State Powers

The states are powerful enough to stand up to the federal government when it violates citizens’ rights. Learn how we can better leverage the power of states.

<p>The states are powerful enough to stand up to the federal government when it violates citizens’ rights. Learn how we can better leverage the power of states.</p>

As we saw, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals became the first federal appellate court to find the Obamacare individual mandate unconstitutional last Friday. I filed briefs in that case on behalf of the American Civil Rights Union urging that result. More important than the ruling is what the trend is showing. For all that matters in the end is what five Justices on the Supreme Court say.

Arizona's 100th birthday is still six years away but some Arizonans already have a case of centennial fever.  This past session, the State Legislature appropriated $2.5 million to kick off plans for the celebration.

Thirteen small business owners in Tempe can rest a little easier today. Late yesterday, Tempe's plan to seize their land for a tax-generating mall was struck down as a violation of the Arizona Constitution by Maricopa County Superior Court judge Kenneth Fields.

The ruling is in stark contrast to the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo decision permitting cities to take private property to generate more tax revenue.

How can the local court offer more protection than the Supreme Court?

While state lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue, physicians are presenting their side of the argument. According to an article published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the individual mandate that all must have health insurance is the only way to expand health care access and keep costs from ballooning.

The Goldwater Institute's Starlee Rhoades appeared on CBS 5 News to talk about how the National Debt Relief Amendment is just what the country needs to get on the road to fiscal responsibility.

Watch it here

Against IPAB before it existed. As I reported earlier this week, the central question in the Goldwater Institute’s constitutional challenge to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created by last year's health care law is whether or not the board, which is intended to restrain the growth of Medicare spending, passes the “intelligible principle” test.

Today, the House held a second hearing on the rogue board of Medicare spending czars created by Obamacare. This mother of all death panels is known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). My column looks at growing Democrat opposition to the entity, which would have unprecedented authority over health care spending. Seven Dems are co-sponsors of a House IPAB repeal bill On the Senate side, GOP Sen. John Cornyn is introducing an IPAB repeal bill.

Medicare is in serious trouble. The Medicare Trust Fund will be bankrupt in 2024, according to the 2011 Medicare Trustees Report — five years earlier than projected just last year.

Republicans have a plan to strengthen Medicare by giving beneficiaries more control over their health care, allowing patients and their doctors, not the federal government, to make decisions about their needs.

The Republican hearings this week on a cost-control panel for Medicare are drawing attention to a legal challenge that has been filed against it.

Diane Cohen, the lead attorney for plaintiffs challenging the Medicare board, is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Cohen will argue that Congress gave up too much of its power when it approved the creation of the 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) in the healthcare reform law. Critics of the panel hope the argument will resonate with Democrats on the committee.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In the last two decades, the Arizona Legislature has sent three measures to the ballot to raise legislative salaries. Only one, Proposition 302 in 1998 passed. Arizona voters have been wise. Although Arizona lawmakers are paid only $24,000 per year, often share staff, and have not had a pay raise since 1998, the state’s inadvertent frugality in this respect has helped protect freedom.

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