Georgia Republican Senators Assert 10th Amendment; Desire To Return To Minority Status

I’ll let Aaron Gould Sheinin from the AJC bring us the details:

A group of Republican state senators on Thursday said they want to amend the state’s Constitution in an attempt to stop Democrats in Washington from enforcing health care reform here.

Sens. Judson Hill (R-Marietta) and Chip Rogers (R-Marietta) were joined by about half a dozen colleagues to unveil their plans. The resolution would be introduced when lawmakers return in January.

The proposed amendment would, Hill and Rogers said, would allow Georgia to invoke the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment says that any power not explicitly granted the federal government in the Constitution is preserved for the states.

Sounds good so far, addressing the “needs” of the party faithful that have expressed strong outrage over a federal issue. You know, federal, the kind that are taken care of by our elected officials at the federal level. Doesn’t hurt to weigh in on issues beyond our control to make the base happy now, does it? You know what would help? Some well practiced sound bite quotes, that’s what:

The 10th Amendment protects us from such federal mandates,” Hill said. “United we stand to protect Georgians, united we stand to protect these freedoms for Georgians.”

Good start. Now let’s have another:

Asked if Medicare, which is government-run health care for seniors, would also then be unconstitutional, Hill said, “That’s a good question. I don’t know yet. We’ll fight that battle when it comes before us.”

Holy off-message unintended consequences Bat-Man!

You mean a harmless publicity stunt to pander to the base demanding someone address the contitutionality of a hated over-reach by a Democratic Congress could backfire into a question of constitutionality of a federal program that is so off limits that even RNC Chairman Michael Steele has proposed enshrining it in its own “Bill of Rights”?!?

Somebody didn’t think this one through.

One of Lee Atwater’s campaign principles, borrowed from Sun Tzu, states that you never interfere with the enemy when it is in the process of destroying itself.

Healthcare reform is on the rocks. The current approach is unpopular. And these guys (and gals?) decided they couldn’t resist the easy lay up.

I fear they have just given their opponants the ball, and left the goal unattended.


  1. Red Phillips says:

    Icarus, I get your political point, but the simple fact of the matter is that Medicare is unconstitutional as is 80-90 % of what the Federal government does. If you question the unconstitutionality of Obamacare, the astute liberal is always going to reply with “Well do you think Medicare is unconstitutional?” The only honest answer is yes. You can’t be a selective constitutionalist. If Obamacare is unconstitutional then Medicare is as well. If Medicare isn’t then neither is Obamacare. That is actually one good thing about this whole health care debate. It has got people actually talking about enumerated powers.

  2. Pirate says:

    Cmon, clearly a quote out of context or poorly worded in a back and forth with a reporter. Nobody seriously believes republicans want to do away with medicare. Pathetic attempt to change subject from obamacare.

    • Red Phillips says:

      “Nobody seriously believes republicans want to do away with medicare.”

      And that Pirate is an indictment of the Republicans. They are not serious about following the Constitution.

        • Game Fan says:

          This whole “they want to abolish Medicare and Social Security” is just smoke and mirrors. The idea that that would ever happen given the power and scope of the MONSTROSITY that government is today, and the sheer momentum and all the crooks and liars in charge, I find it hilarious that people are sweating the occasional Constitutional ideologist. Talk about people who fear the monster under the bed!!

  3. Three Jack says:

    good point red.

    check out senator isakson’s quote from the same story:

    In front of nearly 200 seniors at the Park Springs assisted living center, Isakson said while he opposes Obama’s plan, he completely supports Medicare.

    “I want to preserve Medicare and see that it’s as good as it can be,” Isakson said.

    so he admits to selectively being in favor of a single payer system for some, but against it for all. i’d like to hear his rationalization if confronted by the aforementioned “astute liberal” (is there such a beast?).

    • Red Phillips says:

      BTW, liberals are very astute when it comes to forcing conservatives to face the full implications of their rhetoric and stated beliefs. And conservative are very astute at turning and fleeing for the tall grass when so confronted.

  4. The main power of the federal government is the power of the purse. Citizens and companies send their tax revenues directly to the body to which it is owed.

    To really have the power, Georgia would have to collect all taxes and withhold to the feds the money until the federal government backed off (or sent in troops).

    Georgia gave up the power to really enforce the 10 amendment when the state decided to vote in favor of the income tax amendment and direct election of U.S. Senators.
    The catch 22 is the federal government takes money from Georgia taxpayers regardless. If our government refused those dollars, whether they were for medicare, roads, or education, then money from Georgia would just go to another state.

    • Ramblinwreck says:

      To me this is like saying that if I don’t mug that old lady who just cashed her social security check those thugs down the block are just going to do it anyway and I have a much better use for the money. It needs to stop somewhere.

