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Gun-rights fighters join Obamacare challenge
Posted By Bob Unruh On 02/11/2012 @ 9:30 pm In Front Page,Health,U.S. | No Comments
The Montana-based organization that has challenged the assumption by Washington that it can regulate intrastate commerce through the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause is joining the fight against Obamacare because both disputes could end up putting limits on the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.
Officials who have worked on the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, which simply declares that guns made, sold and kept in the state of Montana are exempt from federal limits and requirements, say they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their arguments.
The high court is scheduled to hear arguments shortly on the validity of Obamacare, Barack Obama’s signature legislation that essentially requires individuals to buy the health insurance coverage required by Congress or face a tax penalty.
The plan was challenged in a number of cases, and the one going to the Supreme Court declared at the appeals court level that Congress simply wasn’t allowed to require consumers to buy products it specifies.
Seven other states followed Montana’s lead on the issue of gun rules.
Now come officials from the Montana Shooting Sports Association, who have their case pending at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals against the feds over the gun rights, to argue that like their gun case, the health care case should come down on the side of freedom and liberty.
“The (Firearms Freedom Act) was designed to challenge congressional power to regulate everything under the sun using the power the Constitution gives for Congress to ‘regulate … commerce .. among the several states,’” said association president Gary Marbut.
“It is also about breathing life back into the Ninth and Tenth Amendments,” he wrote.
The amicus brief prepared for filing with the Supreme Court explains that the 9th and 10th Amendments, delineating the responsibilities of states and Washington, actually modify or supersede parts of the Interstate Commerce Clause since they were adopted two years later.
The law passed later should supersede the earlier law “if the two are inconsistent,” the argument explains.
“The 9th and 10th amendments changed the meaning of the underlying Constitution, including the Commerce, Supremacy, and Necessary and Proper clauses,” the argument explains.
The filing explains that the 9th amendment simply preserves “the right of individuals to choose to buy or not buy health insurance, and the 10th amendment preserves the power of the states to interdict a congressional mandate…”
“Congress might as well demand that every homeless person buy a house in order to solve the twin problems of homelessness and the crisis of excessive homes sitting vacant and underutilized by owning lenders,” the filing states.
“None of the powers granted to Congress in the Constitution authorizes Congress to embark upon the new and radical course of requiring that individuals purchase private products, whether houses or health insurance,” the argument says.
Earlier, the plaintiffs in the Montana gun case, who have organized under the Firearms Freedom Act banner, asked whether the judges will choose a “tyrannical” Washington or a federal government restrained by the Constitution.
Quoting Alexander Hamilton’s statement that the federalism system was intended to suppress “attempts of the government to establish tyranny,” the brief filed by the Montana Shooting Sports Association, the Second Amendment Foundation and Marbut states:
“The government may argue that it is not, in its current incarnation, tyrannical. The national government usually abides by the law, typically protects its citizens’ rights, and always celebrates in its peaceful transfers of power. Whatever fear appellants or anyone else may have of its becoming tyrannical, the government may argue, is no more than disingenuous alarmism,” the brief explains.
“Such an argument would be wrong.”
Following Montana’s enactment, virtually identical versions of the MFFA were adopted in Tennessee (SB1610); Utah (SB11); Wyoming (HB95); South Dakota (SB89); Arizona (HB2307); Idaho (HB589); and Alaska (HB1860). Representing a consensus among the states on the limits of federal power, additional copies of the MFFA were also introduced in the legislatures of 23 other states, for a total of 31 jurisdictions where it has been enacted or introduced.
After Montana adopted the law, it went to court to obtain a verdict that the federal government could not interfere with the state law’s provisions. As the plaintiffs expected, a federal judge in Montana disagreed with them, and the case now has been elevated to the 9th Circuit.
When South Dakota’s law was signed by Gov. Mike Rounds, a commentator said it addresses the “rights of states which have been carelessly trampled by the federal government for decades.”
WND reported when Wyoming joined the states with self-declared exemptions from federal gun regulation, officials there took the unusual step of including penalties for any agent of the U.S. who “enforces or attempts to enforce” federal gun rules on a “personal firearm.”
The costs could be up to two years in prison and $2,000 in fines for an offender.
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