Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Usurped Against the Usurper

I saw a news clip in which Judge Napalitano proposed that state legislatures push forward an amendment to the Constitution to block the Federal power grab of healthcare.

Such an amendment would be the best possible outcome of the 2009 health care idiocacy.

Speaking as a fool who actually read two of the horrible bills, I would think that any rational being familiar with the damage that out-of-control unchecked legislation can do would be looking for anyway to stop this process dead in its tracks.

A Constitutional Amendment passed by the state legislatures would not only be the best possible way to stop this legislation, it could set up a precedent for states seeking to defend state's rights.

A Constitutional Amendment would also highlight a fact glossed over by the media that insurance is already a highly regulated industry. Each of the 50 states have a large insurance regulatory process in place.

I suspect that both Democratic and Republican state legislators would be supportive of an amendment preserving state control of health care as a large number of the legislators have a great deal of skin in the game with local health care efforts.

The one big obstacle to state's writing an amendment is that the state process for amending the Constitution involves a Constitutional Convention ... and their is fear that such a thing could get out of hand.

However, I think there is such focused angst about the current health care fiasco that it is highly likely that the states could establish a focused effort that addresses a single issue.

I would like to see the wording say something pithy like:

Amendment 28: "Regulation of Health care is one of powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution and reserved to the States and the people by the 10th admendment."

The pithy statement re-inforces that the health care power grab was Unconstitutional from the start.


Scott Hinrichs said...

Some opponents of the original Bill of Rights argued that specifying exactly which rights the federal government was not to infringe was merely an invitation for the government to push right to the very edge of the specification. From there it would only be a short step into anything that could be construed as a gray area, finally to forge past the actual intent of the language of the amendments. These arguments no longer appear as odd as they once did.

The language you offer implies an open ended threat that states will continue to broadly interpret the 10th Amendment. While it may invite the federal government to try to engage in infringing on states rights in every other area, it would be a clear shot across the bow of those that favor centralization.

The only question I have is whether it is already too late to achieve something like this. The states are currently so subservient to the federal government and its purse strings that they would have to overcome a tremendous wall of fear to do something so bold.

y-intercept said...

Health care is actually one area where the states might finally stand up against federalism.

It has been totally glossed over in the debate, but the states are all actively regulating health care.

The state legislatures all have skin the game. Both state level Republican and Democratic legislators would vote against the usurping of power if given a chance.

The one problem is that the State Constitutional amending process involves a constitutional convention which could lead to a world of problems.

If the states could pull off an amendment set on re-inforcing the tenth amendment, then they could establish a precedent for reversing the centralization of government in Washington.