Piyush Jindal is still on his whirlwind tour of New Hampshire to attend a Republican breakfast and Iowa to campaign against a state supreme court judge who had the audacity to help make unanimous a ruling that the state’s one man-one woman marriage law was unconstitutional but now Jindal may already be planning another jaunt—this time to Florida to take on three more state supreme court judges.
Apparently there are simply no more problems in Louisiana that demand his attention so he is free to look elsewhere. Nice to know everything is under control here.
Though nothing official has come from Jindal’s office, the atmosphere appears favorable for him to charge into the state on his noble steed in concert with David Koch to rescue the state and Gov. Rick Scott from the evil judges who were part of a 5-2 majority that blocked an unconstitutional ballot initiative seeking to nullify the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).
The Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity, chaired by David Koch of Koch Industries, the driving force behind the American Legislative Exchange Council, joined the Florida Republican Party’s effort to remove the three judges, which would give Gov. Scott, a Tea Party member, control over nearly half the court.
“Many states, like Ohio, gave their citizens the right to vote against the Affordable Care Act,” sniffed the Americans for Prosperity, sounding like a true victim, “but not Florida. Our own supreme court denied our right to choose for ourselves. Shouldn’t our courts protect our rights to choose?”
First of all, the Florida Supreme Court’s decision had nothing to do with denying anyone’s “right to choose.” The decision was to remove the unconstitutional ballot initiative after the initiative’s own defenders admitted that the ballot language was misleading so the court’s decision simply said that voters should be able to understand what they are voting for before they cast ballots.
Even more important, however, is that the Koch group, by supporting the ballot initiative, is also endorsing a questionable constitutional theory known as “nullification.” Because the Constitution provides that duly enacted federal laws “shall be the supreme law of the land,” states do not have the authority to block or supersede an Act of Congress such as the Affordable Care Act, whether through a ballot initiative or otherwise.
Nullification was last in vogue with the nineteenth century slaveholders and Civil Rights era segregationists. But the Tea Partiers have revived the concept and the Florida judges apparently hurt their feelings.
Tea Party self-appointed historian Tom Woods has published a book defending nullification. Of course he also once published an article describing the Confederacy as “Christendom’s Last Stand.”
So now Americans for Prosperity and Koch desire to punish three judges for putting the law above conservative ideology. They are hellbent on turning over Florida’s highest court to the Tea Party governor. If successful, this campaign will send a chilling message to every elected judge in the country (Louisiana’s judges are elected) that they can adhere to the Constitution at their own peril.
Sounds like a perfect opportunity for Piyush. After all, his most recent trips just happen to be in the states where the nation’s first presidential primary and first presidential caucuses are held. And Florida is almost certain to be a swing state in future elections.
Too bad Piyush doesn’t realize that his political fortunes are sinking faster than that big hole in Assumption Parish.