For the record, I wanted to give an account of some of what I personally observed in the past two weeks concerning an attempt to bring state government into defense of the people of Utah as a usurpation of powers by the federal government descends upon them in the form of Public Law 111-148, the 906-page PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. This is a personal account. Any errors in it are my own. The opinions too are my own.
Public Law 111-148 with its 159 potential commissions named in the law, commissions that may be created, each bringing the creation of a multitude of pages of new rules and regulations for businesses, families, schools, healthcare workers, and insurance companies to follow will not bring an increase of freedom to America, quite the contrary. For example the 16,000 new federal agents of the Internal Revenues Service (IRS) that will be enforcing the insurance mandate fines millions of Americans will likely pay in place of costly health insurance will be but one set of the ??????swarms of Officers?????? that will be sent to ??????harass our people.?????? In the opinion of many patriotic Americans including myself if the Affordable Care Act burdens and the federal agents imposing them upon Americans comes to full fruition it will mostly end whatever freedoms the land of the free has left.
Tuesday, February 26th, I worked with Utah????????s John Birch Society Coordinator Bryan in Salt Lake City where we had lunch with a businessman. He told us his old pal was long-time friends with Governor Gary Herbert and he would try to arrange a face-to-face meeting for us with Utah Governor Herbert so we could discuss the concept of Nullification by state legislatures of unconstitutional measures passed by Congress. (That meeting with Governor Herbert never happened.)
On the morning of February 28th, I met Bryan, Utah????????s John Birch Society (jbs.org) Coordinator at the State Capitol and we met with State Rep. Lee Perry (R-29) from Perry, Utah and Representative Jacob Anderegg (R-6) from Lehi, Utah. Mr. Jim Mackley of the Sentinel News joined us in the meeting as well. We discussed a bill that Representative Perry was sponsoring that remained at that time in protected status and which was not yet numbered as it was being reviewed by the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel for their addition of a ??????Legislative Review Note?????? before being numbered.
Representatives Anderegg and Perry both were dressed in well pressed suites with their legislative lapel pins shining like gold. Neither of them seemed to hold out a lot of hope that the nullification bill soon to be launched in public would get numbered and then pass through the rules committee to get on the floor of the House of Representatives before the deadline for committee hearings to end. There was only 4 business days left for committee hearings. Other than with The JBS Coordinator this was the first discussion I had had about the bill as it had been held in a protected status.
The Bill, titled NULLIFICATION OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT-2013, was being held up by the Legislative Research & General Counsel so long that it would make it difficult to get it through the House Rules Committee. The last hearing date was March 6th, the coming Wednesday so there was little time to see the bill move forward. We discussed what we believed our friends around Utah could do for to promote the bill throughout the state to build understanding of ??????nullification?????? and support through communications from constituents to their Utah Representatives on Saturday through Wednesday when the committee hearings would come to an end.
After that meeting I met with my State Representative Val Peterson who serves on the Rules committee where the bill was likely to first land once numbered. He emerged from the House Chamber to meet with me briefly. We had been texting each other to arrange our meeting. Briefly I explained the bill to Representative Val Peterson and asked him to be supportive in the committee. He said he would look into the bill but gave no commitment either way. As it happens Val Peterson is a member of the House Rules Committee where the bill would first be sent. By the following day the Nullification bill would be numbered H.B. 0391, but I didn????????t yet have a number for him.
Next we met with my Utah State Senator Margaret Dayton who was good enough to squeeze us into her busy schedule for some discussion of the same bill. Margaret is a congenial, intelligent woman with a lot of experience in the legislature. She said she????????d love to have Perry????????s bill in her committee if it made it through the House. Probably the Government Operations Committee is the committee she was referring to. We met in a lovely, quiet room behind the Senate Chambers instead of in the open rotunda area where a constant echo of voices creates a humming noise during the legislatives session period. I promised to e-mail her a set of quotes from Founding Fathers which I had gleaned from an article by William F. Jasper that would justify a State legislature in pursuing a course of nullification of an unconstitutional federal measure.
