I may just be showing how ignorant I am on the subject, but my sense has always been that state nullification of federal laws is a tool not much tried or used since the first half of the 19th century. While a number of our Founders, particularly Jefferson, saw state nullification (not the Supreme Court) as the key check on arbitrary or unconstitutional Federal legislation, the whole subject sort of gained a taint, along with states rights, by its association with the South's defense of slavery.
Anyway, state opposition to the Real ID law has been an pretty interesting and frankly, for this libertarian, exciting re-invigoration of this potential check on Federal power. We have also seen efforts in states like California and Colorado to effectively nullify certain Federal drug laws. Now Arizona, among other states, is seeking to nullify bits of the proposed Federal health care legislation:
Right on the heels of a successful state-by-state nullification of the 2005 Real ID act, the State of Arizona is out in the forefront of a growing resistance to proposed federal health care legislation.
This past Monday, the Arizona State Senate voted 18-11 to concur with the House and approve the Health Care Freedom Act (HCR2014). This will put a proposal on the 2010 ballot which would constitutionally override any law, rule or regulation that requires individuals or employers to participate in any particular health care system.
HCR2014, if approved by voters next year, also would prohibit any fine or penalty on anyone or any company for deciding to purchase health care directly. Doctors and health care providers would remain free to accept those funds and provide those services.
Finally, it would overrule anything that prohibits the sale of private health insurance in Arizona.
Five other states "” Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming "” are considering similar initiatives for their 2010 ballots.
I have zero idea if this is legal or possible, but I am all for trying. And I say this knowing that as an employer, the legal mess it may create for me could be awful. I could easily see a situation where it is required under Federal law that we enroll employees but illegal to do so under state law. I can easily see a situation developing similar to what medical marijuana growers face in California, pulled back and forth between state and federal law.