Tennessee Medicaid Expansion Amendment Becomes the New Bill in Both House and Senate

Two hearings took place today in Nashville regarding the Medicaid Expansion. Those bills include Senate Bill 804 sponsored by Senator Kelsey and House Bill 937 sponsored by Representative Durham. Earlier this morning Governor Haslam had stated that he would not expand Medicaid this year.

During the hearings, the amendment was being distributed. It had been formulated this afternoon after the Governors speech. This amendment rewrites the bill by stating that if the Governor decides that he (or future Governor) would like to expand the Medicaid provision of the Affordable Care Act, he will need the legislatures approval first.

House Bill 937, by Representative Durham, was heard in the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee. The chairman received the amendment and was asking if this was his plan for the affordable care act since they didn’t have the amendment this morning?

Representative Durham, didn’t have the answer. He knew that Governor Haslam “didn’t want to proceed at this time. When you get into budget amendments, an issue that is such importance, the entire legislature should get to hear that. When you are talking about a 33 billion dollar state budget, I just feel if it is of such importance like Medicaid expansion then we should be hearing just that. So the bill wouldn’t make expansion legal. But if we are going to do it we will do it by a joint resolution. I want everyone to be heard on that”

The chairman was confused by the amendment since the amendment deletes the bill and replaces it with how Representative Durham stated. He wanted the attorney to explain it for the record.

The Attorney stated (she had no prior notice of this amendment), “From looking upon it, it looks as though this with drafting code 5824 saying the Governor would not allow him to make any decision or obligate Tennessee with regards to the expansion of Medicaid Program without approval by a joint resolution from the general assembly. This is how I’m reading it. This (the amendment) would make up the new bill since it is deleting everything after the caption.”

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Will Nevada Nullify Unconstitutional Federal Marijuana Laws?

Assemblyman Joseph Hogan along with co-sponsors Andrew Martin and Heidi Swank have introduced AB402.

AB402 is,

An Act relating to controlled substances; providing in skeleton form for the decriminalization of the possession, use and delivery of marijuana by certain persons under certain circumstances; providing in skeleton form for the taxation of the production, processing and sale of marijuana; providing a penalty; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

This bill, which was modeled after House Bill 150 from Hawaii, will legalize possession, cultivation, use those 21 and older of marijuana. This bill does not allow persons under the influence of marijuana to operate a vehicle, require an employer to accomodate the use of marijuana, to transfer marijuana to those under the age of 21, or require a property owner to allow marijuana use. This bill also establishes an excise tax on wholesale and retail sales.

Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to prohibit weed. The Supreme Court concurs. But sharing an opinion on something doesn’t necessarily make it a fact. You can claim you are a unicorn, but you’re not. Clearly, the Constitution delegates no power of marijuana regulation to the feds. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.

None.

So, more and more states continue to do exactly what they should do when the federal government tries exercise power it does not legitimately possess.

Ignore it.

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Will Tennessee Lead on Stopping Drone Spying?

After watching the many oppositions to Nullification bills across the country, I was pleasantly surprised that the state of Tennessee was not one of these. In the case of drones used locally, usually anti-drone bills are opposed by lobbyists asking “what about all the jobs it will make” and some local law enforcement wanting bribe from the feds to get a drone. The exact opposite happened here in Nashville!

This week’s hearing started off with Representative Van Huss talking about the bill to nullify drones in Tennessee. He talked about an amendment in HB591. This amendment would allow a search warrant to be issued after 48 hours after an event that was captured by a drone’s surveillance.

Representative Mike Carter asked, “Why not just get a warrant prior? Why get a warrant after 48 hours? I want it to be used like the regular established procedures for warrants. I want a judge to say, this person’s privacy needs to be invaded.”

Representative Jon Lundberg added, “The way this is drafted would have the antithesis.”

Representative Carter stated, The amendment liberalizes where I want to go. If a warrant is not required for a helicopter (in this scenario) than why for a drone?

Representative Womick was under the impression that drones were only used by the military and vehemently opposed to the military operating in Tennessee. However, Representative Carter corrected him, “Drones are used by counties. Hamilton County bought one for $300,000 and no one knows how to fly it! This isn’t just for predator drones, this is for every drone.”

At which point, Representative Van Huss wanted to strike down his amendment. But that wasn’t good enough. Representative Stewart said, there is general support for this bill, but it needs some fine tuning. We should send it to the hill!

