Arizona governor fails to stand up for Grand Canyon State citizens

PHOENIX (May 15, 2012) – Jan Brewer earned a big fat red F on Monday.

The Arizona governor failed to protect the basic due process rights of the citizens who put her in office. She failed to interpose on behalf of the people she serves and shield them from the specter of federal kidnapping. And she failed to stand up for the U.S. Constitution.

Gov. Brewer vetoed SB1182 on Monday. The bill passed by overwhelming majorities in both the Arizona House and Senate and would have prohibited state compliance with detention without due process provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act.

In her veto letter, Brewer asserted that the law would put Arizona law enforcement officers between a rock and a hard place.

While I unequivocally support the due process rights of all United States citizens, I cannot support legislation that forces law enforcement – under the threat of criminal penalty – to choose between upholding the constitution and laws of the United States, and abiding by the laws of Arizona.

SB1182 sponsor Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake) said Brewer sets up a false dichotomy.


ACTION ALERT: NC to Vote on anti-NDAA Resolution

The proposed Resolution to be introduced in the “short session” of the North Carolina General Assembly convening on May 16by Rep. Glen Bradley  states:
…” opposition to the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012 which authorized Military Detention and Trial of United States citizens and lawful residents in direct violation of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of North Carolina.”

The Resolution further asserts:
Whereas, the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 9, Clause 2, states:

“The Privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it;” and Whereas, the North Carolina Declaration of Rights, Article I, Section 21, Inquiry into restraints on liberty, states:

General Assembly of North Carolina Session 2011 Page 2 2011-LG-149 [v.7] (02/09)
“Every person restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy to inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the restraint if unlawful, and that remedy shall not be denied or delayed. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended;” and


Governor Christie Vetoes Health Care Exchange…for Now

On Thursday, May 12, Governor Christie vetoed A2171/S1393, the New Jersey Health Benefit Exchange Act. The governor waited until the last day to exercise his veto power, and up until that time, individuals and organizations in support and opposition to the bill were unsure what his decision would be.

There has been a great deal of commentary on Governor Christie’s veto of A2171, but the Governor provided an explanation of his actions on his page. I give credit to the governor for his diplomacy when he refers to the “significant public debate and discourse” that occurred during the federal government’s passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Congress went out of their way to suppress debate on the bill and rush it through, complete with hastily scribbled hand corrections. As Nancy Pelosi put it, we had to pass it before we found out what was in it…but I digress.


Does Heritage Understand the Constitution?

Recently, I came across this piece from Heritage ,which makes many misleading assertions regarding “nullification”. On many issues Heritage is a “good guy.” Sadly this is not one of them. From their commentary, it appears that they cannot, under any circumstances, allow any cracks in the veneer of authority that D.C. has crafted.

I thought I would give a shot at a point by point refutation.

HERITAGE:  “Nullification Is Unconstitutional”  The Nullification Temptation: In order to challenge the federal government’s unconstitutional actions, states are looking for options to reassert their legitimate role in the constitutional structure of federalism. Unfortunately, despite good intentions, some have been tempted to embrace nullification—the claim that an individual state legislature has the authority to veto federal laws.

RESPONSE:  That is not strictly so, I will lay out what we at the Tenth Amendment Center consider to be “nullification”. If it did mean (literally) ” that an individual state legislature has the authority to veto federal laws,”  then I suppose I would agree that nullification was a bad idea and illegal. That is not, however, and never has been, what nullification is. The most assertive version of nullification is a state law that makes enforcement of an unconstitutional federal act illegal within the state, and sets penalties for any official who attempts to do so.  A veto, by comparison, would literally make the law null and void in every state in the union, and even make it cease to exist.  Such a view would be empowering one state to rule the country.  See the difference?

HERITAGE: Supreme Law of the Land: At the center of our system of government is the United States Constitution: All federal and state officers and judges are bound by oath to support it and the laws of the United States made in pursuance thereof. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land—not the Supreme Court, the federal government, or an individual state legislature, for that matter.


Republicans Help Save the Economic Development Administration

Last week, I blogged on a pending vote in the House on an amendment introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to eliminate funding for the Economic Development Administration. Unfortunately, the amendment failed today on a vote of 129-279. All 175 Democrats voting joined 104 Republicans in keeping the EDA alive. A single Democrat voting to axe a government…