3:02 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
The Obama administration is suddenly a champion of states' rights when it comes to the Ebola quarantine controversy.
“You could take that up with James Madison,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters inquiring about why there isn’t a sole national standard for isolating people who might have Ebola. “We have a federal system in this country in which states are given significant authority for governing their constituents. That is certainly true when it comes to public safety and public health.”
Even the Associated Press couldn't help but point out the hypocrisy. Directly after the Earnest quotation, reporter Josh Lederman wrote:
That's ironic, perhaps, coming from an administration that Republicans typically accuse of exceeding its legal authority on issues like immigration, health care and foreign policy.
Politico's commentary from the usually left-leaning constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley was also telling:
“It’s somewhat surprising to see the White House suddenly turning into a states’ rights organization in the Ebola controversy,” said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. “This is one of the most antagonistic administrations towards federalism principles in the history of this country.”
He added, “The Obama administration has been in court insisting health care is a federal matter and states have a limited role at best.”
The AP states that the governors' actions have "sowed confusion" among an "anxious" public. But federal government agencies have also sent mixed messages.
A dozen U.S. troops returning from West Africa are under quarantine in Italy per an Army directive. But the Army is the only military branch to mandate quarantine so far, and the White House refuses to give an opinion.
Meanwhile, CDC Director Tom Frieden said that some policies might "increas[e] the stigma" against health workers and "giv[e] false impressions" about how Ebola is spread.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also warned about the "unintended consequences" of a quarantine.
But both have acknowledged that the states are within their rights to "go the extra mile," as Fauci put it. However, Frieden chastised, we must ensure the health care workers are recognized as heroes and not turned into "pariahs" -- as if that is what the governors are actually doing to protect their residents.
And if that isn't ambiguous enough, some experts are declaring that the federal government does indeed have the right to supercede states' authority. From Politico:
Though asserting itself over states could cause the White House political and logistical headaches, Jennifer Nuzzo of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center explained that it was possible.
“If they want to, they could potentially say, you’re unnecessarily interfering with interstate travel,” she said. “What it amounts to is preventing states from taking action that would unduly affect interstate travel and trade.”
The bottom line: The White House could take unilateral action here, one way or the other, but it is deferring to the states for once, for the sole purpose of taking political cover. Confusing? Not really.
7:01 AM, Jul 28, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The New York Times has described M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber as “a card-carrying Democrat” whose “position as an adviser to the influential Congressional Budget Office also left him perfectly positioned to advise the White House on health reform.” Moreover, the Times writes, “After Mr. Gruber helped the administration put together the basic principles of the [Obamacare] proposal, the White House lent him to Capitol Hill to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.” Now it turns out that, as the Competitive Enterprise Institute has unearthed, Gruber told audiences as far back as early 2012 that Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded subsidies couldn’t flow through federally established exchanges, but only through state-established ones. More recently, Gruber has been singing a different tune, as legal challenges on that aspect of the law have proceeded.
4:09 PM, Oct 2, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The specter of municipal bankruptcies spreading across the land – especially in states like Illinois, California, and Michigan – has been out of mind of late. Pushed off the agenda by other crises. But it has not gone away even – or, perhaps, especially – in jurisdictions where the problem was thought to have been dealt with, if not actually solved.
Republican attorneys general: the unsung heroes in challenging the Obama agenda Jul 22, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 42 • By FRED BARNES
Can you name the attorney general of your state? I’m betting most folks can’t. There’s a reason. Campaigns for attorney general get scant media attention, causing voters to ignore down-ballot races. This is unfortunate, especially if you reside in a red state. Because in the past few years Republican attorneys general have become a growing force in national affairs. They’re not quite a conservative juggernaut, but they’re headed that way.
. . . to ‘free money’ for Medicaid expansion.
Dec 24, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 15 • By ANDREW B. WILSON
If someone who is sinking deeper and deeper into debt comes to you with an offer of “free money,” you would be best advised to:
(a) take the money and run,
8:05 PM, Nov 6, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Fox News projects Mitt Romney will win Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Obama, the cable news channel predicts, will win Illinois, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia.
6:00 AM, Nov 6, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Since the House passed Obamacare 961 days ago, on March 21, 2010 — two days before President Obama signed it into law — all eyes have been on November 6, 2012. As Bill Kristol wrote on March 22, 2010:
11:15 AM, Oct 18, 2012 • By ROBERT K. KELNER
In election law, as in so many things, the word “reform,” when associated with a new idea, is usually a sure sign that mischief is afoot.
7:15 PM, Oct 5, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
One month and one day before the most important presidential election in the past quarter of a century and perhaps in the past century and a quarter, Rasmussen Reports shows the race being about as even as it could possibly be. At this point, Rasmussen’s state-by-state polling shows that President Obama would win by the tally of 271 electoral votes to 267 for Mitt Romney.
12:00 AM, Aug 10, 2012 • By KATE HAVARD
A new study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds that, when it comes to “threatening or disruptive behavior,” union members have far more rights—or, at least, far more license—than their fellow Americans.
1:40 PM, Jun 14, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
We’re a long way from November 6 (145 days for those who are keeping score at home), but Rasmussen’s latest polling of likely voters in states across the land shows Mitt Romney currently leading President Barack Obama in the quest for electoral votes. In fact, if the 9 key swing states were each to go according to Rasmussen’s latest polling, a
And why it will be surprising if he wins in Louisiana — or Indiana.9:05 AM, Mar 21, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
While it’s clear that regional variations have played a role thus far in the Republican primaries — with Mitt Romney doing well in the Northeast but not in the South, for example — breaking down the contests along other lines might help shed some additional light on the race.
8:36 AM, Feb 23, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Most of the focus on public employee unions emphasizes the fact that states are going bankrupt and that states can’t continue to give these unions the almost obscene perks they have gotten in the past. But that misses the more fundamental point.