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The NRA has shown up. It’s now a 2nd Amendment Issue?

I have watched in Tennessee the fight to preserve the right to bear arms in the wake of current and looming federal actions. These actions provoked by the President’s executive orders and the upcoming actions from members of Congress will prohibit, restrict, tax and infringe on the right to bear arms on the individual states constitutions and the rights of the citizens of the union. In a hearing, the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Senator Kelsey repeatedly said, that the the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act is not a bill about the 2nd Amendment. His reason had been, the NRA has not shown up. To him and many other advocates of federal supremacy, the people of each state are not enough of a voice for the 2nd Amendment even though the 2nd Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Those in favor of federal supremacy have overlooked that the right to keep and bear arms is to the people.

But in Montana, the NRA did show up. His being there, is not only proof that this is about preserving the 2nd
Amendment, but it’s also a state’s rights and limiting the power of the federal government.

Brian Judy, a Montana state liason for the National Rifle Association provided testimony on HB 302.

I’m the Montana state liaison of the National Rifle Association, and we are speaking in support of HB302. As the sponsor (House Representative Krayton Kerns) indicated it’s a fairly simple bill. It would prohibit the state or local enforcement or the expenditure of state resources to enforce a federal ban on semi-automatic firearms or high capacity magazines. Some of the opponents say that there is a constitutional problem, that it (the Second Amendment Preservation Act) violates the supremacy clause. I assert that is incorrect. There are some states that are pushing similar legislation. But rather than prohibiting state enforcement, it will criminalize federal officials who come into the state and enforce federal law. It is conceivable that could have some supremacy clause issues. But that is not what this bill does. This bill is very narrow. It deals with what state and local enforcement can do. It is certainly within the purview of the state legislature to do that.

One of Montana’s own, former Ravalli county sheriff, Jay Printz generated the US Supreme Court precedent that provides the prevailing case law on this issue. That was his 1997 challenge on the interim provisions on the so-called Brady Bill that required background checks on gun purchasers. And the ruling was that it was unconstitutional. That the federal government could not commendeer local law enforcement. It basically said, allowing the federal government to draft the police of the 50 states into service would increase federal powers far beyond what the constitution intends. So that was an important ruling on states rights and limits federal power. For the purpose of the discussion of this bill. Let me close, while the feds cannot commandeer local law enforcement, the state certainly do have the right to set limits for local law enforcement. That simply is what this bill does. That gun bans are not what is wanted in Montana. With that, NRA supports HB 302.

Brian Judy has more testimony available on how federal laws not only infringe on the right to bear arms but on state’s rights in his Washington address on loopholes here. Brian Judy is an amazing speaker and gave solid testimony to the committee on federal infringements on the right to bear arms. And he has shown through Printz vs Supreme Court that it is the state’s responsibility to uphold the rights of their people. And, in other testimonies he has provided, he shows the same commitment to state’s rights and to the 2nd Amendment.

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The Nashville, TN Nullify Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Rally

Sunday March 10 Nashville, Tennessee, speakers from all around brought attention to Tennessee the faults and troubles of the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.

Sparking off the rally was host, Michael Lofti, Secretary of the Tennessee Libertarian Party and owner the thelibertypaper.org. He started off by saying, Tennessee is a red state. So how are we up here? You can blame Obama and the democrats, but why are we up here. We are up here because even the Tennessee Republicans have been swept up into the bribes that the federal government is promising in the expansion of Medicaid. It is up to the people of Tennessee, through House Bill 937 and Senate Bill 804 to stop it!

House Rep Jeremy Durham spoke next. Representative Durham is the sponsor of HB 937. HB 937 states,

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the state shall not establish, facilitate, implement, or participate in any new expansion of the medical assistance program, also known as the Medicaid program, pursuant to the Patient – 3 – 002738 Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, as amended, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, to be unconstitutional when applied to states as a mandatory expansion. The state is prohibited from amending the state plan or any federal waiver under title XIX of the federal Social Security Act in order to effectuate any such expansion of the Medicaid or TennCare program in this state.

