule on the side of expanding the role of the federal government, as it is a part of the vast federal bureaucracy whose primary concern is perpetuating itself.
Further, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, the federal government, via the courts or any other system it devised, does not have the exclusive right to judge what it can and cannot do. In his words from the Kentucky Resolution of 1798:
Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.
It is clear from Jefferson’s statement that the federal court system, as part of the federal government, does not have the exclusive authority to judge what is and is not constitutional. The state governments have equal authority to the federal government in judging the constitutionality of any federal legislation. For the states to go and ask the federal government for permission to judge the constitutionality of the federal health care law is ridiculous and counterproductive – the states already have this power and do not need the federal court system’s permission to exercise it.
While Interstate Compacts are an interesting idea in theory to challenge Obamacare, ultimately they do have to be ratified by all participating states and then by the U.S. Congress per Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. Again, this puts the states in the role of asking the federal government for permission to exercise the powers already guaranteed to them in the Constitution. While such a compact might make it through the incoming House of Representatives, it is hard to believe that with the Senate still controlled by the majority who passed the federal health care legislation would approve an interstate compact that would reject the very legislation that they consider one of their greatest accomplishments. This leaves the states in the position of waiting years for a sympathetic House and Senate, if one ever comes into power, and by then the federal health care legislation would already be fully implemented.
The states don’t need to ask for further permission from the federal government through Congress to exercise the powers already granted to them by the Constitution, they already have these powers. The states just need to use their existing powers to reject Obamacare!
We as Tennesseans must exercise our constitutionally guaranteed rights, whether or not the federal government wants to give us permission to do so. Tennessee does not need permission from federal courts or any other federal agency to exercise the powers guaranteed to it under the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment. Our best hope is nullification, and encouraging our legislators and governor to have the courage and conviction to tell the federal government that the federal health care law is null and void within the boundaries of the state of Tennessee, and further enforce boldly penalties for any agents of the government who try to enforce these provisions of federal law.
Nullification requires that the state government PROTECT the people of Tennessee from the encroachment of the federal government on their liberties, not just pass non-binding resolutions stating “we don’t like this.” By joining with other states that have already passed or soon will pass legislation to nullify Obamacare, Tennessee has the power to thwart the federal government’s ability to implement the unconstitutional health care legislation.
Nullification is the solution to federal overreach, such as Obamacare, proposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1798 with the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, legislation that those states used to nullify the unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798.
James Madison declared in the Virginia Resolution that it is the duty of the State government to protect its citizens from the “evil” of federal overreach:
…the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.
Considering these opinions came from the Father of the Constitution and his mentor (and writer of the Declaration of Independence), I will take their opinions on nullification and constitutional law any day over those of any federal judge or congressional approval/disapproval of an interstate compact.
Nullification requires active and engaged citizens, legislators, and governors who are willing to stand up and fight for what is right and what is constitutional. There is no easy option, but nullification will by far be the most effective, if we are willing to do the work required to see it through. The bottom line is this – are we willing to exercise our constitutional rights whether the federal government gives us permission or not?
To download a copy of the Tenth Amendment Center’s model Federal Health Care Nullification Act – click here. Please share a copy of this legislation with your state legislators.
Lesley Swann is the state coordinator for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center and founder of the East Tennessee 10th Amendment Group. She is a native of Anderson County, Tennessee.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The views expressed in the above post are those of the individual author only. The article is presented here to foster discussion, and does not necessarily represent the views or positions of the national Tenth Amendment Center.
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Somebody's law is going to prevail in the legal system of the nation -- either God's law or some version of man's law. We certainly cannot earn salvation by keeping the law, for that would be an unlawful use of the law. But Twana, I do not understand why you would not want to be ruled by God's law when every verse of Ps 119 and Ps 19 describes it as perfectly just and more to be desired than gold. Why would you prefer anything that imperfect man creates over God's perfect standard of justice?
Dt 4: 6,7 says that the unbelieving nations will be attracted by God's law and I Tim 1:8-12 confirms that the law of God is "good" for restraining lawless men in the political realm. To put it differently it is a "lawful use" of Old Testament law to restrain societal evil in New Testament times.