My brother twin brother phoned and we met him in the cafeteria in the Senate building for lunch. He got to meet Gayle Ruzicka and Dalane England of Eagle Forum with whom we were seated when he arrived. After lunch the three of us went back to the imposing, grey, stone, capitol building. On the way my brother Chris and I posed at the lovely pool where the Capitol dome is reflected for a photo of us together. Byran obliged me and took the photo. Inside the building, surrounded by marble and columns, there was a woman holding a turkey vulture on her leather-gloved arm so we got Bryan to take a photo of Chris and me with her and her vulture. I sent the photo around on the internet saying it was us meeting with the ??????League of Women Vultures?????? instead of the ??????League of Women Voters.??????
After my brother left, Bryan and I sat with Dalane outside of the Utah Senate Chamber to do a K-TALK AM 630 radio show together. Our topic of course was H.B. 391. With Dalane England I discussed the reasons and justifications for a state legislature to nullify an unconstitutional measure passed by Congress. We referred to some quotes of Alexander Hamilton and Madison from The Federalist Papers. Bryan and Dalane discussed the fact that states had recently effectively nullified the federal Congress???????? REAL ID ACT by not participating in the implementation of the law.
We were able to get some information out over the air that was supportive of nullification as a method of dealing with a federal government that is morphing into a tyranny through usurpation of powers not delegated to it in the Constitution.
So what is nullification? Patrick Krey, writing in THE NEW AMERICAN magazine in February 2010 gave a simple definition, ??????The concept of a state nullifying a federal law simply means that a state refuses to comply with the law or permit its enforcement within state boundaries.?????? Krey????????s summation of nullification sounds similar to what was written in a Supreme Court of the United States (SOTUS) ruling in June of 2012 when they wrote.
In the SCOTUS ruling which Utah State Representative Ken Ivory gave me a quote from, we read: ?????????????In the typical case we look to the States to defend their prerogatives by adopting ???????the simple expedient of not yielding???????? to the federal blandishments when they do not want to embrace the federal policies as their own. The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.??????
So if the States being the State legislatures are ??????not yielding?????? to a federal ??????blandishment?????? or embracing ??????federal policies?????? then they are ??????not yielding?????? to federal flattery or federal policies. Are ??????federal policies?????? the same as federal laws? Indeed policy may be defined by its usage as a denotation of what is included under legislation and administration to governing a nation. By ??????not yielding?????? to a federal law that is not passed in pursuance to the Constitution, Legislators are ??????not yielding?????? to a federal usurpation. Such legislators are protecting their State????????s rightful jurisdiction from usurpation by their federal servant. Thus legislators engaged in nullification of unconstitutional federal measures are interposing the State????????s authority and power between an unconstitutional federal ??????law?????? and their individual citizens to protect them from acts of usurpation by federal powers.
??????Not yielding?????? to unconstitutional policy or law in such a case is nullification of an unconstitutional measure that would be deemed by a legislature as unconstitutional. Why would such a law be ignored by or nullified by the States? If a law were passed by Congress, but was not in compliance with or in pursuance of the Constitution it is a nullity. It is null and void according to the Founding Fathers and should be recognized as null.
What is the meaning of the word null? In my 1828 AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE we read: ??????Null, To annul; to deprive of validity; to destroy. Void, of no legal or binding force or validity; of no efficacy; invalid.?????? Then if a State determines of its own judgment that a law that is unconstitutional and therefore is null, then it is void and of no validity.
There are many instances where the Founding Fathers wrote of just such a possibility where the Congress and President pass into law a measure that is not within the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.
But can a State judge the constitutionality of federal laws and call them null and void? Obviously the SCOTUS ruling stated that the State is a ??????separate and independent?????? sovereign that may decide not to yield to federal policies implies that the State has power to define what is worthy of compliance and what is not worthy of their compliance under the Constitutional compact.
Quoting from the Constitution we read that States retained powers that were not delegated to the Federal government by their Constitution. Specifically within the Tenth Amendment in our Bill of Rights this fact is clearly established.