In his speech, Rep. Durham said, the implementing Obamacare will put is right back in that same fiscal crisis Tenncare put Tennessee in 8 years ago. Many people had to be cut from the rolls to make the program solvent. Currently, under the new Medicaid plan 47,000 people are already eligible. “It’s not at the 90% or 100% matching rate (the amount the state has to match the cost to the federal government). This is at the regular matching rate. In first fiscal year we’d be on the hook for 137 and half million we’d be on the hook for and we cannot do anything about. I’m sure everyone will be shocked if you don’t already know, there is also a federal exize tax associated with Obamacare. Basically, all the insurance premiums and revenue generated across the country even state run programs have to pay a pro-rated tax. It basically would cost 50 million dollars in Tennessee. So if we grow Tenncare, that tax goes up. It’s just another reason not to expand Medicaid.”

He continued, “Hospitals and other interest groups are talking to legislators trying to convince them of all the horrible things will happen if we don’t expand Medicaid. They are good at what they do. There are always well intended reasons and well intended groups that will suggesting us to abandon our principles contrary to sound conservative judgement. That’s how we got in the fiscal straights we are in today. It is extremely important that we stop using that mindset and we say no.”

US Congressman Scott Desjarlais was up next to speak. “We are on a slipper slope and it’s putting us in the wrong direction. The health care act in general, lets just go back about four years, about 64% of us didn’t want it, we didn’t ask for it, and we can’t afford it. This bill is about one of the poorest pieces of legislation written in a long, long time. It’s almost as if they passed it without reading it. There are a lot of mistakes in this bill, and they knew it. They had to rush this bill through in the middle of the night, the day before Christmas.

He continued, “It has some fundamental flaws. One of which is the federal and state exchanges. I applaud the governor for making the first step in helping strike down a bad health care law by refusing to set up a state exchange, and I’ll tell you why that is important. When they started rolling out Obamacare, or the Affordable Health Care Act, or let’s just call it for what it is, the Socialization of our healthcare. This was not very popular among the states. It was because it was a federal takeover of our health care system. So when they start pushing the federal exchanges there was a lot of pushback from the people.”

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Round Two for Tennessee’s SB250

On Wednesday, SB250 testimony continued from last week’s committee hearing on the 19th. Last week’s committee meeting was delayed for an opinion for the State’s Attorney General. The Attorney General’s opinion. See citings from the Attorney General in the link to his opinion.

“Tennessee lacks authority to render them ineffective within its borders, for the States are not “free to nullify for their own people the legislative decisions that Congress has made on behalf of all the People.” While the Bills themselves declare that certain federal firearms regulations are unconstitutional as, for example, by exceeding the scope of the commerce power, see SB250 § 2, the responsibility for that determination rests with the judiciary, not a state legislature. Absent such a judicial determination—and SB250 lists “judicial opinions” among the “federal action” that it proscribes, SB § 1—federal law is effective in Tennessee. “If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery . . . .” “No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it”. Nor may a state legislature accomplish the nullification of federal firearms regulation indirectly, either by criminalizing the activities of federal officers or by criminalizing actions of state citizens, such as firearm dealers, who have enforcement obligations under federal law, since to do so would make compliance with both federal and state regulations impossible. In either instance, the Bills’ provisions would directly threaten to frustrate federal policy objectives and to impair the ability of federal actors to carry them out. Consequently, the Bills violate the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.”

The committee meeting started off with Senator Kelsey talking about the history of nullification in a long drawn out speech that looked more like an effort to waste time than inform. After which, Senator Kelsey asked for speakers to be introduced in a testimony in favor of SB250.

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Alaska House Passes 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, 31-5

Today, February 25th, Alaska’s Second Amendment Preservation Act, HB69, has passed the State House and will now move on to the Senate for concurrence.

On the 20th of February, HB69 was read during the House Judicial Committee meeting where it was then scheduled for a hearing that was held today. During that hearing meeting, the bill was read for a second reading where the committee unanimously consented to the bills adoption.  It was then considered by the full house.  The vote was 31-5.

HB69 states, in part: “A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is possessed in this state or manufactured commercially or privately in this state and that remains in the state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce as those items have not traveled in interstate commerce.” [emphasis added]

The bill continues, “The authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce in basic materials does not include authority to regulate firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition possessed in this state or made in this state from those materials. Firearm accessories that are imported into this state from another state and that are subject to federal regulation as being in interstate commerce do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in this state.”

Unlike the firearms freedom act which passed in 2010, the bill covers firearms not only manufactured in the state, but also those simply “possessed” within the boundaries of the state.  It also provides for a penalty for anyone enforcing federal bans or regulations on firearms in Alaska.

