J.B. Van Hollen, Meet George Wallace

Feb 02, 2011

Partisan Attorney General Employs “Nullification” Argument

MADISON-Partisan Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is outrageously using the same “nullification” logic preferred by figures such as George Wallace in declaring health care reform “dead.”

The insidious claims were made in the wake of a lone Florida judge’s ruling against the Affordable Care Act. 

That this court has as much jurisdiction over Wisconsin law as a circuit judge in Cook County or a beekeeper in Idaho is lost on Van Hollen. So, too, is the fact that two other federal district judges have upheld the constitutionality of reforms which have allowed children with preexisting conditions to remain on their parents insurance, seniors to receive aid for prescription drugs and small businesses to earn tax credits to lower premiums.

The case will be decided in the Supreme Court, but at the heart of Van Hollen’s dangerous logic is the notion that states can void federal laws because they wish to, and he is being widely panned for it. 

“J.B. Van Hollen, meet George Wallace,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Thursday. “Using a Florida court that has no jurisdiction in Wisconsin as a way to nullify the laws of the federal government may be popular in your small group of partisan activists, but it is offensive to the Constitution, both of Wisconsin and of the United States.”