Stop Burning Food

BOB MARSHALL APPLAUDS BOB McDONNELL’S REQUEST FOR ETHANOL WAIVERDelegate Sought Governor’s Action Because Drought Is Driving Up Cost of Food and Gasoline

Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, today (Aug. 30) hailed Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Aug. 27 request that, because of nationwide drought conditions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency waive the federal mandate to divert a portion of America’s corn crop from food production to make ethanol for gasoline.

“Burning food during a record-breaking nationwide drought is economic and moral folly,” Marshall said, noting that he wrote McDonnell on Aug. 2 urging that the governor seek a waiver allowed under the congressionally required, EPA-administered ethanol from corn fuel mandate. “Diverting food to auto fuel is driving up consumer food and fuel prices, directly harming Virginia’s grain, livestock and poultry farmers, and may worsen runoff fertilizer pollution in the Chesapeake Bay,” Marshall said.

“I applaud Governor McDonnell’s actions, and hope that the EPA will recognize the serious economic harm from continuing EPA’s ethanol mandate which it is imposing on Virginia’s families, farms and small businesses.

“The EPA is seeking public input on the waiver through September 26. I urge Virginians to make their views known to end this wasteful and costly practice in the presence of a record-breaking drought.”

Information about the EPA’s request for comment is available on the Federal Register’s Website at

NOTE to Editors, News Directors and Reporters:

Attached are Marshall’s Aug 2 letter to Gov. McDonnell, and the governor’s Aug. 26 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

Delegate Bob Marshall's contact information: Mobile telephone – (703) 853-4213 Capitol telephone – (804) 698-1013 (during General Assembly sessions) E-mail addresses –

Statement, Delegate Bob Marshall author of Virginia law challenging Obamacare

"No federal money for Obamacare"

Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall at the US Supreme June, June 28, 2012.

Manassas, VA - "There appears to be no branch of the National Government which can be trusted by citizens.

The Supreme Court claims it can redefine an act of Congress to be a tax even when Congress and the President say it is not. Congress and the President can deceive the American public and never have to go on record to raise taxes again because the Supreme Court will do it for them even though the Constitution says that taxing power lies only with the Congress.

Merely passing a repeal of Obamacare as proposed by Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) can and will be ignored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Therefore, Congressional Republicans’ opposition to Obamacare will be taken seriously by the public only if they vote to defund every part of Obamacare IMMEDIATELY by attaching prohibitions on all thirteen Appropriations bills forbidding the use of any funds to implement any aspect of the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act!

Virginia’s own James Madison pointed out that the ‘power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon ... for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.’ [Federalist Papers, # 58]

A clear determination by Congressional Republicans to cut off Obamacare funding will start the real fight and cannot be ignored by Harry Reid and President Obama.

Promising more appointments of Conservative judges is illusory because the fifth vote supporting Obamacare came from Chief Justice Roberts who was a George Bush appointee.

I applaud Governor Mitt Romney's pledge to repeal Obamacare if he is elected in November. But Republicans in Congress need to act decisively before November if they want rank and file Americans who are concerned over America’s future to work for their re-election.

To repeat, if Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate want to show Americans they are serious about stopping Obamacare, they must support amendments to each of the thirteen Appropriations bills they will pass this year to fund the federal government prohibiting the use of any funds to implement Obamacare.”

Delegate Bob Marshall can be reached using the following links:

- - 703-853-4213 -


Delegate Bob Marshall on Fox News discussing the VA Healthcare Freedom Act in 2010

House Nixes Delegate Bob Marshall's Homeowner Justice Amendment

RICHMOND, March 2 – Delegate Robert Marshall sought today to require that a $68.9 million received in a settlement payment by the state attorney general’s office actually be used for the settlement and not for other purposes. Marshall’s proposal was an amendment to legislation for the fiscal 2013 state budget that the funds “provided from the Mortgage Servicing Settlement Agreement may only be used for the purposes for which the attorney general's settlement was made.”