Christ didn't save us from the law, He saved us from the curse of the law because of our inability to keep it perfectly (Gal. 3:13). But that does not release us from obligation to obey the law for sanctification via the Holy Spirit. As Paul said in his great treatise on justification by faith, "Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the law" (Rmn 3:31).
The standard for sanctification is another "lawful use" of the law (James 1:22-25). That passage compares it to a mirror in which we observe our imperfections that need to be corrected.
Notice too that Jesus did not rebuke the Pharisees for keeping the Old Testament law, but rather for replacing it with their man made traditions, exactly what we have done with the U.S. Constitution.
"He was also saying to them, "You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and mother,' and 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death'" (Mark 7:9,10). Notice how he condemned them for setting aside both the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 and the case law illustration of the 10 Commandments in Exodus 21:17.
Perhaps my article on Calvin contains the reference you were searching for:http://www.america-betrayed-1787.com/john-calvin.html
Dennis you mistake me not wanting to live under God's law. Of course I love God's law. However NO ONE can keep God's law. If we say we do not sin, then the truth is not in us and we are a liar. No one can keep it. We strive to keep it, but we are all fallen.
Also, the new testament verses (context) you listed are directed at the church, not the world.
I'll get John Calvins own words from his book. I have it at my church. But I will get it out and read it again. I don't want to read others words about his words. I will read his words.
But I still do not see anywhere in Scripture where God forces people to live under his law. He has his people but not all peoples. You know God created some for destruction. God loves Jacob but hates Esau. It's spoken about again in the new testament. God's blessing is on Issac not Ismael.
Forcing this on those people God has not called is no different than what Islam does. I believe the biggest problem we have in America is the church. The church is wanting to control those around them, many self proclaimed christians are learning false doctrines and adhering to them and stepping out on them. Example is: telling someone to walk the isle and repeat a pray after me, then they will be saved. That is no where in scripture....yet I hear people justify it all the time. We, the church are given the commission from Jesus, "Go into the world, share the gospel and make disciples of all nations." He didn't tell us to go and do the Holy Spirits work and change peoples hearts. Many are doing what is not their work to do. In that action of those that do that by whatever means to get a person to repeat that rehearsed prayer is false doctrine. I see people trying to trick people "to save them", I see people playing on peoples emotions to "save them." I see the church doing all types of crap to get the world to come into the church. They don't preach God's word anymore, they tickle peoples ears because they don't want to offend. That is crap! If God has turned his back on anyone, it is the church, not a country. We have been given a job and we blow that off and want to do what was not given to us to do.
We, the church need to do the works the church has been given to do and quit trying to play God.
Twana, not sure what else to say except to point to various Biblical examples. Law is by definition "force" or enforced morality and somebody's definition of morality is going to be enforced on the nation. I suppose the basic question is do we want that to be man's definition of morality or God's definition, which James 1:25 describes as "the perfect law of liberty."
Dt. 4:8 indicates that the nations around Israel would observe and declare, "What great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?" Amos chapters 1 & 2 are an indictment of the nations, including Israel and Judah, for failing to keep God's law. Isaiah 2:3 describes a future day when "the law will go forth from Zion" and the nations will stream up to the mountain of the Lord to learn how to govern by the Law of God.
In the New Testament, John the Baptist in preparing the way of the Lord lost his head for insisting that the unbelieving magistrate (Herod) was accountable to the law of God. Why didn't John just stick with the job he had been given to do, i.e. baptizing and "preparing the way of the Lord?" Why did he go meddling in secular government and try to control Herod and force Herod to conform to a law that Herod (an unbeliever) did not accept and thus make a hypocrite out of Herod?
"For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." (Mk 6:18).
I believe the answer may be found in Psalm 2 where we learn that the nations themselves have been given to Christ and the kings of earth are called to make formal submission to the King of kings: "Therefore, O kings be wise, be warned O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss His feet, lest He be angry and you perish in the way... how blessed are all who take refuge in Him" (Ps 2:10-12).
As we have so recently sung:He rules the world with truth and grace,
WHY SHOULD OBAMA LISTEN TO COURTS...HIS MIND IS MADE UP...IMPEACHMENT IS THE WAY TO GO.
JUST AN ''AMERICAN CITIZEN''