by Diane Rufino, Deputy Director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center and Resolutions Chair of the Pitt County GOP. The following resolution will be presented at the 2014 Pitt County GOP Convention on March 8.
RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) AS VIOLATING THE THIRTEENTH (13th) AMENDMENT
Whereas, the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified on December 6, 1865, reads:
“Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
Whereas, Sect. 17 of the North Carolina state constitution also reads: “Slavery and involuntary servitude. Slavery is forever prohibited. Involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the parties have been adjudged guilty, is forever prohibited.”
Whereas, the term indentured servitude refers to a contractual relationship that exists whereby one person engages in labor for the benefit another, usually in return for exchange for clothing, food, shelter, or other essentials (instead of money); and
Whereas, since indentured servitude is forbidden in the United States by constitutional amendment, it is particularly audacious when the government itself, through policy and legislation, creates a condition in some individuals of servitude for others; and
Whereas, the Supreme Court, in the case Bailey v. Alabama (1911), defined “involuntary servitude” as: “that control by which the personal service of one man is disposed of or coerced for another’s benefit” (219 U.S. 219, at pg. 241) and held that the right to personal liberty guaranteed by the Thirteenth Amendment is inalienable; and
Whereas, the Bailey decision announced a principle of broad application that says a contract for service is consistent with the Thirteenth Amendment ONLY IF the contractor “can elect at any time to break it, and no law or force compels performance or a continuance of the service.”
Whereas, the healthcare law may not necessarily be a contract (under the definition of Bailey), but the spirit of the decision would seem to suggest that a law forcing or compelling performance for the benefit of another is consistent with the Thirteenth Amendment ONLY IF the individual can elect at any time to break it (without punishment); and
Whereas, Obamacare, through its forced mandate and subsequent higher (significantly higher) insurance prices, is requiring those who can afford to purchase health insurance to also purchase it for others who cannot afford it; and
Whereas, the federal government, through the healthcare law, is directly forcing a class of citizens to work to serve the benefit of others; and
Whereas, an individual may opt not to purchase healthcare insurance under the government plan and pay the penalty instead (ie, the tax). That person would have no health insurance and nothing to show for that payment, but another person would get the benefit of that forced payment.
Whereas, although those who are forced to purchase (unsubsidized) government insurance plans do NOT receive any benefit from those they serve, the Pitt County GOP believes the servitude amounts to that of the type forbidden under the thirteenth amendment.
Therefore, be it RESOLVED that the Pitt County GOP opposes the Affordable Healthcare bill as unconstitutional, being violative, on its face, of the Thirteenth Amendment.