The amendment was rejected by the Virginia House of Delegates on a 28-70 roll call vote.  Then The House passed the budget bill, 87-12, and sent it to the Virginia State Senate.

Marshall’s amendment targeted money that is part of a landmark $25 billion multi-state settlement agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and fraud.  State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced Feb. 9 that his office had joined Virginia to the agreement.

“It was worth a try,” Marshall (R., Manassas) said of his amendment.  “While we struggle here to balance the state budget during difficult economic times, our state government seems to insist on robbing Peter to pay Paul with the state’s finances.  That’s a very strange way to keep the books when we are dealing with the people’s money.”

According to the attorney general’s news release announcing the settlement, the proposed agreement provides $479,594,672 in direct relief or other benefits to the Commonwealth and Virginia home borrowers, and addresses future mortgage loan servicing practices.  Included in that figure is a direct payment to the Commonwealth of $69,6576,121, according to the news release.

The mortgage servicers are Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial/GMAC.

Other terms of the settlement include:

Virginia's home borrowers will receive an estimated total of $409,937,551.22 in benefits from loan term modifications and other relief.

Virginia's borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure from January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2011, and suffered servicing abuse qualify for approximately $31,301,320.91 in cash payments.

The value of refinanced loans to Virginia's underwater borrowers will be an estimated $84,309,742.00. The Bureau of Financial Institutions at the State Corporation Commission, as Virginia's banking regulator, also joined the settlement and will receive an additional $1,000,000.


Delegate Bob Marshall's contact information:

Mobile telephone – (703) 853-4213

Capitol telephone – (804) 698-1013 (during General Assembly sessions)

E-mail addresses – and

Delegate Bob Marshall's Letter to Colleagues on HB1160

Attention: Editors, News Directors and Reporters FYI, below is a letter Delegate Bob Marshall (R., Manassas) distributed Thursday (March 1) evening to his colleagues in the Virginia House of Delegates regarding his pending HB 1160 (Unlawful detention of U.S. citizens).  The legislation is scheduled for final House consideration Friday (March 2).

Also FYI, below is the news release Marshall issued Tuesday (Feb. 28) after the Virginia State Senate, on a 38-1 roll call vote, passed HB 1160 with a clarifying amendment.


Colleagues —

House consideration of HB 1160 (Unlawful detention of U.S. citizens) was put over until tomorrow [Friday, March 2].  I urge the House to adopt the Senate amendment, which does all that the House bill did, but with fewer words.

I drafted the original bill.  Then I worked with Delegate Albo in developing the House language, and worked with Senator Petersen in developing the Senate language.  In all of its versions, the bill has always had the same core — banning the Commonwealth, its agencies, and its subdivisions from aiding the federal government in detaining Virginia citizens under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”).  (The original house bill, and the bill as amended in the Senate, appear below.)

There is reason to believe that our effort in Virginia and many other such efforts in other states are having an effect.  Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing about this foolish provision of federal law — that had been buried in a 900-plus page bill.  Senators Feinstein and Paul and others have introduced a bill to undo this provision, and there is a similar bill in the House, but we cannot assume either will be enacted.  It remains important for the General Assembly to take a stand and pass this bill.

Along the way I have been told that the bill was too short, then too long, now too short again.  I was told it was too broad, and then told it was too narrow.  Some said it was not needed since the power has not been abused — but the law was just signed December 31.  Some said that it was not needed since President Obama said he would not use this authority — but why should any President be given such power.  Actually, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I think it is in the middle — “just right.”  Here’s why.

Nothing of substance has changed in my bill.  First, the surplus language at the end of the House bill (underlined below) was deleted, as it is the General Assembly that has determined that cooperation with detaining Virginians under NDAA is wrong — the decision would not be left to others.