??????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.?????? — AMENDMENT X, The Constitution
William F. Jasper, writing in The New American magazine about sheriffs and legislators that are acting to nullify Obama gun controls, repeatedly quoted Alexander Hamilton and James Madison from their authoritative writings on the Constitution that were compiled and published as THE FEDERALIST PAPERS. The Supreme Court has often looked to THE FEDERALIST PAPERS for a better understanding of what the law-givers who wrote our Constitution intended. (Mr. Jasper????????s article is here: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/14394-sheriffs-and-legislators-are-acting-to-nullify-obama-gun-controls )
Here are some of the quotes that William F. Jasper gleaned from THE FEDERALIST PAPERS that justifies the nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and the State????????s ability to judge what is unconstitutional. In the first quote the Alexander Hamilton refers to the new ??????confederacy?????? of States that will be created upon passage of the new Constitution written in 1787.
??????It merits particular attention in this place, that the laws of the confederacy, as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction will become the SUPREME LAW of the land; to the observance of which all officers, legislative, executive, and judicial, in each State, will be bound by oath. Thus the legislatures, courts, and magistrates, of the respective members, will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS.?????? [Emphasis in original.] ???????? Alexander Hamilton, THE FEDERALIST, No. 27
??????If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.?????? ???????? Alexander Hamilton, THE FEDERALIST, No. 27
Now in THE FEDERALIST, number 27, speaking of the States as ??????a number of political societies?????? Alexander Hamilton clearly shows that the Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution, only allows laws that are made in pursuance of the Constitution to be supreme to State laws. (The spelling of entrusted as ??????intrusted?????? is in the original.)
??????If a number of political societies enter into a larger political society, the laws which the latter may enact, pursuant to the power intrusted to it by its constitution, must necessarily be supreme over, those societies and the individuals of whom they are composed. It would otherwise be a mere treaty, dependent on the good faith of the parties, and not a government, which is only another word for POLITICAL POWER AND SUPREMACY. But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the larger society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. Hence we perceive that the clause which declares the supremacy of the laws of the Union, like the one we have just considered, only declares a truth which flows immediately and necessarily from the institution of a federal government. It will not, I presume, have escaped observation that it expressly confines this supremacy to laws made pursuant to the Constitution; ????????????? — Alexander Hamilton, THE FEDERALIST, No. 33
??????There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.?????? ???????? Alexander Hamilton, THE FEDERALIST, No. 78
??????An entire consolidation of the States into one complete national sovereignty would imply an entire subordination of the parts??????? But as the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States.??????
— James Madison, THE FEDERALIST, No. 39
??????The State legislatures, who will always be not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens against encroachments from the federal government, will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers, and will be ready enough, if any thing improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people, and not only to be the VOICE, but, if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.?????? [Emphasis in original.] — Alexander Hamilton, THE FEDERALIST, No. 26
So we can see the Founding Fathers pointed to the superiority of the States as masters over the creature, their federal government that they had created through a constitutional compact between the states. And today????????s SCOTUS tells the States to act as ??????sovereigns?????? by ??????not yielding?????? to policies (laws) of the federal power with which they do not desire to become entangled because the states must act as a ??????check on the power of the federal government.?????? Nor should the States yield to federal blandishments (flatteries). Basically the federal Supreme Court is telling legislators to brave up and protect their own jurisdictions from federal usurpations and tyranny.
In particular JBS Coordinator Bryan Turner and Jim Mackly had been seeking for the past year someone to sponsor for an actual, simple, nullification bill to nullify the 2010 law that had been passed by Congress and signed by President Obama that had increased our taxes this year- the PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. Many other Utahans had also wanted to see a nullificaiton bill for the Affordable Care Act, an act which some have nicknamed as ??????ObamaCare?????? and others call it the ??????Unaffordable Care Act.?????? With Representative Lee Perry????????s H.B. 391 they were hopeful to get the conservative-Republicans in the Utah House of Representatives to be sure the bill got heard and passed in committee
On Friday, March 1, the bill was numbered as House Bill 0391 and assigned to the Rules Committee. The Chair of the committee was Representative Dean Sanpei who works for Intermountain Health Care as an executive. In an e-mail I pointed out that relationship to a healthcare giant to my Representative Val Peterson who was also a member of the Rules Committee. I copied the e-mail to Representative Dereck Brown who is listed as the Vice-Chairman of the committee as well and to Representative Lee Perry who is also a member of the House Rules Committee but won????????t be allowed a vote since he is the bill????????s sponsor.
