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The States' Rights Challenge

The Virginia Capitol in Richmond, Va., on March 4, 2010. Virginia is among the states challenging the federal health care reform law. (AP)

Before health care reform passed last weekend, Virginia and Idaho had already voted to defy the law. Now, dozens more states have movements to pick and choose elements, or reject it outright.

“States’ rights” is suddenly an opposition rallying cry. And not just on health care. On gay marriage and marijuana and gun laws, and more, states have been flexing their own authority.

Maybe it’s a source of creativity and strength. Maybe it’s a not-so-slow-motion rebellion.

This hour, On Point: states’ rights, in the health care debate and beyond.

Guests:

Reed Wilson, editor of Hotline On Call, a political blog of National Journal.

Thomas E. Woods, senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. He is the author of “Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse” and a forthcoming book on states’ rights called “Nullification.”

Neil Siegel, professor of law and political science at Duke University. He served as special counsel to then Senator Joseph R. Biden during the confirmation hearings of John G. Roberts and Samuel A. Alito and has clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and in the Office of the Solicitor General.

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Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

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