Maine Legislation Would Nullify Unconstitutional Hemp Ban

Maine LD 525 is an Act to Promote Industrial Hemp. This bill, sponsored by Representative Harvell, is currently in the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.  If passed into law, it would authorize the growth and production of the plant within the state of Maine.

The federal government lacks the constitutional authority to regulate the production of hemp, or any agricultural product, within a state’s borders, but has banned it for decades.

Hemp is a major product worldwide, and is widely used in the United States in food products, clothing, oils and more.  It can be a competitor to the oil, cotton, and paper industries (and many more), which is a likely reason why the federal government refuses to budge on its view that no one in the US should produce it.  The results?  The United States is the world’s #1 importer of hemp.  The top 2 exporters are China and Canada.

However, the DEA stated in an FOIA request that they are “opposed to any consideration of hemp as a legitimate fiber or pulp product.” LD525 authorizes production in Maine, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban.


Anti-Drone Bills Pass out of Committees in Tennessee

Drone regulation in Tennessee moved a step closer to reality this week.

Both the House and Senate versions of the Freedom of Unwarranted Surveillance Act moves forward in Tennessee out of their respective committees. SB796 unanimously passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee 9-0.  The House Civil Justice Committee recommended passage of HB591 if amended.

The bill prohibits the use of drones  by law enforcement agencies in Tennessee only under the following circumstances.

– Toe counter the high risk of terrorist attack by a specific person or organization.
– With a search warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone.
– With evidence of reasonable suspicion that there is an immediate threat such that “swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life.

The proposed amendments add two more exceptions for drone use.


New Jersey is Losing the Battle of State Sovereignty by Asking Permission

Currently, online gambling has been signed into New Jersey State law and will be effective in about 3-9 months after the state Division of Gaming Enforcement sets a start date. This bill will allow all games played at Atlantic City to be available in an online format to accessed in New Jersey, other states, and even foreign countries. This law isn’t the right way to express State Sovereignty. It’s not even a nullification bill at all.

In fact, the law goes through great lengths to prove that New Jersey has found enough loopholes into being compliant with federal law.

In October 2006, the United States Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, 31 U.S.C. 5361 et seq., which generally prohibits the use of banking instruments, including credit cards, checks, and fund transfers, for interstate Internet gambling, essentially prohibiting online gambling by United States citizens, but which includes exceptions that permit individual states to create a regulatory framework to enable intrastate Internet gambling, provided that the bets or wagers are made exclusively within a single state under certain circumstances;

This law states right off the bat, the supremacy of this law belongs to the feds.

“Internet gaming in this State shall be subject to the provisions of, and preempted and superseded by, any applicable federal law. Internet gaming in this State shall be deemed to take place where a casino’s server is located in Atlantic City regardless of the player’s physical location within this State.”

Just like the Powerball lotto in many states, this law follows the federal regulations to a tee.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of pending before the Legislature as this bill, wagers may be accepted thereunder from persons who are not physically present in this State if the Division of Gaming Enforcement in the Department of Law and Public Safety determines that such wagering is not inconsistent with federal law or the law of the jurisdiction, including any foreign nation, in which any such person is located, or such wagering is conducted pursuant to an interstate compact to which this State is a party that is not inconsistent with federal law.”

This law includes taking bribes from the feds to distribute public service announcements on the dangers of gambling.


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.”


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.


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.


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!


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.


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 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.”


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.


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.