NDAA Nullification: Status of Bills Around the Country

Now that State legislative sessions for 2013 are starting to get underway, it’s a good time for a quick overview of who’s looking at bills to nullify NDAA kidnapping powers (the ones called “indefinite detention”).  In 2012, Virginia became the first state to pass a law along these lines.  And, while Arizona and Michigan were very close, they didn’t get to the finish line.  We expect those states – and many more – to consider bills in 2013.

Keep up to date with NDAA Nullification legislation around the country with the Tenth Amendment Center legislative tracking page HERE: http://tracking.tenthamendmentcenter.com/ndaa/

Here’s what’s happening so far:

In Texas, State Representative Lyle Larson introduced House Bill 149 (HB149), the Texas Liberty Preservation Act. This might be the strongest anti-NDAA bill introduced yet.  It states, in part:

Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. No. 112-81) violate portions of federal law, the United States Constitution, and the Texas Constitution and, as such, are invalid and illegal in this state.

It also, like Virginia’s law, requires full noncompliance with the federal act:

It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. No. 112-81). Any act to enforce or attempt to enforce those laws is in violation of this subchapter.

But, the Texas legislation takes it a step further, codifying into State law criminal penalties for violation of the act by even federal agents:

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Nullify Obamacare Rally Draws Hundreds in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 9, 2012) – Hundreds of people rallied at the South Carolina state capitol building yesterday, calling on state lawmakers to nullify the Patient Protection and protestAffordable Care Act.

South Carolina Republican Liberty Caucus secretary Daniel Encarnacion estimated 300 to 400 showed up to demand the state do everything within its power to stop implementation of Obamacare in South Carolina. Others put the crowd at over 500 people.

Encarnacion said the huge turnout left an impression on lawmakers and put the Obamacare nullification bill, H3101, on the front burner.

“The GOP leadership was left scrambling,” he said. “The biggest sign of our success is the GOP leadership also had one of their lemmings introduce a bill to nullify Obamacare. It is a diversion bill, however. It nullifies it, but doesn’t have the criminal penalties. It has no enforcement mechanism. But it demonstrates what several hundred people showing up and knocking on legislators’ doors can do. Now we just have to keep up the pressure.”

In response, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly released a statement in support of PPACA nullification.

“South Carolina cannot afford to sit idly by while Obamacare is implemented in our state. Numerous bills have already been filed in our state legislature to prevent the implementation of the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” he said. “The SCGOP fully supports our state legislators as they defend states’ rights and the Tenth Amendment.”

One South Carolina mother brought four of her five children to the rally. She said health care was a huge issue for her because one of her daughters suffers from a chronic disease. She fears the implementation of the health care act will actually make it harder to obtain good treatment for her child because of its impact on the entire health care system.

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Will Missouri Say NO to the Drone Surveillance State?

The escalation of the surveillance state is happening with the induction of drones in US airspace. Petitioning the government for our privacy is not working. In response, State Representative Guernsey pre-filed a bill in December to nullify drone surveillance in the state of Missouri. Representative Guernsey’s bill, HB 46 Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act is the line in the sand.

This bill requires a warrant for any drone surveillance use in monitoring people for alleged criminal conduct. “No person, entity, or state agency shall use a drone or other unmanned aircraft to gather evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute or regulation except to the extent authorized in a warrant.” Law enforcement is defined as, “”Law enforcement agency”, any state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency in the state. The term law enforcement agency shall not include the Missouri department of corrections, or any state, county, or municipal fire department.”

It also proposes to stop even general surveillance by the use of a drone. “No person, entity, or state agency shall use a drone or other unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance of any individual, property owned by an individual, farm, or agricultural industry without the consent of that individual, property owner, farm or agricultural industry.”

The bill does not mention storage of surveillance, but is a step in the right direction, according to supporters. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are considered part of an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) which includes a ground station, operator, and equipment to store collected surveillance.

Even though the legislation only includes state and local law enforcement agencies in its prohibition of drone use, Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin says the bill still has ramifications at the federal level because of Washington’s strong advocacy of drone use.

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The Obama Administration’s Illegal Health Care Taxes: an Update

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

There have been several developments with respect to the Obama administration’s attempt to impose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s employer-mandate penalties and individual-mandate penalties where it has no authority to do so.

My coauthor Jonathan Adler and I have posted an updated and final draft of our forthcoming Health Matrix article, “Taxation Without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule to Expand Tax Credits Under the PPACA,” to the Social Sciences Research Network web site. This draft contains additional evidence that Congress did indeed intend to restrict the Act’s tax credits, cost-sharing subsidies, employer mandate penalties, and (to a certain extent) individual mandate penalties to states that establish their own health insurance Exchanges. It also shows how recent arguments advanced by defenders of the rule cannot be reconciled with the statute or the legislative history. If you’re interested in this issue, you’ll want to read this draft, even if you’ve already read previous versions.

In the Winter issue of Regulation magazine, University of Missouri law professor Thomas Lambert shows how this feature of the Act, combined with the Supreme Court’s ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius and other features, make the law so dangerously unstable that repeal remains a distinct possibility. I plan to blog more about this article soon.

A private employer has petitioned a federal court in Oklahoma to be added as a plaintiff in that state’s lawsuit against the IRS rule.

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Pennsylvania Town Working To Nullify Federal Gun Control

With the Obama administration winning a second term and gun control publicly on the national agenda, more and more people are standing up at the state and local levels to protect Constitutional freedoms. This is exactly what is occurring in the small town of Gilberton, Pennsylvania.

Chief of Police Mark Kessler will propose a ’2nd Amendment Preservation’ Ordinance during the January 24, 2013 meeting of city council. According to the text of the ordinance, it will be ‘nullifying all federal, state or local acts in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States along with section 21 Right to Bear Arms of the Pennsylvania constitution.’

The ordinance continues on with some strong words for the authoritarians in Washington D.C. who wish to trample upon the Constitutional rights of Americans saying, “It shall be the duty of the Governing body of Gilberton Borough and within all of its boundaries within the State of Pennsylvania to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal, state or local acts, laws, orders, rules, or regulations in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States along with section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution or any violation of this ordinance.” You can read the rest of the bill by clicking HERE.

Police Chief Kessler says that he intends for this bill to send a message to the Federal Government that the spirit of resistance is alive and well within the American people

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