Arizona “Neutralization” Bill Offers a Nullification Power Punch

In March of 2011, Governor Herbert of Utah signed House Bill 76. This law provides additional funding for the state’s Constitutional Defense Commission and give it the authority to try negotiation and mediation before taking the federal government to court over federal law that has been deemed unconstitutional in regard to powers given to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution. This gives Utah state legislators a clear path to challenge unconstitutional federal law and, hopefully, sends a message to federal lawmakers.

This year, along with many other pending bills that challenge federal authority in the state, Arizona has introduced SB 1358 (neutralization; federal laws). This short piece of legislation packs a powerful punch. Like the Utah legislation, if signed into law, the bill will allow for a committee (the Joint Legislative Committee on Neutralization of Federal Laws) to be established. This committee will not only review new federal legislation (within 30 days of its passing), but also review all existing federal statutes, mandates, and executive orders for the purpose of determining their constitutionality, and can recommend them for neutralization as well. Unlike the Utah law, however, after committee recommendation, a simple majority vote by the state legislature on the grounds of constitutionality is all that is necessary for neutralization. If that occurs, the bill mandates that the state and its citizens “shall not recognize or be obligated to live under the statute, mandate or executive order.”

Senator Lori Klein, who drafted the bill, stated, “We have in Washington a particularly overreaching administration as well as regulations that are coming out of agencies that are not even mandated from Congress. The states have a right to stand up to these kinds of onerous regulations.”  The bill itself contains strong wording in regard to its purpose, “This act serves as a notice and demand to the government to cease and desist all activities outside of the scope of their constitutionally designated powers that diminishes the balance of powers as established.”

Details

Oklahoma joins fight against NDAA detention

OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 3, 2012) – A fourth state has entered the fight against detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act.

On Monday, Oklahoma Rep. Charles Key (R-Oklahoma City) will officially file a resolution that would petition Congress and Pres. Obama to repeal sec. 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA, and declare the detention provisions null and void in the Sooner State.

“President Barack Obama has said he would not hold citizens indefinitely; it is deplorable that he would sign into law legislation that contains clauses that would authorize him to do just that,” Key said. “Oklahomans have taken notice of this repugnant new law and as state lawmakers it is our duty to apply pressure to Congress and the president to undo this debacle.”

Details

Washington State: Marijuana Regulation Measure Certified For 2012 Ballot

Washington State legislators have approved a statewide initiative for possible November ballot that would allow the legalization of small amounts of marijuana by adults.

New Approach Washington raised over 350,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for this year’s ballot in November. Backers include two former US Attorneys from the Bush and Clinton administrations and Seattle FBI agent-in-charge. This initiative must go to the Legislature where they must either pass the measure as written, allow it to go on the ballot after either ignoring it or rejecting it, or finally put it on the ballot with a legislative alternative.

The main goals as stated in Initiative 502 would require the state to license and regulate marijuana the same as hard liquor and:
… stop treating adult marijuana use as a crime and try a new approach that:
(1) Allows law enforcement resources to be focused on violent and property crimes;
(2) Generates new state and local tax revenue for education, health care, research, and substance abuse prevention; and
(3) Takes marijuana out of the hands of illegal drug organizations and brings it under a tightly regulated, state-licensed system similar to that for controlling hard alcohol.

This measure authorizes the state liquor control board to regulate and tax marijuana for persons twenty-one years of age and older, and add a new threshold for driving under the influence of marijuana.

This is a step in the right direction taken by the citizens of Washington State to decide for themselves what should or should not be a legal activity in their state. If passed this November it would put Washington State in conflict with federal laws where it is still illegal to use, buy and sell marijuana.

Details