South Carolina “NDAA Nullification Act” Passes Senate Committee, 14-6

South Carolina State Senator Tom Davis, last fall, prefiled Senate Bill 92 (S.92), the “NDAA Nullification Act of 2013.” The bill states, in part: “The enactment into law by the United States Congress of Section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, P.L 112-81, is a direct threat to the liberty, security, and well being of the people of South Carolina, and was adopted by the United States Congress in violation of the limits of federal power provided in the United States Constitution.”

It requires all State agents and agencies to refuse compliance with the unconstitutionally-claimed federal power to detain without due process:

No agency of the State, agency of a political subdivision of the State, officer or employee of the State, officer or employee of a political subdivision of the State, acting in his official capacity, to include any member of the South Carolina Military Department on official duty, or employees of any state or local detention facility may engage in any activity that aids an agency of the armed forces of the United States in execution of 50 U.S.C. 1541, as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, in the investigation, prosecution, or detainment of any citizen of the United States in violation of Section 3, Article I, and Section 14, Article I of the South Carolina Constitution.”

Today, Jesse Graston, state field coordinator for JBS reports via inside sources that the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill by a vote of 14-6. An amendment to the bill was approved as well. The amendment listed multiple sections of both the federal and state constitutions that the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA violates.

Next up for the bill is a full floor debate and vote in the South Carolina Senate. Upon passage there, the bill would move to the House for concurrence.


Indiana NDAA Nullification Passes Senate Committee, 8-0

Indiana State Senator Jim Banks has introduced a bill that would prohibit detainment of citizens under federal defense act (NDAA) in the state.

SB 400 would amend the Indiana Code concerning state and local administration. The text of the bill simply states, in part: “Prohibits specified individuals and entities in Indiana from aiding an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or similar law providing for indefinite detention.”

Today, SB400 passed unanimously out of the Corrections and Criminal Law Committee, chaired by Senator Michael Young. A packed house came to the public hearing and testimony from the grassroots was passionate, reported a number of attendees.

“Given recent federal policies with vague preservations, I feel it necessary that Indiana law expressly state it will not support unconstitutional actions,” Banks said in a press release. “If Washington laws do not adequately defend our personal liberties, it’s our duty as a state to be proactive in ensuring these freedoms are protected. That’s what my legislation will accomplish.”

The bill also includes misdemeanor criminal charges for federal agents who attempt indefinite detention under the NDAA on any person in the state of Indiana. An amendment was proposed to increase those penalty charges to a Class D felony. We’re still awaiting confirmation as to whether or not such an amendment was formally considered or approved. Look for an update on this post as additional information arrives.

The next stop for the bill is the full Indiana State Senate. It will be given a full house debate and vote before being able to move on to the House for concurrence.


In a Republic, People Are Sovereign

by Ilya Shapiro, CATO Institute

As the story goes, when Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he was approached by a woman who wanted to know what type of government the delegates created. Franklin responded, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.” Since the Founding, the Supreme Court has never directly defined what this “Republican Form of Government” is that Article IV of the Constitution guarantees to every state in the union — but cases come up every now and then invoking this provision (also known as the Guarantee Clause).

The latest such case comes out of Colorado and involves the ability of voters, protected in nearly every state constitution, to make law through various forms of direct democracy, such as voter initiatives. In 1992, Centennial State voters enacted a Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) to restrict the legislature’s ability to raise tax rates or increase spending, in a formula tied to the rate of inflation and population growth, unless otherwise approved by voters.

In Kerr v. Hickenlooper, the plaintiffs wish to remove this barrier and provide the Colorado legislature, municipalities, and school boards with full discretionary authority to tax, spend, and borrow, without voter approval. State Senator Andy Kerr and other government officials are seeking to redefine a “republic” as an institution whereby all legislation is solely the duty and privilege of the legislatures, and voter referenda are impermissible. The outcome of this revised interpretation could invalidate centuries of voter decisions at the ballots, abolish future voter input aside from the election of representatives, and give politicians carte blanche to tax, spend, and borrow.

Surprisingly, and despite any showing that voter initiatives are somehow incompatible with “republican government,” the federal district court allowed the lawsuit to proceed. Now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Cato has joined the Independence Institute on an amicus brief arguing that, absent controlling legal precedent, the phrase “Republican Form of Government” should be defined by the standard sources the Supreme Court uses to decipher constitutional language: Eighteenth century political works, contemporaneous dictionaries, and official records and commentary from the Constitutional Convention, which for our purposes here all define “republic” in a way fully consistent with direct citizen lawmaking.


Kansas 2nd Amendment Protection Act Passes out of SubCommittee

The Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act got the blessing of a five-member subcommittee last week and will move on for further consideration in the Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

With more than 50 cosponsors, HB 2199 declares “any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.”

If passed, the bill would make it illegal to enforce any federal regulations on firearms made and kept within the borders of Kansas and includes felony penalties.

No official, agent or employee of the state of Kansas, nor any dealer selling any firearm in the state of Kansas, shall enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding any personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas.

Rep. John Rubin (R-Shawnee) authored the bill. He told the Topeka Capitol-Journal the legislation was based on the premise that firearm business activities confined to Kansas don’t constitute interstate commerce and remain outside federal jurisdiction. Under the law, any gun owned or built in Kansas, and remaining within its borders, wouldn’t be controlled by “any past, present or future federal law, rule or regulation of any kind.”

The subcommittee was formed to wade through half-a-dozen gun related bills.  Rep. Ken Corbet (R-Topeka) serves on the subcommittee. He says it’s important to erect a shield protecting the basic rights of Kansans to keep and bear arms.

“Being an old Boy Scout, it’s better to be prepared.”


Washington Bill Would Combat Agenda 21, Protect Property Rights

The Washington State Legislature is joining a wave of other states considering legislation to protect the property rights of its residents. A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives to ward off the influence of United Nations’ Agenda 21.

House Bill 1165 was introduced Jan. 17 and is sponsored by Representatives Rodne, Overstreet, Shea, Taylor, Haler and Magendanz. It has been referred to the Judiciary Committee where it currently sits, awaiting further action. The bill purports to thwart United Nations’ plans to implement so-called sustainability initiatives under what is called Agenda 21. Proponents say Agenda 21 is a noble attempt by world leaders to protect the environment while detractors say that it is a nefarious plot by globalist institutions to steal land and destroy American sovereignty.

According to the text of the bill, H.B. 1165 is “an act relating to prohibiting the state of Washington and its political subdivisions from adopting and developing environmental and developmental policies that would infringe or restrict private property rights without due process.”

The bill continues on to reference Agenda 21 specifically saying, “Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the state of Washington and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services or giving financial aid to or from the nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations defined in Agenda 21.”

The United Nations introduced Agenda 21 at their 1992 Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, 178 governments including the United States voted to enact the program. While many feel that this is a step of environmental progress and bipartisanship that should be lauded, others are skeptical about what effects the plan will have on the freedom and sovereignty of the American people.