Who knows if that information of a possible conflict of interest had any influence in the committee or not, but H.B. 391 was moved by Monday, March 4th, to the House Business and Labor Committee.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 7:00 A.M. Bryan Turner arranged it so that I was on the air on the JACK STOCKWELL show on K-TALK AM 630 radio as their guest to start the day????????s show. Our topic of course was the nullification bill sponsored by Representative Lee Perry, H.B. 391. The show went quickly but I was able to answer his questions well enough.
An editor of THE NEW AMERICAN Joe Wolverton, III, J.D., a constitutional lawyer, phoned me after I had sent the email to him and been on the radio show to discuss the possibility of contacting Rep. Perry to bring him into the committee for some testimony at the hearing.
But we needed more grassroots support of citizens for Representatives Perry????????s nullification bill to no yield to a federal usurpation. On Saturday, March 2nd, after doing my weekend reports, I sent out a robo-call through the Phonevite.com account to most of the local, dues-paying, John Birch Society members to mobilize them in support of H.B. 391. My suggestion to them was that they ought to e-mail or call their State Representatives and members of the Rules Committee to support H.B. 391. We couldn????????t let know them of any hearing time since no hearing was yet scheduled.
Remembering my promise to Senator Dayton I sent an e-mail to her with the list of quotes from William F. Jasper????????s article the same quotes that are included in this article. She had promised to share the quotes with other Senators to give them some ammunition in support of nullification.
Then I sent an e-mail to all JBS Chapter Leaders in Utah to recommend the mobilization of their patriotic JBS Chapter members to support of the bill. The real work of convincing state legislators of a just cause to support a bill comes before a Committee hearing. Too often there is no line up of speakers at a committee hearing and one does not get to pick and choose who will be heard and who will not. Also sometimes time becomes limited and those offering testimony will only be allowed one or two minutes to speak. The case for nullification had to come before the hearing and the hearing would be the cap of the work. Plus few wanted to take off work or scheduled events to speak at a hearing.
Next I e-mailed a friend who through his own email to thousands of C4L members mobilized them to support the bill with phone calls to their legislators. The same message was sent to the head of the Constitution Party in Utah, and other local conservative volunteer leaders with whom I????????m acquainted. In this impromptu effort in Utah we weren????????t as organized as the left with their groups like MOVEON.ORG that can mobilize millions across America with an email blast but we could mobilize some thousands in Utah for an important cause. Our mobilization was not a product of the Republican Party but was a product of volunteer organized efforts, especially emanating from THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY.
March 5th at 3:00 I was a guest on another radio show on K-TALK radio with talk show host Mills Crenshaw to speak with him about H.B. 391 and nullification. I had been on the radio or the phone all day and my throat gave me a hard time speaking during the show, but I was able to rinse my throat with water and still get the nullification message out. Without citizens supporting the bill with their legislators we wondered if the bill could make it through committee.
In between all of these meetings, radio shows, and traveling to and from Salt Lake City from my home forty miles away I was working on my regular JBS-work to prepare for my upcoming work weeks in Sacramento and Portland, to purchase additional plane tickets, make rental car reservations, get hotel rooms booked for my future trips, visit the bank to pay on my visa with my expense check, reply to a constantly growing incoming list of e-mails, speak with various JBS leaders in other states about my upcoming visits to their states, speaking with JBS Coordinators in other states about issues on their minds, talking with new committee chairmen and women in the west about their concerns and questions, changing the oil on my car, helping someone with pricing of JBS materials for an upcoming meeting, preparing a training presentation I????????d be giving in Auburn, California, scheduling time to attend my father????????s 89th birthday luncheon, discussing my daughter????????s upcoming wedding with family, preparing my lesson to teach at Sunday School to the Gospel Essentials class, stopping at STAPLES for office supplies I needed, packing for next week????????s trip including my prescriptions, catching up on tasks from our headquarters assigned to me, following up with new members in areas where we didn????????t have a Coordinator, clarifying by phone instructions I????????d sent to JBS leaders by mail, etc.
The life of a JBS staff member is always busy whether in the field or at our headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin. So as is normal my family saw little of me even if I was only locked away in my office working and my week was busy causing me to feel torn by various priorities. As always I worried about what I was letting slip through the cracks.
