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Arizona Poised to Strike Blow for Federalism

November 19, 2014

In the old “Star Trek” series, the USS Enterprise would prepare for enemy attacks by raising its deflector shields. Two bills just passed by the Arizona Legislature can provide a similar defense against coming assaults from the federal regulatory juggernaut.

First, the national health care bill being formed in Washington now will almost certainly include a mandate that all individuals participate, so that ultimately healthy people will subsidize the unhealthy. Given the stupendous cost, estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at $62,500 per insured, the system surely will turn to health care rationing. To protect health care freedom for Arizonans, the Legislature has sent a referendum to the voters that would amend the state constitution to prohibit government from compelling people to participate in health care systems and guaranteeing the right to directly purchase lawful medical services. A similar effort failed narrowly at the ballot box last year in the face of a well-financed campaign choreographed by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano.

Second, the federal “card-check” bill would eliminate the right to secret ballot elections to determine whether workplaces are unionized, thereby allowing unions to pressure workers into voting for unionization. If the Save Our Secret Ballot referendum is passed, it will amend the state constitution to protect the fundamental right to a secret ballot in such circumstances.

These two proposals, if approved by voters, would precipitate a major clash between national government power and the power of states to protect fundamental rights in our system of federalism. This is a battle the Goldwater Institute is eager to help wage.

Clint Bolick is director of the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

Learn more:

Goldwater Institute: Will civil libertarians defend the secret ballot?

Goldwater Institute: Curing Health Care

Goldwater Institute: Removing the Middleman: What States Can Do to Make Health Care More Responsive to Patients Save Our Secret Ballot



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