Civil Liberties

Is it Time for a State Repeal Amendment in Constitution?

Allow two-thirds of states to vote to repeal any federal law.


The fight over the health care bill has moved from the Supreme Court to the states. Many are refusing to implement the state-run health insurance exchanges which the legislation requires. This is only the latest squabble between states and the federal government over state sovereignty.

One possible solution: add a repeal amendment to the U.S. Constitution, one that would allow two-thirds of state legislatures to repeal any federal law or regulation they see fit. A repeal amendment would enhance federalism and make democracy more meaningful to citizens by bringing it closer to them.

When most people think of the government's separation of powers, they think of the three branches of the federal government—executive, judiciary, and legislative. In a federalist system such as ours, the separation of powers between the federal government itself and the states is just as important.