Second, the bill applies to any “agency” of Virginia government, state, county, or local.  This triggers the definitions contained in section 8.01-385 and by its terms “agency” includes “Departments,” which includes the Department of Military Affairs, which is comprised of the Virginia Army National Guard and the Virginia Air National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force.  (Of course, if the National Guard is called up, it is in “actual service” of the federal government, and takes on a new status and is removed from the control of the Governor under Virginia and Federal law.  A Virginia law cannot affect what the National Guard members do while in actual federal service.)

Third, this bill prohibits state aid to any agency of the United States.  That includes, but is not limited to the Armed Forces of the United States — which was the subject of NDAA.

Fourth, since the terms of NDAA deal with detention, this bill is limited to not aiding in the “detention” of Virginians.  Concerns were raised about prohibiting involvement with “investigations,” as those could be valid reasons to investigate under other laws.  There was no reason to prohibit involvement with “prosecutions,” as the precise problem was that the federal government now claims the power to incarcerate indefinitely without commencing any prosecution.

The bill is supported by groups from the Virginia ACLU to Gun Owners of America.  Among the groups supporting this bill is the Japanese American Citizens League which sent a letter to each Senator telling them the story of the terrible detention of over 110,000 Japanese Americans during World War II as “suspected enemy aliens.”  The letter concludes “Virginia has the opportunity to stand up to an unjust application of Congressional authority.  The American people need somebody to stand up against this injustice.  HB 1160 is a tool that does just that; it stands up for the American people by respecting the basic principles of the Constitution.”

This bill does all that Virginia can do to keep from participating in improper actions of the federal government.  It passed not just bi-partisan majorities, but by truly overwhelming margins in the House and Senate.  There is no real dispute as to substance.  I urge my colleagues to adopt the Senate amendments.

- Bob Marshall

February 14, 2012 – Passed in the House (96-Y, 4-N)

§ 1. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, no agency of the Commonwealth as defined in § 8.01-385 of the Code of Virginia, political subdivision of the Commonwealth as defined in § 8.01-385 of the Code of Virginia, employee of either acting in his official capacity, or member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, when such a member is serving in the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force on official state duty, shall aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of any citizen pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (P.L. 112-18, § 1021) if such aid would place any state agency, political subdivision, employee of such state agency or political subdivision, or aforementioned member of the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, and provision of the Code of Virginia, any act of the General Assembly, or any regulation of the Virginia Administrative Code.

February 28, 2012 – Passed Senate with Amendment (39-Y, 1-N)

§ 1. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, no agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or employee of same acting in his official capacity, shall aid an agency of the United States in the unlawful detention of any United States citizen pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (P.L. 112-81, § 1021).

Delegate Bob Marshall's contact information:

Mobile telephone – (703) 853-4213

Capitol telephone – (804) 698-1013 (during General Assembly sessions)

38-1 Roll Call Vote


Now Legislation Returns to House of Delegates for Approval of Clarifying Amendment


RICHMOND, Feb. 28 – Delegate Bob Marshall said today that he is “deeply gratified” that the Virginia State Senate has passed his bill to protect Virginians from having to participate in the unconstitutional detention of United States citizens by federal authorities.

“I am hopeful that Governor McDonnell will sign this bill,” Marshall (R., Manassas), and that this law will provide an important protection for Virginians against improper federal action.  Moreover, it is my hope that other states will follow Virginia in responding to Washington, D.C.’s latest overreach, and that Congress will re-think this unconstitutional action.”

The Senate passed Delegate Bob Marshall’s HB 1160 to bar Virginia from assisting the federal government in the unlawful detention of United States citizens under an obscure provision of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress.

The Senate approved Marshall’s bill today by a 38-1 roll call vote.  It now must be returned to the Virginia House of Delegates for its approval of the clarifying Senate amendment, which vote probably will come tomorrow or Thursday.  The House passed the original bill on Feb. 4 by an overwhelming 96-4 roll call vote.

