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Eye On Boise

Anderson: ‘Let’s abide by the Constitution’

Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, debating against HB 117, took issue with fellow North Idaho Rep. Vito Barbieri's claim that a vote against the nullification bill is a vote in favor of the national health care reform law.  "I do not believe it good for the country, I do not believe it good for Idaho, and I would like to see it repealed, and I hope that the Supreme Court will declare it unconstitutional," Anderson said of the health care reform law. "Such a ruling will be a victory for Idaho, and it will vindicate our decision to challenge it in federal court."

But Anderson said he can't support HB 117. "This is a difficult thing, because I believe this goes to the root and foundation of our oath of office and what we believe in," he told the House. He quoted from the Federalist Papers, recalled the nation's history, the secessionist movement and the Civil War. He said the state's fight in court to have the national bill declared unconstitutional is on the right track. "We do have a favorable ruling, we've got a couple of them, we've got a couple on the other side, but this is Round 2 of a three-round fight. Everybody agreed the Supreme Court would have the final say."

Said Anderson, "The proponents of this bill read the 10th Amendment differently than I do." He told the House, "Let's abide by the Constitution."

Anderson said, "I believe, Mr. Speaker, that Congress has exceeded its constitutional authority in passing the health care law, and I now believe that this body will be exceeding its constitutional authority if they pass HB 117. ...  Two wrongs don't make a right."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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