      • That’s why I called it a Catch 22. This is why I favor eliminating the income tax for a sales tax. Puts the power of the purse back in the hands of the people. You don’t want to pay taxes, don’t buy anything. Garage sales and buying cars from private people. Grow your own food.

    • jenny says:

      “The main power of the federal government is the power of the purse”……

      Um, Jason– would you be so kind as to back that up with a quote from Jefferson, Madison or Adams? I would be so appreciative….

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        You wouldn’t find a quote from Jefferson, Madison, or Adams in relation to Jason’s comments because the founders would never have envisioned a direct tax on the people’s incomes. It would be beyond their realm of expectations for our free society, when they founded this nation. Jason is right, unfortunately, that the Feds get first dibs on the fruits our our labors. That is how they maintain power over the states and the citizenry. Fortunately, there have been efforts to reverse this trend, although they are often met with this mindset:

        “You’re just fringe for not thinking that everything should be settled at the federal level!”

    • Copperhead says:

      >>Georgia gave up the power to really enforce the 10 amendment when the state decided to vote in favor of the income tax amendment and direct election of U.S. Senators.<<

      Knowing that both the 16th & 17th Amendments were never lawfully ratified along with their kindred usurpations entitled the 14th and 15th as well, how can we ever even listen to such nonsense and apply to any credence whatsover?

      • Well someone tell that to the IRS and the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office because both of them seem to think differently on the 16th and 17th. I’m not even going to respond to the comment about the 14th and 15th. 8-|

        • Copperhead says:

          Since you seem fearful of addressing the subject, let me shed a little bit of light upon it.

          Regarding the 16th & 17th Amendments, a man by the name of Bill Benson went to the capitols of all the pertinent states and got certified copies of the actions of these legislatures on the two amendments in question. They did not lawfully ratify the amendments.

          The Supreme Court won’t touch the matter saying that “it is a political matter”. But since it is quite apparently a fraud perpetrated against the people and fraud vitiates all that it comes in contact with, I feel that it is more correctly a legal crisis that the Court is ducking because of the extreme ramifications of “doing the right thing”.

  5. ByteMe says:

    Somebody didn’t think this one through.

    I think it’s pretty clear that the Republican Party is having a problem with that whole concept these days.

  6. northgavoter says:

    Read the proposed amendment to see what Hill proposed. Rather than take an answer and twist it. This amendment would give us the choice to take government healthcare or not, but not force us to do so. Last I checked, that’s what medicaid and medicare allow today – the freedom of choice. Obama wants to force us to take his public option. Under Hill’s amendment medicare and medicare can still be chosen becuase they aren’t mandated coverage. That what I want, freedom to choose for my family.

      • Ramblinwreck says:

        Read the bill. Also, if private insurance companies get squeezed out, which they would having to compete with an option that has unlimited resources, then there would ONLY BE the “public option.”

        • USA1 says:

          Read what bill?

          You said, “Obama wants to force us to take his public option.”

          I asked you to show me where he has ever said that.

          Now can you do that or can’t you?

    • ByteMe says:

      Also, please show us where Georgia needs an amendment to our constitution to invoke an amendment to the Federal constitution. That thought alone should tell you how intellectually bankrupt the idea is. It’s a politically astute idea for the mentally deficient wingnuts, though.

      • AubieTurtle says:

        Placing such an amendment get the base out to the polls where they’ll also push that all important straight party button.

          • AubieTurtle says:

            True (or at least I think it is true, I’ve never pressed a straight party button in my life even though I have seen them before) but the point is that the base comes out to support an issue like this that gets them all excited and has the nice side effect for the party of getting tons of down ticket votes for their candidates. It’s very insincere.

            While I think this is pretty bad behavior on the part of the party (and yes the Democrats do this junk too), it is sad that so many need such issues to get them to bother to go down to the polling station and participate in the democratic process.

      • Copperhead says:

        You’re absolutely correct. The only thing Georgia needs is a Governor with the spine to tell the boys from Disney by the Potomac where to insert their unconstitutional agenda.

        Even though the number of possible candidates seems to be growing like a sugar-fed tumor, there really is only the one man that fits this description.

    • Copperhead says:

      The truth of the matter is deadly simple. While all the debate, discussion and argument is predicated on which flavor of Marxist ice cream the American people will be forced to ingest, in reality the federal government has absolutely no lawful authority to be in the ice cream shoppe in the first place.

      • Lawful Money says:

        Indeed, Copperhead.

