Friday, November 30, 2012

States Don’t Have to Implement ObamaCare Exanges

Many states including Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Maine say they will not implement ObamaCare in their states. One thing these states have in common is that they are run by Republican governors. And of course this has liberals angry since they insist these states must implement the legislation because it is the law of the land and the Supreme Court deemed the law constitutional.

It is true the Supreme Court found Obamacare constitutional including the controversial mandate. They said the mandate was a “tax” and therefore did not violate the commerce clause. The court also concluded that the federal government could not withhold Medicaid funding from states that decide not to implement the law. In other words, the federal government could not use any form of coercion to force states to implement the ObamaCare.

I am a true believer in state’s rights and feel strongly states should implement laws that their citizens want, not the laws the federal government thinks they should implement. Case in point, Colorado recently amended their Constitution to legalize marijuana and to limit campaign contributions. I voted against both of these constitutional amendments, but if this is the will of the people then so be it. To further complicate matters both of these amendments violate federal law. Federal law prohibits the possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United which says campaign contributions should not be capped. I like it when states fight back and implement the will of the people even if I do not like the law. States know better how to govern its citizens than the federal government. After all, Colorado is uniquely different from New Jersey or Alabama.

Immigration is a good example of federal government bias. Why can’t states like Arizona implement immigration laws that better protect their citizens? The Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened against Arizona because they did not like the law’s ideology, not its position with federal law. After all, the DOJ did not interfere with San Francisco’s policy as being a “sanctuary” city for illegal immigrants. San Francisco is not adhering to federal law, but most citizens in San Francisco do not want the city to enforce the federal laws for illegal immigration which includes deportation. If San Francisco is allowed to violate federal law on illegal immigration then Arizona should be allowed to enforce its illegal immigration laws. Our administration is picking policy fights based on ideology, not based on enforcing the federal law equally.

Elections are another great example. The Supreme Court should have never ruled on the 2000 election. The federal government has absolutely no jurisdiction over state elections and election laws. If states decide to purge their voter data bases omitting ineligible voters and want to implement stricter voter ID laws then so be it. Liberals argue that these are efforts to suppress minority vote. This is far from the truth and the 2012 election is a prime example. Minorities made up a record 28% of the electorate. Minority turn out far exceeded population growth over the past four years while the White vote was down 8% (adjusted for population growth). In fact, most states have initiated very liberal early voting policies making easier for anyone to vote in elections. In the face of dozens of new election laws in a dozen states minority turnout increased – that is a fact. So let the states decide their election laws.

Laws should be the will of the states, not the will of federal liberal or conservative ideologies. If Obama’s DOJ sees fit to exempt Colorado from federal marijuana and campaign finance laws then they should be consistent and let states implement their healthcare, immigration, and election laws even if they do not comply with federal law. However, in the case of ObamaCare the Supreme Court ruled the U.S. government could not use coercion to force states to implement the law.


  1. I am a believer in State’s rights too, Patrick, but I am puzzled by this statement:

    >>”The Supreme Court should have never ruled on the 2000 election. The federal government has absolutely no jurisdiction over state elections and election laws.”

    Isn’t the election for POTUS a national election prescribed under the federal Constitution? If the SCOTUS did not have the ultimate jurisdiction it would be a very easy thing for any one state (or a handful of judges in any one state) to derail a national election simply by ignoring state law or refusing to hear the case. In 2000, judges in Florida had ruled to proceed with a recount in violation of the state or county rules that had been established by the Florida legislature. If the SCOTUS had not intervened, Al Gore would have been handed the presidency by 4 members of ONE state court acting outside of their authority.

  2. If my memory has not failed me, the Supreme Court only confirmed what Florida had already done - they certified the result in favor of Bush.

    Then I suppose you feel that the DOJ has jurisdiction over states trying to purge their voter rolls or implement voter ID laws? I do not think DOJ has the right to intervene over in these matters. If the DOJ can intervene then so can the supreme court. I do not remember any reference to elections in the constitution. I am getting old so maybe I need to reread.

  3. Good questions, Patrick. I’m not a lawyer of course, but the Constitution reads:

    "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, - to Controversies between two or more States; - [between a State and Citizens of another State;-]* between Citizens of different States,...”

    So what about controversies between a citizen of one state (Bush, Texas) suing a county canvassing board (Palm Beach) of another state? I would think the same logic would apply. Giving Florida the ultimate say on a dispute between a branch of its own state gov’t and a citizen from another state could certainly be seen as presenting a conflict of interest.

    In regards to the actual case, the Florida supreme court (in a split decision), had granted Gore’s request for a partial recount, and this not only contradicted Florida law but, assuming the recounted votes would have resulted in yet another certification of the votes, it would have violated Florida law requiring the votes to be certified by a certain date. This, according to my understanding, was the basis for the Bush campaign’s appeal to the SCOTUS as well as the basis for the SCOTUS ruling in Bush’s favor.

    As to DOJ jurisdiction, my answer would be that the DOJ has the right to intervene only in situations where there is a violation of the Constitution. For instance, Amendment 15 to the Constitution says:

    (SECTION 1) The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. (SECTION 2) The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Needless to say, a left-leaning government is going to interpret that Amendment to give them all kinds of powers never intended when the Amendment was enacted. I’m sorry to say that the only solution to that is to keep liberals and leftists out of all branches of government.

  4. Okay, I think I understand. I always thought that the Supreme Court intervened on an election, what you are saying is they intervened to settle a dispute between factions from two different states.

    As far as the DOJ is concerned we agree. They should be upholding the constitution and I think they have no business interfering in state election laws.

  5. P.S. The liberal Miami-Dade paper did a story about a year after the election and concluded on their evidence that Bush would have won the state even if a partial recount was granted.

    1. Imagine, though, what would have happened if the SCOTUS had not intervened and the partial recount had worked out in Gore's favor. FL would have changed its electorates to go for Gore and history would have been significantly altered due to the misdoings of a handful of judges on on state supreme court. It's quite amazing when you think about it.

      It reminds me of a book my husband has which I have never read but he liked and it's called "What If?" It talks about big events in history and how differently they might have turned out if only a few minor things had happened differently.