The Georgia legislature will consider a bill creating a Constitutional Guardian Advisory Council during the upcoming session.
HB670 would establish a 12 member council to advise the Governor and the General Assembly on issues including the constitutionality of federal laws; the feasibility of challenging federal acts relating to water use, EPA regulations, land management regulations and federal intervention that would damage the state’s mining, timber and agricultural industries; and whether federal acts fall within the enumerated powers of the Constitution.
The council would serve an advisory role and would have no power to enforce its recommendations. The bill is a “light” version of the Tenth Amendment Center’s 10th Amendment Commission model legislation, which creates a similar panel, but goes a step further empowering the body to “issue edicts with the force of law, requiring that no state or local officials, employees, or contractors cooperate in the enforcement of such usurpation, and urging state citizens to also refuse to cooperate.”
Rep. Joseph Clark (R-Buford) sponsors the Georgia bill.
The act finds its roots in the the framers’ view that the state government should serve as a check on federal power. The bill spells out certain state responsibilities in relation to the federal government.
The General Assembly finds the following fundamental, constitutional duties of the states, as evidenced by the framers of the Constitution.
1. Be the ‘sure guardians of the people’s liberty (James Madison).
2. Prevent the federal government from overpassing their constitutional limits (Alexander Hamilton).
3. Erect barriers at the constitutional line as cannot be surmounted either by themselves or by the General Government (Thomas Jefferson).
4. Jealously and closely watch the [federal] government, and be able to resist . . . every assumption of power, [better] than any other power on earth can do. (James Madison).
The General Assembly further finds that, in the words of framer John Dickinson, “it will be their own FAULTS, if the several states suffer the federal sovereignty to interfere in the things of their respective jurisdictions.”
Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin says Georgia, along with every other state in the Union, needs to take every step possible to rein in federal abuse of power.
“This bill is about the state of Georgia stepping up to try to get a little Constitutional enforcement. For decades, all three branches of the federal government have utterly failed in this role, so this comes none too soon.”
To see the TAC Tenth Amendment Commission model legislation, click HERE.
Visit the TACs legislative tracking page HERE
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