Texan calls for jail time for enforcing Obamacare

Posted: December 7th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian

Proposal defines demanding compliance as felony with penalty of 5 years, $5,000

by Bob Unruh, WND

Texans take their rights seriously.

A bill that has been prefiled for the 2011 state legislative session creates penalties of up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in jail for anyone guilty of the “felony” of attempting “to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation” of Obamacare, the president’s plan that effectively nationalizes the health-care decision making process.

The plan by Texas Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, effectively would nullify the federal health care legislation in his state.

At least, that is what the bill that “relates to federal health care legislation” says:

The federal Act:

(1) is invalid in this state;

(2) is not recognized by this state;

(3) is specifically rejected by this state; and

(4) is null and void and of no effect in this state.

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It provides that “a person who is an official, agent, or employee of the United States or an employee of a corporation providing services to the United States commits an offense if the person enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the United States in violation of this chapter.”

It explains that the “assumption of power by the federal government in enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590; Pub. L. No. 111-148) as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872; Pub. L. No. 111-152) interferes with the right of the people of this state to regulate health care as they determine is appropriate, and makes a mockery of James Madison’s assurance in Federalist Paper Number 45 that the powers delegated to the federal government are ‘few and defined’ while those that remain in the state governments are ‘numerous and indefinite.'”

An analysis of the issue by Michael Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center explains that there already is a widespread dissatisfaction across the United States from the mandates of Obamacare.

“The passage of the health care act opened the eyes of many previously apathetic citizens, making them aware of the rapidly expanding scope and influence of the federal government and its intrusiveness into their everyday lives,” he explained.

“They intuitively understand that requiring them to purchase health insurance falls far beyond the powers granted to Congress by the Constitution. Suddenly awake and alarmed by the fact that the federal government has grown so far out of control, and frustrated by what they see as the lack of responsiveness by politicians in D.C., many Americans find themselves looking for answers,” he said.

He noted that 14 states already have sued to block implementation of Obamacare, and there probably are more than a dozen lawsuits brought by other plaintiffs already, too.

The states’ claim states, “The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage.”

But he explained that the Texas plan takes the issue “a step further.”

“While some might call this legislation radical, it rests squarely within the scope of statepower as understood by the framers of the Constitution. James Madison wrote in the Virginia Resolution of 1798 that states not only have a right, but a duty to step in when the federal government oversteps its authority,” Maharrey wrote.

He quoted Madison’s work:

That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.

Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, said under the Constitution and a historic understanding of the rights and responsibilities of states, Berman’s plan is reasonable.

“There is nothing more extreme than having a federal government that refuses to abide by the laws that we the people of the several states delegated to it in the Constitution,” he said. “The important point here is that it’s up to the people of eachstate to determine what the best response may be.

“One state, as Wyoming did with its Firearms Freedom Act, may decide that penalties on federal agents is the rightful response. Another, such as California with medical marijuana, may choose to create an environment conducive to non-compliance by masses of people. Either way – or somewhere in between – that’s the beauty of the American system. We can have widely varying actions, responses and viewpoints in different states while all living together in peace. One-size-fits-all solutions are actually the problem, and state-by-state decision-making is the natural response,” he said.

Berman said he believes his biggest obstacle will be the left-leaning politics of some leaders of the state House.

“The best chance for passage is to get rid of the current speaker,” he told the center.

His bill specifically cites the states that make up the United States and how the federal government was created “as their agent for certain enumerated purposes, and nothing more.”

A year ago, Wyoming adopted legislation pioneered in the state of Montana that exempts guns made, sold and kept in the state from any federal regulations. Then lawmakers attached a penalty of up to two years in jail or $2,000 in fines for “federal agents” who would try to enforce regulations that violate state law.

Boldin told WND the idea of a penalty against federal agents for enforcing something illegal under state law actually was developed by state Rep. Dan Itse in New Hampshire.

Berman’s plan also allows “any aggrieved party may bring a private cause of action against a person who enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the United States in violation of this chapter.”

Even though the odds may be against the proposal become statute, Boldin said it is important.

“Whether or not there’s any guarantee of getting something passed is no reason to not do what’s right,” he said. “Champions look at insurmountable odds and take them on with passion, and that’s what We the People need to do in defense of our liberty.”

And the center’s report said sources report another 10 states or more may be planning similar legislation.

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