“This action is a repudiation of the unlawful action of Congress,” Marshall said after the Senate vote.  “The Constitution is to be followed, not abused.  The people of Virginia have spoken through their elected representatives in the General Assembly in rejecting a federal law purportedly giving the military the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without charges, counsel, or trial.

“I am deeply gratified that today the Virginia State Senate passed my bill HB 1160 by the overwhelming vote of 38-1.  The near-unanimous Senate vote follows passage of HB 1160 in the House of Delegates by a vote of 96-4.  Almost all Republicans and Democrats joined together in a great bipartisan effort to tell the Federal Government that these are powers that no President should be entrusted with.

The House vote occurred Feb. 4.  By a 20-20 tie vote, HB 1160 survived a Senate motion yesterday to send it back to its Courts of Justice Committee

“Twenty-four hours after the Virginia State Senate nearly killed my bill, thousands of Virginians learned that our liberties were on the line, and they made their views known.  Groups from the Virginia American Civil Liberties Union to Gun Owners of America, National Association for Gun Rights, Virginia Libertarians,, various Tea Party groups, and Campaign for Liberty, and many others, all publicly endorsed HB 1160.  The bipartisan nature of the vote today shows that Virginians are joining together to defend their liberties.”

“I want to thank my friend and colleague Senator Chap Petersen (D, Fairfax) for working with me on a clarifying amendment that I wholeheartedly supported, and for the forceful arguments offered on the floor by both State Sen. Dick Black (R, Leesburg) and State Sen. Richard Stewart (R, Montross).”

Peterson responded: “The unlawful detention of United States citizens is wrong, and here in the Commonwealth we will never assist in the detention of others, no matter the state of war that we may be in, or no matter the emergency.  The rule of law must persist in our nation, regardless of circumstances, or we shall fail in our commitment to justice.”

Marshall said the Senate-amended bill “makes it crystal clear that no one in the Virginia government ‘shall aid an agency of the United States in the unlawful detention of any United States citizen’ under the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Truly, such detentions would be unlawful just as the bill states,” Marshall said.

“I particularly want to thank the Japanese American Citizens League, which sent a letter to each senator telling them the story of the terrible detention of over 110,000 Japanese Americans during World War II as ‘suspected enemy aliens.’  The letter concludes: “Virginia has the opportunity to stand up to an unjust application of Congressional authority.  The American people need somebody to stand up against this injustice.  HB 1160 is a tool that does just that; it stands up for the American people by respecting the basic principles of the Constitution.”  I am proud to stand with these patriotic Americans.”

The Senate’s clarifying amendment reads: “Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, no agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or employee of same acting in his official capacity, shall aid an agency of the United States in the unlawful detention of any United States citizen pursuant to 50 U.S.C. §1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (P.L. 112-81, § 1021).”

A House vote is expected tomorrow or Thursday.


Delegate Bob Marshall's contact information:

Mobile telephone – (703) 853-4213

Capitol telephone – (804) 698-1013 (during General Assembly sessions)

E-mail addresses – and


Personhood Measure: What's it mean?

For your informationAttention: Editors, News Directors and Reporters

Richmond, Virginia Editorial Monday, February 20, 2012

Personhood Measure: What's it mean?

Any attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade would quickly collapse unless the courts, including the Supreme Court, are willing.

There is — to put it mildly — a slight difference of opinion about the scope of HB1, the personhood amendment sponsored by Del. Bob Marshall. Abortion-rights advocates call it nothing less than an attempt to outlaw all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. Republican supporters of the measure say all it does is permit civil lawsuits against individuals who harm a fetus either through negligence or by assaulting the mother.

Who is right?

The bill does stipulate that life begins at conception and confers on unborn children "at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this Commonwealth." That language may create, to use a cliché popular in Capitol Square, a camel's nose under the tent.But — and this is a big but — the rest of that sentence reads: "… subject only to the Constitution of the United States and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court and specific provisions to the contrary in the statutes and constitution of this Commonwealth."

