Can the states block ObamaCare?

In 2008, Arizonans voted on Novack’s proposed amendment to the state’s Constitution:

“No law shall be passed that restricts a person’s freedom of choice of private health care systems or private plans of any type. No law shall interfere with a person’s or entity’s right to pay directly for lawful medical services, nor shall any law impose a penalty or fine, of any type, for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participation in any particular health care system or plan.”…

But does not federal law trump state laws? Not necessarily. Clint Bolick, a Goldwater Institute attorney, says, “It is a bedrock principle of constitutional law that the federal Constitution established a floor for the protection of individual liberties; state constitutions may provide additional protections.”

In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court held that under the Constitution’s system of “dual sovereignty,” states’ “retained sovereignty” empowers them to “remain independent and autonomous within their proper sphere of authority.” The court has been critical of the “federalism costs” of intrusive federal policies and recently has twice vindicated state sovereignty in ways pertinent to Novack’s plan.