Bryan had warned that H.B. 391 would see other legislators come forward to oppose or even replace the bill as the nullification of the entire Affordable Care Act would seem too daunting or perhaps even because they would desire to see the bill derailed because they actually supported the unaffordable care act. He warned that a derailment of the bill could come from an assumed to be friendly legislator.
Finally on Wednesday, March 6th, my father????????s 89th birthday, H.B. 391 was scheduled to be heard in the House Business and Labor Committee chaired by State Representative Jim Dunnigan. The committee hearing was scheduled to run from 4:10 to 6:30 pm. Bryan got in touch with Rep. Perry and offered to have us bring Joe Wolverton from Provo to testify with him. Joe is a constitutional lawyer that works as an editor for THE NEW AMERICAN magazine and writes excellent articles.
Early on March 6th, Joe had driven to Idaho for a family health emergency and returned that afternoon. I picked him up at his home and we drove to the State Capitol in Salt Lake City and walked to the hearing room, #445, on the fourth floor. It would have been preferable to have a volunteer pick Mr. Wolverton up, but neither Bryan nor I had found time to ask someone else to take off work to drive him to the Capitol. His wife needed the car. As other supporters did we sat for hours listening to the business of the committee as it conducted hearings on other bills. I
It was much later when the bill finally got a hearing and I had been called out into the hallway so I missed much of the discussion and Mr. Wolverton????????s brief testimony. Bryan had talked to him the night before and Joe had prepared some 20 or 30 minutes of testimony, but he was given only 3 minutes. In the midst of the hearing Utah State Representative Anderegg proposed a substitute bill. None of our JBS members were called on to testify even though some had their names on the clip board of attendees. It was first-come first-serve, so several non-JBS individuals gave testimony. Representatives Ken Ivory gave testimony in support of the substitute bill. He must have been alerted by Representative Anderegg that the substitute bill would be heard. It was getting late and Mr. Ivory must have stayed specifically to testify. Later I wondered if he, as a lawyer, might have even been involved in writing the Substitute bill. But such was mere conjecture in my mind.
After some lively discussion between the committee members the new substitute bill passed out of committee. It was a nullification of the optional expansion of Medicaid under federal health care reform. The larger nullification proposal of the original HB 391 was to not yield to the entire 906-page PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT of 2010, Public Law 111-148. That bill had failed and been replaced by a substitute bill.
The defeat of the original H.B. 391 and victory for its substitute H.B.0391S01 still meant a small victory as Medicaid issues could be debated on the House floor, but it was an enormous back-peddling from a complete nullification of ObamaCare, a nullification of ObamaCare????????s intrusion into the lives of families across Utah, and its meddling with businesses and takeover of so much of the Insurance industries???????? choices. The original H.B. 391 might have prevented ObamaCare????????s meddling into the choices of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. But that will have to wait for another year.
The substitute bill would provide for the ??????nullification of the optional expansion of Medicaid under federal health care reform.?????? That new bill would now get a reading on the House floor even if the overall idea of nullification of Public Law 111-148 would not.
Meanwhile, Medicaid will be discussed in the Utah Legislature due to the new bill moving to the House floor. There is a video I have suggested to my State Representative and State Senator to view and share with other legislators; it is called ??????A PHYSICIAN????????S SOLUTION TO HEALTHCARE.??????
In the Video Dr. Alieta Eck talks about an inexpensive, workable, successful model of healthcare for the poor, a system that works through donated services of doctors, nurses and other support services. The model she talks of shows how a charitable system of healthcare without government intrusion through Medicaid. She says that ??????the Medicaid system is extremely broken?????? and is a huge ??????misuse of tax dollars.?????? She says ??????the Medicaid system is not the solution?????? for good healthcare.
Anyone reading this article is urged to view the video and share the video of Dr. Eck with their doctor, their state legislators, local business owners they know, their friends, their church leaders, and any opinion molders in their area (i.e. talk show hosts, teachers, Congressmen).
Imagine if a new, voluntary, non-governmental, inexpensive, efficient, truly charitable method of caring for the poor????????s health needs like the system in New Jersey that is shown in the video can be instituted in all fifty states the inefficient, burdensome, expensive, bureaucratic, immense, demeaning Medicaid system could dwindle and perhaps even become a thing of the past. Medicaid could be recognized for what it is, another sad relic of government-imposed socialism????????s failures where the free market should have been left alone to operate.