The Associated Press January 26, 2011, 8:17AM ET

Idaho AG: Efforts to nullify health reform illegal

The Idaho attorney general has concluded that efforts to reject federal health care reform through the 18th-century doctrine of nullification are unconstitutional.

Some Idaho Republicans are pushing this idea, something Thomas Jefferson espoused in 1799 to argue that states could reject federal laws they found to violate the U.S. Constitution.

But a Democratic legislator asked the AG's office for its opinion on the theory.

In a four-page letter obtained by the Idaho Statesman, however, Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane wrote that the Constitution doesn't allow states to "pick and choose" which federal laws to follow.

Proponents of the legislation, due out Wednesday, were undaunted, saying Kane hadn't seen their specific bill.

Republican Sen. Monty Pearce says the bill will go ahead, as planned, in the House State Affairs Committee.


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