Mike Thompson, Others Assail Edmondson's Ballot Question Language Attempted End Run
And Oklahomans For Responsible Government (OFRG) joined him, writing on its blog that, "One of Governor Henry's numerous vetoes this year was Senate Bill 2008 which would have required that the language on legislative initiatives be approved by the Attorney General's office before the legislature voted whether to place it on the ballot. We pointed out at the time that the Governor was dead wrong when he stated in his veto message that the AG has no bias when writing the gist statements that accompany State Questions. Legislators approved the bill by a combined 123-18 vote."
“Instead of allowing Oklahomans to vote and decide for themselves if they want to be protected from ObamaCare, Drew Edmondson has inserted his own, factually incorrect opinion on the ballot,” said Thompson, the House author of SJR 59 which places State Question 756 on the ballot.
“I call on Attorney General Edmondson to remove his language from the state question and correctly use the language passed by the House and Senate with overwhelming majorities.”
“It’s a travesty that Drew Edmondson has decided to focus more on his race for Governor than doing what’s right for Oklahomans. He refused to sue the federal government to protect our rights and now is trying to prevent the voters from protecting their rights. Oklahomans overwhelmingly disapprove of the Obama’s healthcare takeover, yet Drew Edmondson has decided to circumvent our state’s rights and side with big government.”
The ballot title of State Question 756 reads:
This measure adds a new section of law to the State Constitution. It adds Section 37 to Article 2. It defines “health care system.” It prohibits making a person participate in a health care system. It prohibits making an employer participate in a health care system. It prohibits making a health care provider provide treatment in a health care system. It allows persons and employees to pay for treatment directly. It allows a health care provider to accept payment for treatment directly. It allows the purchase of health care insurance in private health care systems. It allows the sale of health insurance in private health care systems.
The measure’s effect is limited. It would not affect any law or rule in effect as of January 1, 2010.
Nor could the measure affect or negate all federal laws or rules. The United States Constitution has a Supremacy Clause. The clause makes the federal law the supreme law of the land. Under that clause Congress has the power to preempt state law. When Congress intends to preempt state law, federal law controls. When Congress intends it, constitutionally enacted federal law would preempt some or all of the proposed measure.
“Anyone who thinks the federal government automatically trumps state laws hasn't been paying attention to US Supreme Court cases this decade,” said Clint Bolick, at the Center for Constitutional Litigation at the Goldwater Institute. “The Health Care Freedom Act protects basic, essential rights that the federal government has no authority to take away. The Attorney General does a disservice to Oklahomans by telling them that they have no power to protect their rights. In our system of federalism, they do.”
“A ballot summary is supposed to HELP voters understand proposed state questions, not confuse them,” said Constitutional Law Attorney Cleta Mitchell, former member of the Oklahoma House. “Here, the Attorney General is deliberately using "legal-ese" and so-called constitutional jargon to suggest arguments against the Oklahoma Health Freedom Act -- arguments that are legally incorrect. It is a not-so-thinly disguised effort by the Democratic Attorney General to keep Oklahomans from establishing their rights as American citizens to be protected from Obamacare, which has been thrust upon the country through the unconstitutional actions of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress to force every American to be subjected to government-run healthcare. It is outrageous and an abuse of discretion and power. Just like Obamacare.”
“Clearly the Oklahoma State Attorney General has become so drunk with power that he believes, along with President Obama, that the people are to be at the mercy of their own government,” said Senator Dan Newberry, Senate author of SJR 59. “I believe that the government should be by and for the people and I call on the State Attorney General to retract this offensive and erroneous language.
Obamacare is an unconstitutional bill that abridges the rights and liberties of the people of Oklahoma and therefore clearly cannot be outright pronounced by the State Attorney General of Oklahoma as the Supreme Law of the Land."