Federalism in Action
Yesterday, the Missouri House approved a constitutional amendment designed to check the federal government’s expansion of powers in the realm of health care:
If approved by the legislature, the proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting Missourians from being compelled to participate in any health care system would go to a vote of the people. HJR 48, 50 & 57 is half-way there. The House voted 109-to-46 in favor and sent it to the Senate.
Setting aside for the moment the specific content of the amendment, it is great to see Missouri and other states attempting to use the nearly forgotten tools of interposition and nullification to stop the federal government from abusing its powers. Of course, these are just tools that can be used for good (such as when Wisconsin nullified the Fugitive Slave Act in the 1850s) or ill (such as George Wallace attempting to preserve segregation). However, all else being equal, the more a political system is localized, the less dysfunctional it is likely to be, because the politicians are not as removed from the people. Consequently, anything that takes power away from the federal government and gives it to the states, or from the states to the counties and municipalities, or from the municipalities to the neighborhoods and individuals, should, as a general rule, be applauded.