In 2010, conservatives tried to block the Affordable Care Act in Congress. They lost, and President Obama signed the landmark legislation into law.
Rather than respect the legitimate act of a democratically elected legislature, health reform’s opponents responded by immediately asking the courts to invalidate what the American people’s representatives brought into being. They lost again — although by a depressingly narrow margin considering how absurd their legal arguments were.
Now that that attempt to subvert democracy has failed, an Oklahoma lawmaker relaunched an even more constitutionally challenged attack on the law:
State Rep. Mike Ritze said Tuesday he plans to reintroduce a bill to “nullify” the individual mandate in the 2010 federal health care legislation in Oklahoma.
“I disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling and believe that state governments were intended to serve as a check on the federal government,” said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is better known as ObamaCare, is an example of federal overreach and my legislation will authorize the state to resist it and ban the enforcement of it.”
Of course, Ritze’s bill violates the express language of the Constitutional, which states that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land . . . anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Yet, while his tactic is clearly unconstitutional, it is not unprecedented. In the 1950s, when Jim Crow lawmakers objected to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, they too claimed the power to simply decree that the Court was wrong and act like they can do whatever they choose.