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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Two and Counting: New Jersey to Consider Obamacare Nullification


On the heels of a recent announcement that Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze would be introducing legislation to nullify the Affordable Care Act, New Jersey Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose (R- Sussex) has verified with the Tenth Amendment Center that she has a bill pending which would do the same.

Assembly Bill 861 (A861) would “Render the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” null and void in New Jersey”

In a statement to the Tenth Amendment Center, McHose indicated 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.”


A861 not only addresses the insurance mandate, the focus of most health care freedom legislation and legal action. It takes the next step and declares the entire act null and void within the state of New Jersey. The bill itself provides the rational for nullification, based on the Tenth Amendment. It includes the following:

“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.’”

The New Jersey Nullification Act also has teeth. It continues:

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.

The bill was introduced earlier this year, but it hadn’t yet gotten much attention. Supporters believe that with the recent Supreme Court ruling the bill could become a rallying point for those opposed to the federal act and wanting to stop it at their state line. 

In 2011, a similar bill met with fierce opposition. Opponents predictably linked the principle of nullification to slavery. McHose addressed the smear in an op-ed she wrote last July.

“My ancestors, one of whom died fighting for the Union in the Civil War, would have approved of nullification when it was used to combat the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. This horrible federal law, called the “bloodhound law” by opponents of slavery, allowed the capture and return of escaped slaves even in states where slavery had been abolished.”

NEXT STEPS

Activists in New Jersey have just launched a petition effort in support of A861. Sign on in favor of the bill and get involved here:
http://newjersey.tenthamendmentcenter.com/nullifyobamacare/

To track health care nullification legislation across the U.S., see this page:
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/nullification/health-care-nullification-act/

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