This must be the same spirit that lead South Carolina to be the first state to secede from the Union. It is about the same level of rational thinking too.
South Carolina state Rep. Bill Chumley wants fines and prison times for state or federal officials who try to implement Obamacare. State officials get off easy. They face only misdemeanor charges, two years in prison and a fine of $1,000 or less. Federal officials get the felony, which is five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
“I think we’re within our rights to do this,” Chumley explained to U.S. News. “It’s an obligation, I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect the people.”
Wait. Did he say, “uphold the Constitution?” U.S. News continued:
The bill was drafted after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the healthcare law in June, a decision that Chumley strongly disagrees with. In response, says Chumley, “we put a little study committee together to look at the possibility of nullification.”
It appears that Chumley believes the Supreme Court is one of the usurpers of the Constitution. There may be disagreements with Supreme Court rulings, but its interpretations are the law of the land as the Constitution goes. At least that is the case until Congress passes a law, an amendment is made to the Constitution or the Supreme Court reverses itself. Nullification has nothing to do with that.
Nullification is a nineteenth century legal theory that the states have the right to invalidate any federal law that they disagree. It is most commonly associated with slavery, which is particularly appropriate that it has raised its head in first-to-leave-the-Union South Carolina. The Supreme Court has rejected nulliification as unconstitutional in itself. Of course, that doesn’t bother Chumley, who already sees the Supreme Court as slacking in its duties as protector of the Constituton.
Either Chumley believes in the unconstitutional concept of nullification or he is grandstanding. Either way, this bill isn’t going anywhere, even if it passes the South Carolina legislature. It does show the continuing craziness among elected officials to twist the Constitution and turn it upside down so as to meet their own political ideology.