Surgery Center of Oklahoma Blog

November 23, 2011

The Ultimate Check on Tyrants: Ourselves!

Filed under: Uncategorized — surgerycenterok @ 2:19 pm

Imagine that you are sitting on a jury.  The fellow in shackles has been accused of refusal to pay the fine associated with the new health care law.  He had health insurance that suited him, but it didn’t suit the suits in D.C.  He was required to buy a new and more expensive type of insurance.  He refused.  He was told, “fine…you have to pay a fine then.”  Once again, he refused.  A warrant was issued for his arrest and here he is in front of the judge and you, as part of the jury.

You hear the facts of the case and the judge looks at you and tells you that if indeed you find that the defendent did not pay the fine, you must issue a verdict of guilty.  You leave the room along with the other jurors.  Having kept up with this blog you are familiar with Lysander Spooner’s writings on jury nullification.  This, as I have recently written, is the notion that the job of the jury is not only to deliberate on the facts of a case, but also the merits of the law itself.  If the law is thought to be unjust, then a verdict of not guilty is appropriate, no matter the facts of the case.  You convince your fellow jurors of your case of the unjustness of this law and when asked by the judge if you have reached a verdict, you simply report, “not guilty.”

Now the law has fewer teeth.  If this catches on the law (and other stupid laws) have no teeth at all.  None of this trash coming to the states and cities from D.C. has any legitimacy at all if we don’t enforce it on ourselves.  Pretty soon, the local police would stop arresting people for not paying the fine because they know it’s pointless, no jury having given out a “guilty” verdict for this “crime” in recent memory.

The current debate in many states, Oklahoma included, centers on whether the states should set up the “insurance exchanges” mandated by Obamacare or refuse only to have some federal creep inflict his version on us later.  Keep Spooner in mind when you hear a local politician say that we are better off inflicting this garbage on ourselves than having some federal goon cram it down our throats.  I am troubled by this preemptive surrender.  Seems like cowardice to me.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

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