        And yet, we will be subject to all manner of pragmatic “compromise”, offered by those who claim to be “conservative Republicans”, wrapping themselves in the flag and carrying a copy of some tenth amendment talking points, re-defining & appointing themselves as authorities on “reform”….to end up with “Obama/Stalin lite” ….. peddled by the establishment’s new stable of Rhodies, CFR lackeys, and their foundation funded, eminently predictable think tanks…..and carried by obedient local wannabe viceroys who tirelessly lecture us on “real world solutions” which guarantee our enslavement.

        This is one case where Nancy Reagan’s slogan applies:

        “Just say NO!”

        A tyranny by any other name, is still tyranny.

        Why not liberty? Why not truth? Why not the Constitution?

    • Lawful Money says:

      Respectfully, northgavoter:

      Surrendering domain and jurisdiction over the free choice authority we were all born with….to an unnecessary, ill advised and deceptive legislative creation which purports to “give us” what we already have…..proposed by those posturing as defenders of the tenth amendment while they talk out of both sides of their mouth, is neither progress nor statemanship.

      Others may still suffer this lip service and window dressing, but I’ll take the real thing instead.

  7. jenny says:

    Sen. Chip Rogers and Sen. Judson Hill are totally ignorant on the ramifications of the 10th Amendment or what a States’ Rights Modern Georgia would even look like, and when they talk about it or are questioned about it they look like baboons better equipped to teach the art of civics to kindergartners (only those in government indoctrination programs, cuz I’m quite certain Gabriel, my 5 year old homeschooled brat, knows more about states rights than these guys) then to give intelligent responses at a press conference.

    I would like to personally offer them classes on the Constitution, limited government, the free market, and the legal means of advancing peacefully and lawfully the 10th Amendment.

    Chip and Judson- the classes will commence in my kitchen, and please bring your aprons, cuz I’ll have you clean the pots and pans while I attempt to clean out your polluted minds, and fill them with the nutritious food of liberty.

    • Lawful Money says:


      Well, that sounds like a mutually beneficial (and necessary) arrangement….a free & fair exchange of value between parties best able to supply their respective talent & capital and in need of the talent & capital best able to be supplied by the other – to derive a benefit for both that is much greater than the sum of the parts….

      Regrettably, Jenny, I suspect the recipients of your offer will decline – as the alternate reality in which they find themselves has clouded and confused their ability to process market information accurately 🙂

  8. Game Fan says:

    Sad to say but given the average intelligence of the American voter “scare tactics” often work better than a discussion of the proper role of government when the latest and greatest plan is on the horizon. This isn’t to say that “scare tactics” aren’t warranted, because many don’t see the harm in pointing out some of the possible worst case scenarios. How is this so harmful? And the “wackos” are often right, such as the “wackos” who warned that the “income tax” would grow far beyond the 1% rate that it originated at. Of course the “experts” were there too to scoff at the “naysayers”. Well guess what? The “experts” are often nothing more than well-spoken, under-educated corporate shills among other things.

  9. birdfan says:

    I received the language of the Amendment from my State Senator, Chip Rogers. It’s pretty self explanatory and seems to protect us and small businesses from being forced to purchase a federal health care mandate.


    Proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to provide that no law or rule or regulation shall compel any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system and to authorize persons and employers to pay directly for lawful health care services without penalties or fines; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.


    SECTION 1.
    Article I of the Constitution is amended by adding a new section to read as follows:


    Paragraph I. Definitions. As used in this section, the term:
    (1) ‘Compel’ includes penalties or fines.
    (2) ‘Direct payment’ or ‘pay directly’ means payment for lawful health care services without a public or private third party, not including an employer, paying for any portion of the service.
    (3) ‘Health care system’ means any public or private entity whose function or purpose is the management of, processing of, enrollment of individuals for, or payment for, in full or in part, health care services or health care data or health care information for its participants.
    (4) ‘Lawful health care services’ means any health related service or treatment to the extent that the service or treatment is permitted or not prohibited by law or regulation that may be provided by persons or businesses otherwise permitted to offer such services.
    (5) ‘Penalties or fines’ means any civil or criminal penalty or fine, tax, salary or wage withholding or surcharge, or any named fee with a similar effect established by law or rule by a government established, created, or controlled agency that is used to punish or discourage the exercise of rights protected under this section.

