House File 419 was introduced by Wagner, Huseman, De Boef, Klein, Paustian, Chambers, Pearson and would establish a commission to monitor federal actions affecting the … “state that require or would require this state or a state officer to execute or enforce a provision of federal law that violates the Constitution of the State of Iowa or that lies outside the federal government’s enumerated powers under the Constitution of the United States and intrudes on the sovereignty reserved to the states …”
The proposed bill points to numerous objections to unconstitutional actions by the federal government, here are just a few:
The Constitution of the United States enumerates certain specific powers delegated to the federal government.
The Ninth amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Tenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “The powers not delegated to the 4 United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The general assembly finds all of the following regarding the role of the federal government relative to the states:
- The state of Iowa is not bound in unlimited submission to the federal government. Under the style and title of the Constitution of the United States, and of the amendments to that constitution, the states constituted a federal government for special purposes and delegated to that government certain definite powers while generally reserving to each state the right to self-government that is controlled by the people.
- Whenever the federal government assumes powers not delegated to it by the states, the assumption of those powers should not be considered authoritative, but instead should be considered as void and having no force and effect. The Constitution of the United States provides a compact to which Iowa and each other state acceded as a state, and to which each is an integral party. The federal government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to the federal government, since that conclusion would substitute the federal government’s judgment about those powers for the enumeration of powers in the Constitution of the United States. Instead, as in all other compacts between parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself whether there is an infraction and the mode and measure of redress of the infraction.
House File 419 would establish a 12 member commission to advise the General Assembly on federal actions that they determine either violates or would cause violation of the U.S. Constitution or the Constitution of Iowa. If a majority of the commission agrees, the commission shall “… introduce a joint resolution in the chamber selected by the commission to declare the government action described in the finding to be null and void and unenforceable as the government action applies to the state of Iowa.”
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.”
The bill was submitted last year, but languished in a subcommittee ever since. Recent actions by the federal government, most notably the passage of the NDAA with its provisions for infinite detention of citizens, make it seem like a good time to move the bill onto the floor for a vote.
To see the TAC Tenth Amendment Commission model legislation, click HERE.
Visit the TACs legislative tracking page HERE
If you live in Iowa – act NOW. Not tomorrow or next week. Today, not tomorrow – right now.
1. Visit the link below for contact information for your legislator:
2. Click on your legislator’s name and get their email address and TWO phone numbers – capitol and district offices.
3. CALL them. Best option – respectfully, yet firmly urge them to pass this bill. Let them know that you want them to stand up for the Constitution of the United States AND the Constitution of Iowa – they took an oath to both.
4. EMAIL them – even if call, you can still email too. Or just send them a firm but courteous email urging them to vote yes on this bill.
5. Do the same for the Governor’s office – (515) 281-5211
6. Report Back – when you get responses, let us know! We want people to be informed of what their delegates are saying and doing.