South Carolina's Fight Over ObamaCare Heats Up in State House

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
South Carolina's Fight Over ObamaCare Heats Up in State House

Both sides of the legislative attempt to block enforcement of key provisions of ObamaCare in South Carolina are ratcheting up their efforts.

A bill the supporter calls a “blueprint for other states” is pending in the state Senate and, although not as strong a nullification of the president’s pet project as some would prefer, it does retain the right of state agents to refuse to execute portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Some of those very agents aren’t taking the threat to so-called federal supremacy lying down. In fact, as reported by, many state employees and other proponents of the healthcare “law” are protesting the bill that would block its enforcement. The news site reports:

Activists opposed to the legislative effort to impede the federal health-care law did some blocking of their own.

For the second week, the protesters stood in the driveway to the State House parking garage and were issued a dozen citations, mostly for disorderly conduct, when they did not quickly move back to the sidewalk. The tickets followed last week’s protest, when 11 protesters were hauled off in Columbia police patrol cars and charged with blocking the roadway.

Despite running afoul of the law, the protesters may have had some influence over State Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), the bill’s primary sponsor. As quoted in the same story, Davis reportedly said that “he wants to narrow the proposed ban on state agencies aiding Obamacare to exempt those required to carry out parts of the law.”

That’s hardly the bold blueprint for state nullification of an unconstitutional federal act, as anticipated by our Founding Fathers.

James Madison, for example, in The Federalist, No. 45, recommended that state lawmakers “refuse to cooperate with officers of the Union” when the federal authority attempted to enforce any act not falling within its constitutionally enumerated powers.

While Davis’ language as reported by is not as forceful as the Founders would prefer, in another interview he pointed to a solid Supreme Court case that supports his position of a state’s right to refuse to carry the federal government’s water.

In MedCityNews, Davis’s reliance on the anti-commandeering principle was reported:

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