In other words: Nothing in the bill supersedes any existing law.

Granted, if the personhood measure becomes law a rogue commonwealth's attorney might try to use it as a lever to overturn the entire edifice of abortion rights, including Roe v. Wade . But any such attempt would quickly collapse unless the courts themselves, including the Supreme Court, are willing to overturn Roe v. Wade.

And if that is the case, then HB1 is the last thing abortion-rights advocates need worry about.

Delegate Bob Marshall's contact information:

Mobile telephone – (703) 853-4213

Capitol telephone – (804) 698-1013 (during General Assembly sessions)


Black, Marshall, Team up to Bar Obamacare State Tax Increases

“In moving to block two of the 20 tax increases imposed by Obamacare, Sen. Black and Del. Marshall have distinguished themselves as taxpayer heroes" -Grover Norquist RICHMOND – Sen. Dick Black (R., Leesburg) and Del. Bob Marshall (R., Manassas) have joined forces in the Virginia General Assembly to protect Virginia taxpayers’ pocketbooks from two Obamacare tax increases costly to family budgets. By following the normal practice of conforming to federal tax law Virginia citizens income taxes will be automatically increased. SB 673 prevents this back-door, defacto move to raise taxes without accountability or transparency.

Sen. Black is the chief patron of Senate Bill 673, which would amend the Code of Virginia to “deconform” the Commonwealth’s tax rules from the federal tax increases contained in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Del. Marshall is the chief House patron of SB673. The Obamacare tax increases will go into effect without passage of SB 673.

The Black-Marshall legislation will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee at 9 a.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 8th) in Senate Room B of the General Assembly Building.

According to The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank, the tax increases targeted in SB 673 are among a number of tax increases contained in Obamacare that will cost American taxpayers $503 billion from 2010 to 2019. They will slow economic growth, reduce employment and suppress wages.

SB 673, if enacted, would permit Virginians to continue to deduct from their state income tax returns unreimbursed medical expenses of over 7.5%. Under Obamacare, Virginians could only deduct itemized medical expenses over 10% to qualify for a deduction. The Black-Marshall bill, also would allow Virginians to continue to deduct the full amount of their contributions to flex spending accounts up to $5,000. Obamacare caps such tax deductible contributions at only $2,500.

The reduction of both of these deductions will result in a higher taxable income for Virginians and therefore failure to pass SB 673 will mean higher taxes for Virginians.

“Sen. Black and Del. Marshall are taking a bold stand in defense of Virginia taxpayers, currently scheduled to face the largest federal tax increase in U.S. history in less than 12 short months,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said.

“In moving to block two of the 20 tax increases imposed by Obamacare, Sen. Black and Del. Marshall have distinguished themselves as taxpayer heroes and have taken one of the most significant steps of any lawmakers in the country to protect their constituents from the onslaught of tax increases coming from Washington.”

The Black-Marshall proposal “would help mitigate the adverse economic impact of this tax tsunami for Virginians,” Norquist said. “Their legislation is a positive step in curbing the federal outreach and job-killing tax increases signed into law by President Obama. It is a model for state legislators across the country to follow.”

FOR RELEASE: On Receipt [February 7, 2012] CONTACT: Senator Black, (804) 698-7513 Delegate Marshall, (804) 698-1013


Marshall Joins U.S. Supreme Court Brief Charging Misuse of Census

? NEWS - FOR RELEASE: On Receipt (January 19, 2012) Louisiana v. Bryson et al MARSHALL JOINS U.S. SUPREME COURT BRIEF ALLEGING MISUSE OF CENSUS Alleges Obama Administration Is Violating Constitution, Laws in Counting Illegal Aliens

Del. Bob Marshall (R, 13th) has joined in a “friend of the court” brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Louisiana’s effort to file a “fast track” lawsuit challenging the Obama Administration’s decision to count millions of illegal aliens in the 2010 national census.

