On the eve of the 213thanniversary of the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, laying the intellectual groundwork of nullification, the people of Ohio exercised their power and nullified the insurance mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Ohioans passed Issue Three, a constitutional amendment to preserve their right to choose their own health care and health care coverage. Preliminary returns indicated a wide margin of victory, with more than 60 percent approving the amendment. The amendment makes it illegal for any local, state or federal law to require Ohio residents to purchase health insurance, effectively nullifying a key component of the PPACA.
“This signifies that state level resistance to federal power is not just an old idea relegated to history books,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said, “It’s something that’s alive and well right now.”
Ohio became the tenth state to reject the insurance mandates in the PPACA.
Ed. Note: Per the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states have passed legislation banning portions of ObamaCare: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming:
“James Madison said that power over objects which in the ordinary course of affairs concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State would remain with the states. Health care choices clearly fall into that category,” TAC communications director Mike Maharrey said. “Ohio sent a strong message to D.C. tonight. We are not going to just sit back and accept your unconstitutional power grabs.”
On Nov. 10, 1798, the Kentucky legislature adopted resolutions authored by Thomas Jefferson in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts. In these resolutions, Jefferson explained the states’ power to judge the constitutionality of an act, while also asserting that unconstitutional federal acts hold no force.
He wrote, “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 parties 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…”
Jefferson continued, “whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force”
As the federal government continues to grow, states have begun to push back more aggressively. Fifteen states have defied the federal government and legalized medicinal cannabis, and six years after the passage of the Real ID Act, states continue to successfully resist its implementation.
“Nullification is so simple, even a 3-year-old can do it. You just say, ‘No!’” Boldin said. “Washington D.C. will never willingly limit itself. It’s up to the states to put a check on federal power and say, ‘No!’ when Congress passes these unconstitutional acts. Ohio stepped up and did that tonight. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.”