A really, really good trend attracts my attention at CFIF: state attorneys general fighting back against national government’s overreach.
Consider Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma. So dedicated is he to the principle of “federalism” – the vertical diffusion of power allowing the states on some subjects to limit the dangerous centralizing power of the federal government – that he has assigned a team of attorneys to a separate “office of federalism” devoted exclusively to fighting abuses by the feds. Within two months, his team was fighting expensive, overly burdensome, bureaucratic meddling with small community banks, without proper rulemaking authority, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Due to Pruitt’s efforts, the FDIC backed down.
On another front, Pruitt has taken the lead in fighting “regulation by litigation” – a practice by which outside activist groups file apparently pre-arranged lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency. Quite amazingly, the EPA then enters a “consent decree” with a court within a single day….
After I wrote that, I saw this, today: Pruitt is now fighting ObamaCare on a bold new front.
The amended complaint challenges a new Internal Revenue Service rule that will help implement the law and seeks recognition that the Oklahoma Constitution protects citizens from mandated purchases of health care.
It alleges that federal regulations and plans to create online insurance marketplaces do not comply with the Administrative Procedures Act and should be invalidated.
This is great stuff. This is what federalism is meant to look like.
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