Tennessee Nullification Bill Fighting for Life

Tennessee NDAA Nullification bill appears dead, but general nullification bill could take its place

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 12, 2012) – The Tennessee Law Enforcement Notification Act died a political death by amendment in committee late last month.

The original bill would have effectively nullified provisions for detention without due process written into the National Defense Authorization Act, and would have also require federal agents making an arrest in the Volunteer State for any reason to first obtain written permission from the county sheriff. It would have also made it possible for state law enforcement to charge federal agents attempting to detain a person in Tennessee under the NDAA with kidnapping.

Both the Senate and House versions of the bill went up in flames, failing to garner enough support to make headway in committee.

But in the ashes of HB2619/SB2669 rose amended legislation that would still give the Volunteer State a powerful weapon against not only detention provisions in the NDAA, but any unconstitutional federal act.

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Arizona governor vetoes sheriffs first bill

PHOENIX (April 12, 2012) – For all of her bluster and finger-shaking at  President Obama, it appears Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s commitment to the Tenth Amendment and state self-sufficiency only goes so far.

Citing the need to cooperate with “federal partners,” the Arizona governor vetoed HB2434 , which would have affirmed the county sheriffs as the chief constitutional law enforcement officers in the state and required federal law enforcement officers to notify them before taking any action in the county.

“This legislation has the potential to interfere with law enforcement investigations and adds unneeded reporting requirements for law enforcement. Rather than hinder the efforts of our federal law enforcement colleagues, we need to focus on collaboration,” she wrote in her veto letter. “Establishing arbitrary reporting requirements for our federal partners takes us in the wrong direction.”

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Missouri House Moving Forward on State Sovereignty Legislation

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” – The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

As the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states, the Tenth Amendment serves to define federal power as that which is specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States – and no more! The United States Supreme Court even went so far as to rule in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states. But lately, the states are increasingly being treated as agents of the federal government, with many federal mandates standing in direct violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

But under HCR:7, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives “hereby claims sovereignty for the State of Missouri under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall serve as a notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally-delegated powers; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.

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The First State Needs to Act Like a State

Amid the chatter among fellow Tenth Amendment Center contributors, it came up in conversation that Delaware currently lacks a Tenth Amendment Center state chapter.  This was while discussing an article in the Examiner about a bill in the Delaware House that would essentially do the opposite of the Sheriffs First model legislation advocated on the Tenth Amendment Center website.

Delaware, as far as the Tenth Amendment Center’s legislative tracking goes, shows only two pieces of legislation on record, with very different results for the two bills.  HB353, the Health Care Freedom Act, was introduced March 30, 2010, and didn’t get any further than that.  The bill has not been reintroduced in any subsequent legislative session.  The other, SB17, legalized marijuana for medicinal use; it passed both the House and Senate by considerable majorities and was signed into law May 13, 2011.  Delaware, like New Jersey, apparently can pass Tenth Amendment related legislation when their officials feel the situation calls for it.  Unfortunately, that situation doesn’t seem to come along very often.

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arizona-welcome

It’s Sheriffs First in Arizona!

A short piece of legislation recently passed by the Arizona legislature makes a big statement.

HB2434 affirms the sheriffs of Arizona as the supreme constitutional law enforcement officers in their counties and serves notice to the federal government that it must work through them to exercise their limited powers.

The bill simply states that:

A. Before taking any official law enforcement action in a county in this state, a federal law enforcement officer shall notify the sheriff of the county, unless the notification would impede the federal officer’s duties.

B. If a federal law enforcement officer does not notify the sheriff pursuant to subsection A. of this section, the federal law enforcement officer shall notify the sheriff of the county as soon as practicable after taking the action.