    Paragraph II. Health care protections.
    (a) To preserve the freedom of citizens of this state to provide for their health care:
    (1) No law or rule or regulation shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system; and
    (2) A person or employer may pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.
    (b) Subject to reasonable and necessary rules and regulations that do not substantially limit a person’s options, the purchase or sale of health insurance in private health care systems shall not be prohibited by law or by rule or regulation.
    (c) This section shall not:
    (1) Affect which health care services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide;
    (2) Affect which health care services are permitted by law;
    (3) Prohibit care provided pursuant to any statutes enacted by the General Assembly relating to workers’ compensation;
    (4) Affect laws or rules in effect as of January 1, 2009; or
    (5) Affect the terms or conditions of any health care system to the extent that those terms and conditions do not have the effect of punishing a person or employer for paying directly for lawful health care services or a health care provider or hospital for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.ʺ

    SECTION 2.
    The above proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be published and submitted as provided in Article X, Section I, Paragraph II of the Constitution. The ballot submitting the above proposed amendment shall have written or printed thereon the following:

    ( ) YES
    ( ) NO
    Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that no law or rule or regulation shall compel any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system and to authorize persons and employers to pay directly for lawful health care services without penalties or fines?”

    All persons desiring to vote in favor of ratifying the proposed amendment shall vote “Yes.” All persons desiring to vote against ratifying the proposed amendment shall vote “No.” If such amendment shall be ratified as provided in said Paragraph of the Constitution, it shall become a part of the Constitution of this state.

    • Icarus says:

      O.K., I stopped reading after the first paragraph where it said:

      “to provide that no law or rule or regulation shall compel any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system and to authorize persons and employers to pay directly for lawful health care services without penalties or fines”

      Senator Hill, the mouthpiece of the original press conference if not the brains (brains still trying to be identified in this operation, but the search thus far producing no results), introduced a bill less than two years ago requiring just that.

      So, by introducing this resolution/amendment, I’m curious if Senator Hill prefers to be known as a “flip-flopper” or to be suffering from cranial-rectal inversion?

      • ByteMe says:

        Shep (in another thread on this) was trying to infer that this was somehow different, because Hill’s original bill was a state mandate as opposed to a federal one.

        Personally, I thought that “flip-flopper” was more accurate. There’s no meaningful distinction except to the fringe.

  10. Lawful Money says:

    Thanks for posting that, birdfan.

    If this is the whole of the bill, accurately reproduced (I’m not doubting that it is, only offering this mild disclaimer as I have not yet seen it myself anywhere else but your post), I think we can safely and accurately label it:

    Grandstanding Junk

    Georgians need & desire NEITHER a state NOR a federal interference in the free exchange and choice of health options between their sovereign selves and their sovereign medical practitioner counterparts, under the guise of protecting our sovereignty.

    We also do not need a redefinition of what is “lawful health care”, an assumption of jurisdiction over what and how medical services of any kind will be paid for, and under who’s vague, limitless, undefined “reasonable and necessary rules and regulations” such medical care will be provided, enforced, banned, encouraged, or withheld.

    Further, we are not interested in being patted on the head with the remaining portions of this ruse – which simply restate the obvious and acknowledge eternal truths which are already enumerated succinctly and more than sufficiently in the 9th & 10th ammendments to the US Constitution.

    We are already in possession of the protections this bill claims to grant…as if it had the power to grant them at all….

    We don’t need panderers reading a script and claiming they are protecting us from that which they are facilitating by their refusal to invoke and interpose the God – given rights we were born with between the federal leviathan and the sovereign citizens they claim to represent.

    We are NOT mindless waifs seeking a pacifier of something or someone calling itself a “conservative Republican” – who issues a press release or holds a press conference to pronounce a bunch of words meant to substitute for the deeds that are necessary.

    The hour is late – the time for settling for grandstanding junk is over.

  11. Copperhead says:

    This could have been better designed.


    No federal or state mandates regarding health care choice and payment systems will be viewed as lawful or of any lawful effect.

    • ByteMe says:

      You forgot to add: unless they send in troops again, in which case, we’ll send everyone but the landowners to solve this all over again.

      Ah, Reconstruction. Good times!

  12. benevolus says:

    I can’t get behind this unless they include the mandate about taking our shoes off at the airport. I don’t think they should be able to make us do that.

    • ByteMe says:

      I’ve heard they make fun of us at the airport in the Cayman Islands because you can tell all the Americans… they’re the ones taking off their shoes without being told.

    • When something is a privilege, they can make you do anything in order to take advantage of that privilege.

      Take out the TSA and allow the airlines to pay for security like they did before 9-11. They could, and likely would, make you take your shoes off. As part of your condition for purchasing an airline ticket, you contract away a lot. Airtran’s terms and conditions are 16 pages and can be found here:

      As you can read for yourself, Airtran states that they have the right to refuse to transport anyone who has not submitted to a search for dangerous weapons.

      Of course it was Saul Alinsky, Obama’s mentor, who observed that “favors granted always become defined as rights.”

  13. birdfan says:

    Lawful Money,
    I really wish you would tell me how you really feel.

    Seriously, what is your solution for State Legislators to do? If you were in their shoes, then what would you do?

Comments are closed.