I was expecting Jenna Haggar, Steve Hickey, or Stace Nelson to set off my Legislative right-wingnut alarm first. However, Haggar and Hickey have kept pretty quiet (Hickey has yet to appear as prime sponsor of any bills), and Nelson is distinguishing himself less by yahooism and more by showing his liberal stripes by sponsoring nearly every bill in sight.
Instead, the biggest wingnut madness so far comes from Rep. Lora Hubbel (R-11/Sioux Falls). Hubbel has introduced House Bill 1165 to nullify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. HB 1165 goes well beyond HB 1088, a bill Hubbel's whacky District 12 neighbor Manny Steele is sponsoring to simply declare federal health care reform unconstitutional. Hubbel's HB 1165 would charge federal officials enforcing PPACA with a Class 5 felony. State officials enforcing the federal law would get a Class 6 felony. And if your insurance agent tries to give you insurance despite a pre-existing condition (one of those protections mandated by PPACA), you can sue him.
I assume HB 1165 means Governor Daugaard goes to prison for accepting Medicaid funding provided under the law. I assume this also sends to prison any legislators who vote for Senate Bill 43, which writes health care reform into South Dakota law.
Lora Hubbel thinks South Dakota can criminalize the enforcement of federal law. Lora Hubbel is wrong. HB 1165 is nullification verging on secession. HB 1165 is the kind of stupid legislation that brings the 101st Airborne to your Capitol steps. Hubbel has apparently confused herself with Governor Faubus in Little Rock... or maybe with Justice Scalia.
I suppose I should not be surprised. After all, Hubbel believes that South Dakotans don't care about school budgets. She apparently also believes we don't care about the Constitution Contrary to the fluff from Tyler at Dakota War College, there is no uncertainty as to how a court challenge to HB 1165 or its watery cousin HB 1088 would turn out. Hubbel's legislation is flatly unconstitutional, an ugly inflammation of Calhoun conservatism that threatens federalism and the stability of the Union.
This is not hyperbole: HB 1165 is that bad. HB 1165 is a threat to secede, worse than anything Gordon Howie proposed last session. Shame on Rep. Hubbel for proposing it, and shame on Reps. Jensen, Liss, and Nelson and Senators Begalka and Lederman for co-sponsoring it. The House State Affairs Committee dare not let this bill see the light of day. HB 1165 should not even get testimony. When this bill comes up, Rep. Abdallah or my man Rep. Fargen should immediately object to consideration of Lora Hubbel's seditious bull.
Update 13:13 CST: House State Affairs has the good sense to kill HB 1088 in committee today. Let's hope the same wisdom prevails on HB 1165! Alas, HB 1088 sponsor Manny Steele says he'll bring a resolution on the topic. Great. Expect more pointless bloviating about imaginary tyranny while real fiscal problems go unsolved.