PA Tenth Amendment Legislation Status – June 19


The list below contains the Tenth Amendment related legislation which we are currently tracking in the Pennsylvania legislature. This week’s updates include:

  • SB3 was approved by the Senate and introduced into the House Insurance Committee.
  • HB1653 was introduced.
  • SB354 was passed out of committee.
  • SB355 and SB356 were added to our tracking.  These also passed out of committee this week.

Also, we have been advised by Representative Metcalfe’s office that his staff is working with Representative Tallman on an amendment to HB852 and we have been advised by Senator McIlhinney that, “Senate Resolution 9 will be scheduled for a vote out of the State Government Committee in the near future.”


Texans, You Have One More Shot At Anti-TSA Bill

by Mac Slavo

After making national headlines last month the Texas anti-TSA legislation that aimed to prevent intrusive touching by agents of the Federal government through criminal prosecution under Texas State law went down in flames once the Department of Justice stepped in and threatened a no-fly zone over the state.

The outcry from Texans, as well as the rest of the nation, was apparently heard by legislators, and Texas may get another shot:

It’s now up to Texas Gov. Rick Perry to rescue the nation’s travelers from the indignity of x-rated airport screening at the hands of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). On Tuesday, a state House of Representatives committee is scheduled to consider revised legislation holding blue-gloved bureaucrats criminally liable for grabbing the private parts of passengers without probable cause or consent. For the measure to proceed further, however, Mr. Perry would have to formally add it to the list of bills considered during the special session now under way.

State Rep. David P. Simpson, the bill’s author, believes that ought to be the natural thing to do for Mr. Perry, author of the book, “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington.” Mr. Simpson’s legislation merely clarifies that federal agents do not have a blank check to violate the Lone Star State’s criminal statutes while acting without explicit orders from Congress – no such orders exist. “This is not nullification,” Mr. Simpson explained to The Washington Times. “There is no federal law we’re contravening. We’re seeking to protect the citizens of Texas from an overreach – literally – of a federal bureaucracy that’s gone wild.”

TSA is so brazen that the most perverted aspect of the job has become a selling point used in advertisements: “A career where x-ray vision and federal benefits come standard – become a Transportation Security Officer.”

Source: Washington Times

The Campaign for Liberty urged residents of Texas to take immediate action on the issue via an email alert:


Congressmen File Lawsuit To Stop Obama’s Violations Of War Powers Act

House Speaker John A. Boehner, warned President Obama on Tuesday that unless he gets authorization from Congress for his military deployment in Libya, he will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution.  If you are asking yourself, “What?  Did he say Obama will be in violation?” you are not alone.   It is true that the War Powers Act of 1973 states the president may not send troops into combat for more than 90 days total, without the express consent of Congress, but it also says that  the president would have had to seek authorization from Congress within 60 days from the initiation of the military action.  That deadline came and went and not one did anything.  The message was sent loud and clear; Mr. Obama can act like a dictator and Congress is not likely to stop him.   Now, many are scratching their heads wondering what Boehner intends to do when Obama ignores or sidesteps yet another idle effort at getting him to follow the Constitution.   In his letter, sent Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Boehner, said Mr. Obama must provide a clear justification by Friday for committing troops to Libya. Sunday marks the 90th day since the military involvement was initiated by the president.

The fact of the matter is that President Obama would not be in violation of the law as of Sunday, he has been in violation of the law, and of the Constitution for quite some time just on this issue alone.  Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution expressly requires the authorization of Congress before a president can commit the nation to war.  This means that a president cannot engage the nation’s troops in military action and then a few weeks later simply notify Congress about it.  There is a difference between letting someone know and asking permission.  Either way, many suspect that most members of Congress for whatever reason lack what it takes to require the president to comply with the law of the land.


Texas Officials vs the TSA: Your Help is Needed Now!

from an update sent by State Rep. David Simpson

I am writing to ask that you consider asking the Governor to add HB 41 (and SB 29) formerly HB 1937 (the anti-groping bill) to the call for the special session.

The time is very short. I expect the special session to wind down next week. Senator Patrick has asked the Gov. to add it and has the votes. The Lt. Gov. has asked for it to be added to the call. I have 112 coauthors in the House and it passed out of committee unanimously, and I have asked for it to be added to the call. If the Gov. just led on the issue, it would fly through and demonstrate his courage to stand up for the common man, for dignity, for freedom, for the Constitution.

The Governor is considering adding the legislation to the call today according to his legislative director. He could possibly add it next week, but we are down to the wire.

The legislation has been blessed of God every step of the way, overcoming great odds but with unanimous support, at every step so far. I am looking to the Lord who parts the Red Sea and who gets glory by showing his mighty hand.

A timely call right now would be huge.


Dems find courage, conviction and common sense in Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich’s anti-war Resolution might be the moment on which the Democrats can regroup and even begin again. Just weeks ago, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made the following statement after his resolution, H. Con. Res. 51, to end the war in Libya was pulled from the Floor calendar and postponed:
“I am disappointed that the President and leadership feel the need to buy even more time to shore up support for the War in Libya. It’s not surprising that some are now wondering if a preliminary vote count on my resolution came out in favor of defending the Constitution.”

Been a long time coming. A turning seemed to be ahead five years ago when Marcos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos and a commentator at The Hill, talked of a new generation rising in the Democratic party with former governor, now Virginia senator, Mark Warner and Virginia Senator Jim Webb. But conservatives stole the agrarian fire.

Problem was the Clintons, said Kos. “ . . . the New York senator is part of a failed Democratic Party establishment — led by her husband — that enabled the George W. Bush presidency and the Republican majorities, and all the havoc they have wreaked at home and abroad,” he wrote in the Washington Post on May 7, 2006.

Will these Clinton-era Democrats never go away, asked Kos on his famous blog?


Texas vs TSA: Will Rick Perry do What’s Right?

by Tim Shoemaker, cross-posted from Campaign for Liberty It all comes down to one man, TX Gov. Rick Perry. Earlier this year, the Texas House passed State Rep. David Simpson’s bill to protect traveler’s dignity and basic civil rights by clarifying that TSA employees do not have immunity from TX criminal code simply because they…


Shooting for State Sovereignty

by Ilya Shapiro, cross-posted from Cato-at-Liberty

On October 1, 2009, Montana passed the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, the purpose of which was to regulate guns manufactured and kept within Montana state lines under a less restrictive regulatory regime than federal law provides. That same day, to ensure that Montanans could enjoy the benefits of this less restrictive state regulation, the Montana Shooting Sports Association filed a declaratory judgment claim in federal court.

The lawsuit’s importance is not limited to Montana, as seven other states have passed laws similar to the MFFA and 20 states have introduced such legislation. The goal here is to reinforce state regulatory authority over commerce that is by definition intrastate, to take back some of the ground occupied by modern Commerce Clause jurisprudence.

The district court granted the government’s motion to dismiss, however, and MSSA appealed to the Ninth Circuit. Now on appeal, Cato has joined the Goldwater Institute to file an amicus brief supporting the MSSA and arguing that federal power does not preempt Montana’s ability to exercise its sovereign police powers to facilitate the exercise of individual rights protected by the Second and Ninth Amendments. More specifically, for federal law to trump the MFFA, the government must claim that the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses give it the power to regulate wholly intrastate manufacture, sale, and possession of guns, which MSSA argues is a state-specific market distinct from any related national one.