Is the Indiana General Assembly positioning itself for a showdown with the federal government? Yesterday afternoon I attended a four-hour presentation at the State House hosted by Senator Mike Delph. The symposium featured one of the nation's foremost Constitutional legal authorities, Professor Herb Titus, a founding Dean of the College of Law and Government at Regent University. Also on the panel was Dr. Paul Jehl, Director of the Plymouth Rock Foundation and an author of curricula on the US Constitution.
A dozen legislators attended the forum on "Interposition." This term concerns the proper roles of various branches and levels of government and the checks and balances set forth by our founding documents. Many legislators had questions about how states in previous generations asserted their rights and how interposition might be practiced today.
Each speaker explained the foundations of government and the historic conflicts that have occurred between states and the federal government and conflicts between the three branches of the federal government itself. With all of the required meetings and committee hearings a legislator must attend, it is not often you have legislators voluntarily stay at a four-hour meeting. One thing became obvious - many legislators expect a standoff between Indiana and the Obama administration over the Health Care Reform Act.
On April 9th, 2009, the Indiana Senate passed (44-3) Senate Resolution # 42 restating roles and duties under the 10th Amendment and it asked the Federal Government to "cease and desist" with all mandates upon Indiana beyond its defined limits. Indiana may soon have to contend with all the ramifications placed upon state health and welfare agencies stemming from Obamacare. Many of the cost cutting and efficiencies achieved by the Daniels Administration are at risk under a mandatory revamping and expansion of Medicaid that could cost the state billions that we simply do not have.
This could be something interesting to watch next year as legal challenges to Obamacare play out in the courts. There may also be efforts from various state legislatures signaling that they will not, or cannot, abide by this new slew of federal mandates.