Edward Daley
Nullification chatter escalating, but could it actually happen?
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By Edward Daley
July 5, 2012

Did you know that nearly half of all U.S. states are run entirely by Republicans? It's true, there are currently 23 states that have GOP-controlled governments. They are: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

Alaska and Wisconsin have Republican governors and Houses of Representatives, but their Senates are split 50/50 between Republicans and Democrats. Iowa, as well, has a Republican governor and House, but its Senate is narrowly controlled (26/24) by Democrats.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, of the remaining states only 11 are run completely by Democrats. They are: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

So what does all this mean? Well, aside from demonstrating that America is a fairly right-leaning nation, what it tells me is this: if every Republican-run state officially rejected the recent Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare and declined to implement the law's provisions, the federal government might have a very difficult time regaining the upper hand.

After all, when half (if you include Alaska and Wisconsin) of all the states in the union refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a patently illegitimate court ruling, what exactly can the federal government do to compel their compliance, short of declaring actual war on them?

Before I attempt to answer that question, I think it's important to mention that 13 states have already begun the process of doing what I have just suggested, and remarkably enough, several of them have Democrat governors. Missouri is one such state, and its anti-OvamaCare legislation has already been affirmed by its legislature's lower house.

According to Heartlander News:
    Legislation declaring President Obama's health care law null and void in the state of Missouri recently passed in the state's House of Representatives.

    House Bill 1534, which has now moved to the Senate, passed the House 108-44. None of the nays were cast by Republicans.

    Cosponsored by Rep. Andrew Koenig (R-St. Louis), the bill also states any federal officials attempting to enforce Obamacare may face criminal penalties including jail time.
The other states currently considering ObamaCare nullification bills are: Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho, New Hampshire, South Dakota and North Dakota.

On a related note, Senator Jim DeMint issued a press release shortly after the Supreme Court's ObamaCare decision of Thursday last came down. In it he encouraged America's governors to defy the feds over the issue. A portion of his statement reads as follows:
    "I urge every governor to stop implementing the health care exchanges that would help implement the harmful effects of this misguided law. Americans have loudly rejected this federal takeover of health care, and governors should join with the people and reject its implementation."
Since the release of that statement, Governors Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin have stated publicly that they will not comply with Obama's health care law regardless of our highest court's seal of approval.

There's no telling how many more governors will follow suit, or how many states will ultimately decide to introduce laws banning the implementation of ObamaCare. What we can be sure of is that the mainstream news media will impugn any attempt to thwart Obama's signature health care law. And when they're not busy maligning anyone who dares to suggest that states actually have rights, they'll be telling half truths about the way things can really work in America.

For instance, most journalists like to point out that laws such as the one working its way through the Missouri legislature are really just "symbolic," because the courts have repeatedly ruled that federal laws trump state laws. While that's true, what they never bother to tell you is that it doesn't matter what any court has to say on the matter if the states in question refuse to adhere to that principle. If they don't, then the federal government must attempt to force them to do so.

Which brings me back to the question of how the leftists in Washington DC might go about doing that.

The simplest and most obvious course of action that the feds could take would be to withhold money from the offending states. The U.S. Census Bureau's report on federal aid to the states for fiscal year 2010 (the latest figures available) relates that the average amount of cash shelled out by Washington DC per capita was $2,011. That's a LOT of scratch, and some states — like my home state of Maine — receive considerably more than that.

However, if the feds were to take such an action, the targeted states could retaliate by refusing to allow the IRS to directly collect federal income taxes from their citizens. Since the average American pays roughly $3,000 in individual income taxes, denying the federal government that revenue — or at least an amount equal to that of its withheld aid money — would effectively frustrate DC's extortion efforts.

But is it possible for states to do that?

According to Patrick Krey, who holds an L.L.M. (masters of law) degree, they can.
    A proposed state law entitled State Sovereignty and Federal Tax Funds Act, which has already been introduced in three states, would enable the states to interpose themselves between the federal tax collectors and state citizens. According to the Tenth Amendment Center, such "laws would require that all federal taxes come first to the state's Department of Revenue. A panel of legislators would assay the Constitutional appropriateness of the Federal Budget, and then forward to the federal government a percentage of the federal tax dollars that are delineated as legal and Constitutionally justified. The remainder of those dollars would be assigned to budgetary items that are currently funded through federal allocations and grants or returned to the people of the state."
If such a scenario were to play out, it is unclear whether or not the federal government would throw in the towel and forgo its ambitions to force socialized medicine upon a defiant American public. It's entirely possible that our power-mad president and his Marxist minions inside the beltway would choose to up the ante — so to speak — and although one can only imagine what that might entail, it certainly wouldn't be conducive to promoting the sort of unity Obama promised he'd bring to America only three and half short year ago.

© Edward Daley

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Edward Daley

Edward Daley was born to American parents on a U.S. military base in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada, and moved to the United States as an infant... (more)

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