State Representative Mike Ritze, a doctor and surgeon, has been a fierce opponent of Obamacare since its inception. He made headlines last summer when he introduced Obamacare nullification legislation that would not only render Obamacare null and void, but also would criminalize any federal agent attempting to enforce Obamacare mandates and regulations inside the state of Oklahoma.
Now that the Oklahoma state house is back in session, the bill was voted on and passed by a vote of 72 to 20. Even though the bill differs from its original form in that it no longer imposes fines and jail times for those federal agents seeking to enforce the federal healthcare law in Oklahoma, it does still acknowledge that the law is unconstitutional and renders it null and void inside state borders.
Opponents of the bill have predictably stated that whatever laws the federal government enacts have to be honored, because they are by default the “law of the land.” They say that just because some guy in a state house of representatives doesn’t agree with a federal law doesn’t give him the authority to ignore the law.
But that’s not really what’s at issue here. What’s at issue is whether or not Obamacare is a law that is consistent with the U.S. Constitution. Opponents of Ritze’s bill point to the so-called Supremacy Clause in Article VI which reads, in part, “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme law of the land.”
“…[I]n pursuance thereof” is the key phrase, and Representative Ritze uses this phrase to support his legislation:
“There is no provision in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution where the states delegated to Congress the authority to make a citizen purchase health care or pay a fine. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an example of federal overreach, and my legislation will authorize the state via the will of the People to ignore it and ban the enforcement of it. They fail to understand how the country is supposed to operate. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist, No. 33: ‘It expressly confines this supremacy to laws made pursuant to the Constitution.’ Alexander Hamilton got it right. Congress and the Supreme Court got it wrong.”
Now that the bill has passed the House, it’s headed for the Senate. Representative Ritze thinks the chances of the bill making it to the Governor’s desk is 50/50. And if the Governor does sign the bill into law, expect the feds to throw a fit like they did when Texas tried to nullify the TSA.