N.H. Lawmakers show support for the people and the constitution, supporting longstanding precedent
CONCORD, N.H.—The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire celebrates the Legislature’s decision today to send a strong message to Washington, D.C., which all of the citizens of this great state should support: “Mr. President, members of Congress, do not try to force unconstitutional laws on us. We will fight back.”
“The vast majority of Americans, including the majority of citizens in New Hampshire, told Congress not to pass the unconstitutional Obamacare law, but Congress didn’t care and forced the law down the People’s throats,” said Andrew Hemingway, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “The People fought back with the November elections, and now their voice has been heard through their representation in the New Hampshire Legislature.”
With the passing of HB 601 and SB 148, the New Hampshire Legislature has used its 10th Amendment authority to nullify the individual mandate in the so-called Obamacare bill so no citizen in this state will have to buy health insurance against their will, and they won’t face fines for exercising their right to pay out of pocket for their medical care. The Legislature has also sent back $666,000 to Washington designed to bribe the state into implementing the law. Finally, the Legislature has set up an oversight committee to make sure that no member of the Executive Branch tries to enforce the provisions of Obamacare against the will of the Legislature and the People.
“This strong gesture by the New Hampshire Legislature is a perfect example of a state using its appropriate 10th Amendment authority to exercise power that was not granted to the federal government, but instead reserved for the states or the people,” Hemingway said. “Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does the federal government have the authority to force people to buy a product, or to force states to fund certain medical procedures.”
The Tenth Amendment states: “The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” As recently as this year, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the 10th Amendment authority, saying in Bond v. United States that a person may defend himself by showing that a statute has exceeded the federal government’s enumerated powers.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discussed the 10th Amendment authority this way: “The Constitution divides authority between federal and state governments for the protection of individuals. State sovereignty is not just an end in itself: “Rather, federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power.”
As recently as 2007, the New Hampshire Legislature nullified the federal REAL ID Act, considering it “contrary and repugnant” to the U.S. Constitution. The 2007 bill said “the State of New Hampshire shall not participate in any driver’s license program pursuant to the Real ID Act of 2005 or in any national identification card system that may follow therefrom.” That law has withstood the test of time, and the federal government has backed down from its unconstitutional power grab.
“The Founders gave State Legislatures and individuals the 10th Amendment so they could tell the federal government to back down when it has gone too far,” Hemingway said. “The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized this power and this very state has used this authority as recently as 2007. The Legislature’s nullification of the individual mandate in Obamacare is just another example of the 10th Amendment being used properly. The people of New Hampshire should take pride in their votes last November to elect a principled, constitutionally minded Legislature, and they should thank the Legislature for standing up for their rights today with their support of these two bills to nullify the unconstitutional components of Obamacare.”
According to a Rasmussen Reports survey, only 32 percent of Americans believe the Obamacare law will be good for the country and at least 53 percent of Americans want the bill to be repealed by Congress.