The Texas legislature, back in action for the first time since the 2009 legislative session, is getting things rolling in regards to 10th Amendment legislation for the 2011 session. Two resolutions affirming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment were prefiled on the first possible day, 11-08-10.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 (SCR1) was introduced by Senator Glenn Hegar, and House Concurrent Resolution 16 (HCR16) was introduced by Representative Brandon Creighton, whose HCR50 brought the issue and the discussion to the national limelight in 2009.
Both include similar language to assert a proper constitutional role for the state, such as:
The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more
RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers
SCR1 takes a stronger position and alludes to a proper next step for the State, including:
RESOLVED, That the power over the freedom of the right to keep and bear arms was reserved to the states, and therefore, all acts of Congress to abridge that right are not law and are void; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed;
Since 2009, fourteen states have passed such resolution, and it’s expected that many more will be considering them along with Texas in 2011.
These non-binding resolutions do not carry the force of law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement of the legislature of the state. They play an important role, however.
First, they bring the issue to the public sphere. And they’re considered an important first step in the overall process of the 10th Amendment movement. For example, if you owned an apartment building and had a tenant not paying rent, you wouldn’t show up with an empty truck to kick them out without first serving notice. That’s how many view these Resolutions – as serving “notice and demand” to the Federal Government to “cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.”
What’s most important, is that they help create fertile ground for future actions. Follow-up, say supporters, is a must.
The Texas resolution is part of a growing grassroots movement in state legislatures across the country as a protest to the intrusion of the federal government into state government affairs, and is an essential first step towards efforts to push back, or nullify, unconstitutional federal laws and regulations.
CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s 10th amendment resolution tracking page
CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s model 10th Amendment Resolution, which you can send to your representatives when urging them to introduce one in your state.