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6th County in North Carolina Passes Second Amendment Preservation Act

Local action on defending the Second Amendment is passing through many cities, towns, and counties across the country. In one state, the Second Amendment Preservation Act is sweeping through the counties like wild fire. In North Carolina many counties have passed acts the Second Amendment Preservation Act. Currently Cherokee, Beaufort, Lenoir, Pitt and Franklin Counties have all passed this act. Now, the sixth county to pass this act is Moore County.

In a Moore County Memorandum,

“In light of recent events, popular discussion and national debate it is proposed that the Moore County Board of Commissioners publicly restate their commitment to both the North Carolina and United States Constitutions and, particularly, the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment to the United States’ Constitution states that “[a] well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Article I, Section 30 of the North Carolina State Constitution reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained, and the military shall be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice.” Each of the Moore County Board of Commissioners has sworn by solemn oath to uphold both the North Carolina and United States Constitutions.”

The Memorandum finalizes the decision,

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On 71st Anniversary of Indefinite Detention Order, SCOTUS Refuses Indefinite Detention Case

The detention of belligerents until hostilities end is not new in American history. February 19th historically bears the weight of tyrants rule in the name of national security. The War Powers Act of 1941 led the way for the internment of Japanese American citizens. Like all War Powers Acts, the President was allowed to declare an enemy and created a “legal” landscape to strip rights away.

The abuse of executive orders have occured by many presidents. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had many. In 1941 he signed 383 executive orders and in 1942 he signed 289. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor happened on December 7th, 1941. On December 18th of 1941, The First War Powers Act was instituted. It was established to direct departments to communicate with each other, suspended conflicting laws, and censor whatever the executive wanted.

Executive Order 8985 states, “There is hereby established the Office of Censorship, at the head of which shall be a Director of Censorship. The Director of Censorship shall cause to be censored, in his absolute discretion, communications by mail, cable, radio, or other means of transmission passing between the United States and any foreign country or which may be carried by any vessel or other means of transportation touching at any port, place, or Territory of the United States and bound to or from any foreign country, in accordance with such rules and regulations as the President shall from time to time prescribe.

By February 19th, 1942, executive order 9066 was signed by FDR. This executive order stated

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Tennessee’s Judiciary Committee Delays 2nd Amendment Preservation Act

On Tuesday Feb. 19, at 4pm, the Tennessee Second Amendment Preservation Act had a committee hearing.

Many supporters came to the meeting, almost filling up the room. Some people brought signs, and most wore stickers in support SB250.

The hearing started off with Senator Mae Beavers reading the bill in front of the committee members and audience. This bill is to amend the current Firearms Freedom Act which most on the committee had signed. The Firearms Freedom Act, which composed of SB1610 and HB1796, was signed into law in 2009. The Firearms Freedom Act is different from the Second Amendment Preservation Act by mandating the state of Tennessee to retain the responsibility of intrastate commerce regarding firearms, accessories, and ammo. The Second Amendment Preservation Act would nullify all laws, act, orders from banning, restricting, and straight up infringing on the Second Amendment.

“The general assembly declares that any federal action prohibited by this chapter relating to firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition, whether made in Tennessee or not, is not authorized by the United States constitution and violates the restrictions contained therein and is hereby declared to be invalid in this state; that said federal action shall not be recognized by this state; and that said federal action is rejected by this state and shall be null and void and of no effect in this state.”

SB250 continues:

“Any federal action shall be deemed an intentional violation of state sovereignty and shall be unenforceable within the borders of Tennessee if the federal action does or attempts to: (1) Infringe on, ban, regulate, or restrict state government, local government or civilian ownership, transfer, possession or manufacture of a firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition in this state; (2) Require any state government, local government or civilian owned firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition in this state to be registered or tracked in any manner; or (3) Impose federal taxes, fees or any other charges on any state government, local government or civilian owned firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that are payable to any government entity.”

After Senator Beavers spoke, June Griffen Chairman of the Tennessee Committee for the Bill of Rights, testified that the Bill of Rights, both state and federal, are guarantees for “we the people”. June cited many sections of Tennessee’s Constitution.

Section 26 of the the Tennessee Constitution states, “That the citizens of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense, but the Legislature shall have the power, by law, to regulate the wearing arms with a view to prevent crime.”

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