Columbia, S.C. | March 20, 2013 | Joshua Cook | Today the SC house subcommittee gave a favorable report to H.3101 regarding the South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act, which nullifies aspects of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. The committee agreed to pass H3101 to the full committee as amended. The committee adopted Rep. Quinn and Rep. Pope’s compromise amendment which strikes the section regarding the arrest of federal judges and officials who may try to enforce Obamacare in SC.
Rep. Bill Chumley who sponsored H3101 invited two expert witnesses to speak on the proposed bill, renowned economics professor Walter E. Williams from George Mason University and frequent guest host for the Rush Limbaugh Show and Constitutional attorney and author Kent Masterson Brown.
During the committee hearing on Feb. 6, house members appeared to be swayed by Law Professor Thomas Crocker from USC. Citing case law, Crocker claimed that any state that tries to nullify a federal law would be considered an illegal act of aggression.
Today however, both speakers swayed members of the committee to accept nullification as a mechanism to invalidate certain aspects of federal laws based on the tenth amendment of the Constitution.
Walter E. Williams gave philosophical and moral arguments on why he supports a state’s right to nullify unconstitutional laws like Obamacare. He gave examples from the writings of the founding founders explaining the limits of the central government, and cited incidents of states nullifying federal laws such as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
Kent Brown said,
“the Quinn Pope amendment reserves the right for the state at a later date to do what it sees fit based of how this bill (Obamacare) unfolds…the original bill with the penalties I find problematic…rather SC should reserve the right to do what it deems appropriate, but go on record stating that this state opposes Obamacare and we will do what is necessary.”
The Quinn / Pope amendment would prohibit state employees from implementing aspects of Obamacare. Rep. Quinn said, “it would prohibit forced home inspections,” one of the provisions in Obamacare, and would limit local governments like school boards, town councils, and county councils from receiving grants to set up their own exchanges in the state.
The committee plans to merge both Rep. Chumley’s H3101 and Rep. Dellenny’s H3473 which also gives power to the SC Attorney General to step in to protect residents from aspects of Obamacare that may injure or harm citizens.