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missouri-welcome

Missouri House Committee Votes to Nullify Obamacare

Missouri’s HB:1534, also known as the Federal Health Care Reform Law, declares the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as unauthorized by the United States Constitution. Furthermore, language utilized in the bill creates criminal penalties for persons enforcing or attempting to enforce the act…

According to Article 1 of the Missouri Constitution, the purpose of the government is to protect the rights and property of the people, and that neither other states nor the general government has the right to regulate their internal affairs. So it seems pretty clear that Missouri Government isn’t supposed to allow tyranny to proceed unchecked, but should be working to protect its citizens from the abuses of Big Government. Because of this, passionate supporters of HB:1534 spoke at a recent hearing not only about the unconstitutionality of the Federal Health Care Reform Law, but that Missouri citizens shouldn’t be required to accept health care that includes provisions that they are morally or religiously opposed to. Additionally, there was the thought that people should be free to opt out of certain services and providers. Testifying for the bill were Representative Bahr; James Coyne, Mid-Missouri Patriots; Ron Calzone, Missouri First; and Missouri Right to Life.

However, those who opposed HB:1534 noted that access to affordable health care is vital to people living with certain diseases, such as AIDS and HIV. And rather than encourage individual responsibility, such opposition believed that robust Governmental measures are necessary in order to protect life and prevent the further transmission of dangerous diseases. Testifying against the bill was Gretchen Waddell of the Missouri AIDS Task Force.

Meanwhile, others like Dave Roland of the Freedom Center of Missouri, noted that when the United States Constitution was ratified, several states demanded that certain rights be protected, such as a state’s ability to reject certain federal actions.

As a result, the Committee on General Laws voted “do pass” by a vote of 5 to 4 on March 29, 2012.

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Forbes: Nullification Is “Loopy”

In an unintentionally funny aside in an article at Forbes.com, a guy named Richard Salsman (who runs an investment research firm) condemns nullification in the most uncomprehending words — and as someone who’s written a book on the subject, I can tell you this is quite a feat.

(If you are unfamiliar with nullification, here’s what it’s all about.)

He tells us: “Such hostility to the judiciary today isn’t found only in Mr. Obama and his ilk or in the Democratic Party, but also in the Jeffersonian libertarians, as is obvious in the works of Thomas Woods and Andrew Napolitano, which defend the Jeffersonian notion of ‘nullification’ (a loopy, anarchic idea that says juries, legislators, and executive branch officials can decide on their own what’s constitutional, and thus can ignore, defy or nullify’ rulings by courts and judges).”

So he speaks of this “loopy” idea without once using the word “states”! This is his level of knowledge. Juries is one thing — there he’s just confusing state nullification with jury nullification, which of course (as I note in my 33 Questions) the Founding Fathers also supported. But legislators and executive branch officials? Does he mean federal or state? He never says. If federal, then he is confusing nullification with concurrent review, another Jeffersonian position.  (Concurrent review holds that all three branches, not just the judicial, have a responsibility to determine the constitutionality of proposed federal activities.) And of course if he means federal, then one might cite both Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln as fairly well known fellows who had a different view from that of Richard Salsman.

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A Question of Supremacy

In the latest attack on States passing resolutions or bills they perceive as unconstitutional actions by the federal government, Benjamin Wittes article Does the Virginia Federal Assembly Understand the Supremacy Clause in LawFare state, “I’ve been doing my best to ignore to the hysterical, paranoid, delusional howls of rage on both the Right and the Left about the NDAA, but they are starting to reach critical mass in a way that one ignores at one’s own peril.”

What seems to have prompted this article was the recent passage by Virginia of a bill stating that officials of Virginia would not comply with Articles 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA passed by Congress which does not exclude citizens from possible arrest and indefinite detention by the Military on orders of the President.  He goes on the state, “I have one question about this bill—which passed the House of Delegates on 96-to-4 vote and passed the Senate on a 38-to-1 vote: Do any of the members who voted for it remember that the federal Constitution contains a Supremacy Clause—which elevates an act of Congress just a wee bit over ‘any regulation of the Virginia Administrative Code’?”

His argument seems to be based solely on the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution which states;

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. (Emphasis added)

Since the “Supremacy Clause” is used to justify numerous actions by the federal government and to oppose any assertion by the states that they could nullify those actions then let’s focus solely on that argument.

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