Louisiana state officials contend that their state unconstitutionally and unlawfully lost a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives because data from the 2010 Census was used that includes non-resident immigrants living illegally in the United States.

“This case strikes at the very heart of the representative government we Americans hold dear,” Marshall said. “Our Constitution and our laws don’t grant equal representation to those who come here illegally and flagrantly violate that same Constitution and those same laws.”

Louisiana officials argue that counting illegal aliens in the census favors states with high numbers of undocumented immigrants living illegally within their borders, thus shifting political power by skewing population-based apportionment of the House’s 435 seats among the 50 states.

Census data also is the basis for apportioning congressional, legislative and local voting districts within states, as well as distributing federal grants to states and localities, and allocating states’ votes for president in the Electoral College, which will decide whether Obama wins another White House term in the Nov. 6 general election.

Technically, Louisiana officials are invoking a provision in the Constitution allowing them to bypass lower federal courts to file the lawsuit directly with the Supreme Court because of time constraints regarding this year’s fast-approaching congressional primary and general elections.

Listed with Marshall in the Supreme Court brief are 12 non-profit social welfare and educational organizations and foundations; state legislators from Oklahoma, Maryland, Washington State and Wyoming; and Montana candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

The brief was filed Friday [Jan. 13] by Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson of a Vienna, Va., law firm specializing in constitutional law.  Titus was founding dean of Regent University's School of Law in Virginia Beach. Olson is a former chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee.

Defendants in the lawsuit are U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, U.S. Census Director Robert Groves, and House Clerk Karen Lehman Haas.

• • • Delegate Bob Marshall's contact information:

Response to 9/8/11 ObamaCare Ruling

Three Democrat appointed federal judges ruled today that Virginia and its citizens have no rights they can vindicate in federal court, recalling to mind the actions of British King George III, who “abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection” (Declaration of Independence).  Their decision is at fundamental odds with legitimate, constitutional government. While the Federal Fourth Circuit acknowledged that “Congress has imposed a potentially ‘harsh regime’ on some taxpayers,” which poses questions of “unusual legal, economic and political significance,” it still held that neither states such as Virginia, nor citizens may legally challenge the imposition of a congressional statute which Congress’ own Research Service concludes has no precedent in American history.*

The three federal judges appointed by Presidents Obama and Clinton claim that “a state has no interest in the rights of its individual  citizens sufficient to justify such an invasion of federal sovereignty.”  (Virginia v. Sebelius)

It also dismissed individual Virginia citizens’ challenge (Liberty University v. Geithner) to the novelties of ObamaCare when the court inexplicably mischaracterized health insurance premiums paid to private companies as a tax.

Founding Father, and Federalist Paper author Alexander Hamilton, a delegate to both the Constitutional Convention and the ratifying convention in New York, affirmed states have the constitutional right to file suits in federal court to protect citizens.  In my Fourth Circuit amicus brief I noted:

“... state legislatures will always be: ‘not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens, against encroachments from the Federal government [who] will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rules and will be ready enough, if anything improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people and not only to be the VOICE but if necessary the ARM of their discontent.’ [A. Hamilton, Federalist No. 26, G. Carey & J. McClellan, edts., The Federalist, p. 134 (1990) (capitalization original, bold added).  See also A. Hamilton, Federalist No. 28, p. 141.]”

On April 4, 2011, I filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit which was joined in by several organizations on behalf of their members.  The panel’s opinion paid no attention to the authorities in that brief (at page 4), including my reliance on Virginia James Madison’s view of the essential role of the state legislatures under the U.S. Constitution, a matter with which America’s “Father of the Constitution” had some familiarity:

The role of the federal judiciary, in confronting Congressional and Presidential fidelity or departure from the Constitution, was made clear to the People during the ratification debates.

