In 1798, Thomas Jefferson, while serving as Vice-President for President John Adams, authored The Kentucky Resolution; followed by The Virginia Resolution, authored by James Madison. Both were inspired by opposition to President Adam’s, and The Federalist Party’s, Alien and Sedition Acts.
Jefferson began The Kentucky Resolution with these words:
“Resolved, that the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government…”
Jefferson, in the 8th Article, included these words:
“Where powers are assumed [by The Federal Government] which have not been delegated [by The U.S. Constitution], a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy…”
Over the last decade, we, as citizens, have seen a long list of Federal laws, that not only has grown our Federal Government, exponentially, but are threatening the very liberties that we, as citizens of this great country, once took for granted. But, in my lifetime, I can not recall a piece of legislation as polarizing, and as threatening to Individual (economic) Liberties, and states’ rights, as this so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” enacted by The Democrats, and The Obama Administration. And, as such, Jefferson’s words, included in his Resolution, are as true today as they were in 1798.
As a New Jersey citizen, I was very heartened to learn, through a Tenth Amendment Center article, that a New Jersey Assemblywoman, named Alison Littell McHose, has put fourth legislation (Bill A861), that would effectively nullify The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” and prevent it from being enacted in the state of N.J.
In The Assemblywoman’s bill, she included these insightful, and very accurate words:
“a. The people of the several states comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes, and nothing more.”
“c. The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” interferes with the right of the people of the State of New Jersey to regulate health care as they see fit, and makes a mockery of James Madison’s assurance in Number 45 of the Federalist Papers that the “powers delegated” to the federal government are “few and defined,” while those of the states are “numerous and indefinite.”
Both of these statements are spot on! And, constitutionally correct!
In a statement to the Tenth Amendment Center, she also made this astute, and accurate point: “that trusting the federal courts to fix federal problems isn’t working.” She said, “Americans were always misguided to trust the good intentions of the unelected Court. The Court being the failsafe of the establishment.”
And, perhaps the best part of all, which proponents of states’ rights, and admirers of Individual Liberty should really appreciate:
“3. a. The federal act shall be null and void and of no force and effect in the State of New Jersey.” and “d. Any public officer or employee of this State who seeks to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the United States government in violation of this act shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense and, notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 to the contrary, for every such offense shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or be imprisoned for a term of not more than two years, or both, in the discretion of the court.”
And, to that, I say, “Amen”!
In many respects, it is sad that it has come down to this, and that our American History is going full-circle. But, until our Federal Government recalls the fact that, it was We, The People, in the 13 original, and “sovereign states,” that created them, and NOT the other way around; and delegated to them, 16 Limited, and Enumerated Powers, then, those of us who still believe in our “original” Republican principles, and lovers of Individual Liberty, must follow The Assemblywoman’s lead, and resolve, as they did in Jefferson’s day, that, “the several States composing, the United States of America, are NOT UNITED on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government”!
Nullification Brochure, by The Tenth Amendment Center