Today is the Fourth of July. On this day, we celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which declared before God and the world the reasons the people of the thirteen colonies found it necessary to separate themselves from the British Empire.
Last Thursday (June 28), the Supreme Court rendered its decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (Docket 11-393) to assert that the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act is Constitutional. The decision specifically stated that the penalty for those who do not buy health care insurance is really a ”tax,” and that the federal government has an “unlimited” power to tax. Like Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Timothy Horton’s decision May 30 to allow racetracks to operate casinos, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision offers technical support for a law in blatant violation of its underlying Constitution, which is supposed to be the “supreme law of the land.”
While I do oppose national health care on policy grounds because it further distorts the free market in health care and imposes unnecessary costs on everyone; I could live with state-sponsored health insurance – if the plan be not executed at the federal level. National health care is blatantly unconstitutional, based on the plain text of Article I, Section 8, and the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There is no prohibition on government-managed health care at the state level; and accordingly, I had no problem with Massachusetts and Utah experimenting with systems of their own.
This decision broke my heart. I do not know how anyone, having read about this opinion, can reasonably argue that the Constitution of the United States is anything other than a dead letter. The courts have developed pseudo-”Constitutional” arguments to support expansions of federal power for nearly 80 years. While the Supreme Court has occasionally posted roadblocks to that expansion, they have been at best temporary. The “checks and balances” that the Founding Fathers erected in the Constitution no longer work. Neither the Congress nor the Supreme Court continues to act as a check on the President, and neither the Congress nor the President has effectively checked the Supreme Court since the earliest days of the Republic.
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison argued that federal power could be checked by the states through the U. S. Senate and resolutions of nullification. But the Seventeenth Amendment (providing for direct election of Senators) stripped the states of their role in the federal government; and nullification resolutions not backed by a deeper commitment have no teeth.
What is that “deeper commitment”? The writers of the Declaration pledged their very “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” to make sure that America would make good on its independence. We are so far from that commitment that no state to date has even shown the courage to attempt the arrest of federal officials in their states who violate the Constitution and their state’s laws — something Arizona needs to try if it ever hopes to avoid being overrun by illegal Mexican immigration.
And I would be deeply (and pleasantly) surprised if the Ohio General Assembly made good a nullification of the Act based on Article I, Section 21, of the Ohio Constitution, adopted by two-thirds of Ohio’s voters only seven months ago, which reads (definitions omitted):
§ 1.21 Preservation of the freedom to choose health care and health care coverage.
(A) No federal, state, or local law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system.
(B) No federal, state, or local law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance.
(C) No federal, state, or local law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance.
(D) This section does not affect laws or rules in effect as of March 19, 2010; affect which services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide; affect terms and conditions of government employment; or affect any laws calculated to deter fraud or punish wrongdoing in the health care industry.
If we do not take courageous civil action to protect our freedom, it will soon be too late to take any action at all. We will be overwhelmed and defeated before the struggle even begins. In the Declaration, Mr. Jefferson acknowledged that resistance to established authority should not be taken lightly:
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. [Emphasis added]
British writer Jeff Thomas (no relation), reminds us that we have been enduring a “long train of abuses and usurpations” designed to render us under “absolute despotism,” and he is kind enough to provide a list [Edited for clarification and for links. The writer's comments are in parentheses, mine are in brackets]:
- The [USA PATRIOT] Act (Passed in 2001 and extended in 2011 with additional controls) expands law enforcement powers and removes civil liberties and constitutionally guaranteed rights.
- The National Defense Authorization Act, passed on 31st December, 2011, allows the indefinite imprisonment by the military of any “suspects” (including American citizens on American soil) without allowing due process of law.
- The MAP-21 Bill, which allows the Internal Revenue Service to suspend the passport rights of Americans, based on the premise that their tax obligations may be unfulfilled.
- The National Defense Resources Preparedness order, created in March, 2012, allows the President to take over control of all food, water, labour and industry in the US, “to promote national defense.”
- 30,000 Drones to fly over the US allowed by executive order, February, 2012, providing the government with an Orwellian surveillance ability and a killing capacity ranging from selected individuals to entire communities. [Even the Socialists are upset about this].
- FEMA Internment Camps, to be constructed in every state, with 3 – 15 in each state, for an undisclosed purpose. [The Federal Emergency Management Agency calls these camps "fusion centers." They were "authorized" by Homeland Security Presidential Policy Directive 8, signed by President Obama March 30, 2011. They exist today, and FEMA has published policies for their management. Notice that the directive is of later date than the policy document.]
- 450 million hollow point bullets ordered by the Department of Homeland Security To be used domestically. (The DHS is not responsible for addressing national invasions or overseas wars; it exists solely for the control of internal disorder. Hollow point bullets are not intended for sharpshooting – they are designed specifically to maximize tissue damage.)
Want more evidence? Read my Independence Day blog post from two years ago, where I list federal abuses going back almost to the founding of the Republic. The “Government long established” by the Declaration of Independence has itself become a tyranny over the American people.
Now, please, tell me again, why are we celebrating the Fourth of July?
Update July 4: Maurice Thompson at the 1851 Center has sent an email to supporters giving practical suggestions how Ohioans can resist mandatory health care using Article I, Section 21 of the Ohio Constitution cited above. His suggested action steps are: (1) ensure that Ohio does not implement a state-based “exchange,” (2) Ensure that there be no expansion of Medicaid in Ohio, and (3) Challenge the mandate based on its impact on our Constituitional rights. It is well worth reading.