“[I]n the case Congress shall misconstrue ... part of the Constitution, and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning ... the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts....” [J. Madison, Federalist No. 44, Id., p. 233.]

Even recent decisions of the Supreme Court have recognized the validity of dual sovereignty, residing both in the states and federal government.

Moreover, the panel ignored the Commonwealth’s enactment of the bill of which I was Chief Patron, the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act.  The judges believed it irrelevant that the Democratic Virginia Senate and Republican Virginia House of Delegates enacted a law signed by the Governor, which established that the individual mandate could not be constitutionally imposed on Virginians.

For citizens to place confidence in the decisions of federal courts, the People must have confidence that the federal judiciary bases its decision in the text and original meaning of the U.S. Constitution, and not just in prior judicial decisions which may have departed from that text.  The panel failed to do this and failed to even acknowledge that they understand the Founders’ original intent as expressed authoritatively by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

Of course, while I am disappointed, the panel’s opinion also disregarded other briefs against Obamacare filed by distinguished Americans such as former Attorney General Edwin Meese.

I urge Ken Cuccinelli, the distinguished Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to promptly seek a review of the panel’s opinion by the entire Fourth Circuit, or by the U.S. Supreme Court, as he deems appropriate.  There appears to be no reason to seek reconsideration by this panel which has strayed so far from the text of the Constitution in these decisions.

It would be unfortunate if politics had any part in this decision.  The Fourth Circuit panel was truly remarkable, for it included only judges appointed by Democratic Presidents — including two new judges who had only recently been appointed by President Obama:  Andre M. Davis of Maryland and James A. Wynn, Jr. of North Carolina.  Diana Gribbon Motz of Maryland was appointed by President Clinton.

************************************************************************* *Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius (Motz 09/08/2011), and Liberty University v. Timothy Geithner (Motz 09/08/2011).

Del. Bob Marshall’s Print & Audio Statement on Virginia’s Healthcare Lawsuit Decision


Del. Bob Marshall is hailing today’s U.S. District Court decision in a Virginia lawsuit declaring that the controversial federal health care reform law violates the United States Constitution.

“Judge Hudson’s ruling thwarts a power grab by the Obama Administration and Congress to extend their insidious reach further into our private lives,” Marshall (R., 13th) said.

“Clearly, Judge Hudson understands that the federal government can’t have it both ways in enforcing the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. It makes no sense, legally or otherwise, to expand federal authority over participating in interstate commerce to include those of us who choose not to participate.”

The federal law compels American citizens to contract for health insurance they do not want, do not need, or find morally objectionable. Persons who decline to buy the coverage face fines and imprisonment.

Marshall noted that Judge Hudson’s decision makes it virtually certain that the United States Supreme Court will take up the issue. Federal district judges in several other states already have issued contrary rulings. The Supreme Court usually hears cases in which judges in different federal districts issue conflicting decisions.

Early this year, Marshall, who represents Prince William and Loudoun Counties, was the principal House of Delegates patron of HB 10, the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act exempting state residents from the federal law. Marshall’s bill was passed by overwhelming votes in both houses of the General Assembly and was signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

HB 10 directly confronts Congress and President Obama on the issue of compelling American citizens to buy health insurance. It gave Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli the legal standing he needed to file the Commonwealth’s lawsuit on which Judge Hudson ruled today.

“The threat of heavy fines and jail time for failure to buy Obamacare health insurance is a power grab without practical limits and has no precedent in American history,” Marshall said. “It undermines our constitutional form of government, and is an affront to free men and women.”

“I introduced HB 10 to ensure a direct confrontation with Congress and President Obama on the federal health care law. I wanted Virginia to get into this very important fight, not avoid it.”

• • •

CONTACT: Bob Marshall, 703-853-4213 (cell) or 703-368-6306 (home)

Click here to read the court's full opinion in PDF format.

Click on the play button below to listen to Del. Marshall's Audio statement.