November 8, 2012
Several states challenged the unconstitutional meddling of the federal government on Tuesday.
Despite a SCOTUS ruling upholding Obamacare earlier this year, voters in Alabama, Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming passed measures nullifying the insurance mandate of the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
While establishment pundits dismiss the ballot initiatives as mere political theater, the popularity of the proposals reveal that states’ rights and nullification are alive and well.
In addition to rejection of the Obamacare mandate, voters in two states overturned archaic marijuana laws. Washington state and Colorado passed ballot measures legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
The Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency have not yet responded to the decriminalization of pot in the two states, but establishment politicians are lining up in opposition.
‘‘Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly,’’ said Colorado’s Democrat governor, John Hickenlooper.
Oregon and Arkansas voters defeated a similar law. In Massachusetts, voters approved a measure to allow marijuana use for medical purposes. 17 states now permit the use of medical marijuana.
“For more than a year, Americans fretted over who will occupy the White House for the next four years, and the media and political class have fixated on that race. But these nullification votes at the state level tap into a deeper current,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said following the election on Tuesday.
“Americans don’t want a king. And they don’t want their lives run by politicians in Washington D.C. shoving one-size fits all mandates down their throats. People in Colorado, Alabama and Washington know what’s best for them, and they just sent a message to D.C. ‘We will not submit to your unconstitutional acts and power grabs any more.’”
Maharrey also said arguments that the states can’t defy the federal government because federal acts reign supreme over state law under the Constitution’s “supremacy clause” are fallacious.
“They completely ignore the key phrase ‘in pursuance of.’ Unconstitutional acts aren’t legitimate laws. They are illegal power grabs,” he said. “Sure, the Supreme Court gave us its opinion on the constitutionality of Obamacare and federal marijuana laws. But their opinion is based on about 100 years of unconstitutional precedent. My challenge to folks is to point me to the enumerated power that delegates Congress the authority to create a federal health care system, or to tell every American what kind of plant they can grow in their own back yard. They can’t – because it doesn’t exist.”