Encouraging to see states stand up to government

Freedom New Mexico

The states are restless. Increasingly, states across America are resisting encroachments on their liberties by the federal government.

The most recent examples concern objections by two states to the forced adoption of President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

Voters in Missouri approved Tuesday, 71 percent to 29 percent, Measure C, the Health Care Freedom Act. It amended Missouri law to read, “No law or rule shall compel … any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.”

This goes against a key provision of Obama’s plan: A mandate that almost every American must have health insurance, or sign up for a government-provided plan. In the 2008 election, Obama barely lost Missouri, garnering just 0.14 percent fewer votes than John McCain. The state is crucial for his 2012 re-election bid.

Monday, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson gave a green light to a lawsuit by the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is trying to overturn the same coverage mandate. The case will continue through the federal court system.

Historian Thomas Woods is the best-selling author of “Nullification: How to Resist Tyranny in the 21st Century.” The action of the Missouri voters is not nullification, he said, because “nullification involves a state’s declaration that a federal law is unconstitutional, followed by a determination to prevent its enforcement within the borders of the state. The actions of Missouri and Virginia are encouraging in that they involve some form of state resistance to the federal government, and thus serve to remind people that the states were supposed to play a role other than doormat or punching bag.”

And the Missouri vote, he added, also is not really nullification, but is “also just a lawsuit.”

However, Woods said, Thomas Jefferson, a vocal advocate of state nullification of federal laws, “was skeptical and almost contemptuous of the idea that the states should appeal to the federal government’s own courts when involved in a struggle for their liberties with that same federal government.”

Despite those problems, Woods is encouraged that there is “strength in numbers. If a bunch of states are prepared to say that enough is enough … the federal government would be in a difficult situation.”

The next steps in standing up to the feds come in November. Oklahoma and Arizona voters will decide anti-Obamacare initiatives similar to Missouri’s Prop. C.

As Jeffersonians, we find this encouraging.