Robert Ringer

Nullification and Obamacare

By Robert Ringer - Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The upcoming Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of Obamacare once again highlights a point that best-selling author Thomas Woods has made so clearly in many of his writings — that having one branch of government rule on a dispute that involves another branch is a ruse.

In the case of Obamacare, this ruse is especially clear, because one of the judges, Elena Kagan, has been waving the pompoms for this unconstitutional piece of legislation from the time of its conception.  In fact, as Obama’s Solicitor General, she was intimately involved in formulating Obamacare and in preparing legal arguments to defend it.  Her e-mail trail is downright embarrassing.

Based on Judge Kagan’s indisputable involvement with Obamacare, according to federal statute, she must — repeat, mustrecuse herself because of her obvious conflict of interest.  But will she?  Not likely.  The Political Class in Washington doesn’t give a damn about laws if they pertain to their own actions.

Many believe that Justice Clarence Thomas should also recuse himself because of his wife’s outspoken opposition to Obamacare.  And, as a matter of personal integrity, they’re probably right.  But in fairness to Judge Thomas, there is nothing in the law which says that the views of a judge’s spouse are grounds for recusal.  So, technically speaking, he has no legal obligation to bow out.  Justice Kagan, however, does have a legal obligation to do so.

But the bias of any of the judges obscures a much bigger point, namely, that the individual states should judge whether or not a law handed down by the federal government is constitutional.  How can one branch of the federal government be trusted to judge whether another branch has acted within the limits of the Constitution?

In his book Nullification, Woods spells it out clearly when he says:

Nullification begins with the axiomatic point that a federal law that violates the Constitution is no law at all.  It is void and of no effect. … if a law is unconstitutional and therefore void and of no effect, it is up to the states, the parties to the federal compact, to declare it so and thus refuse to enforce it.

If a Republican presidential candidate were to make a big issue over the right of states to nullify unconstitutional federal laws, I think he or she would be amazed by how enthusiastically a large percentage of the voting public would support the idea.  Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen.  After the collapse of the republic, perhaps.  But not now.

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Copyright © 2015 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.

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