Knockout

Two Ohio Bills Push Back Against Federal Kidnapping Powers Under NDAA

Ohio Representatives Jim Butler and Ron Young introduced HB354 on November 19, 2013. This bill specifically prevents state and local law enforcement officials in Ohio from assisting the federal government in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person in Ohio that would result in that person’s loss of the right of due process.

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Ohio Firearms Freedom Act

Duty to Resist Unconstitutional Acts: Testimony at the Ohio State House

The following is a transcript of Scott Landreth’s October 29, 2013 testimony in front of the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee in support of Ohio House Bill 99 .

Chairman Blair, Vice Chair Anielski, Ranking Member Clyde and Members of the House State and Local Government Committee.  Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of House Bill 99.  My name is Scott Landreth and I represent the Ohio Chapter of the Tenth Amendment Center.

House Bill 99 is a critical, overdue step towards protecting the rights of Ohioans from federal overreach.

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Shining a Light

Shining a Light on the 10th Amendment in Ohio

State sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment are getting some attention in the Buckeye State.

Ohio Rep. John Becker recently sent a letter to U.S. Congressman Brad Wenstrup in which he requested that his fellow republican initiate impeachment proceedings against Judge Timothy Black. Judge Black recently ruled (twice) that Ohio must recognize the marriage of same-sex couples despite (a) the lack of federal authority regarding the issue of marriage and (b) an amendment to Ohio’s Constitution which prohibits the state from recognizing or performing same-sex marriages.

(a) Congress has no enumerated power to regulate or define marriage. As such, the issue of marriage is reserved to the states per the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution. Even the almighty Supreme Court admitted this in their recent opinion on DOMA.

(b) Article 15, Section 11 of the Ohio Constitution reads:

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Ohio Governor Attempting Backdoor Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

For most of 2013, fiscal conservatives in Ohio have been battling Governor John Kasich over his desire to support President Obama’s “Affordable Care Act” through the expansion of Medicaid in our state. After failing to win support from the Republican-dominated Ohio General Assembly, Kasich is now attempting to expand Medicaid and implement “Obamacare” without the consent of the majority of our citizens or our state legislature.

On Friday, in an attempt to circumvent Ohio’s General Assembly, the Kasich administration requested that the Ohio Controlling Board appropriate Obamacare funds to expand Medicaid with billions in federal funding.

Because Kasich did not issue an executive order, the Controlling Board is supposed to be guided by the premise that they shall take no action that is contrary to the legislative intent of Ohio’s general assembly. Based on the legislature’s stance to date, the Controlling Board, which consists of four Republican legislators, two Democrat legislators and one member on the governor’s staff, should not grant Kasich’s request.

Not surprisingly, both Democrats are supporting Kasich’s Progressive effort to expand Medicaid, despite their responsibility to reject his request if it is contrary to the wishes of the legislature. As such, all Kasich will need to do to be able to thwart the will of the people that elected him is to convince ONE of the four Republican legislators on the board to vote with him.

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Will the Left Get it Right on Nullification?

We’re sometimes wrongly accused of being a right-wing, anti-Obama hate group. The truth of the matter is that the Tenth Amendment Center – which was founded in 2006 during the Bush Administration – is neither right-wing or left-wing.

You see, fidelity to the Constitution can and should appeal to both “conservatives” and “progressives”.

Frank Cagle recently wrote a pretty good article for Metro Pulse in which he proclaims, “It’s time progressives joined conservatives to preach the virtues of the 10th Amendment.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement.

Whether they realize it or not, those who support drug prohibition and those who support drug decriminalization have one thing in common: neither of them can site the article or clause in the US Constitution that gives the federal government the authority to prohibit or allow drugs. The feds simply don’t have jurisdiction. It’s up to the states per the 10th Amendment.

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Gun Rights Groups Giving Up the Fight?!

Buckeye Firearms Association is a well-respected, all volunteer pro-gun organization in Columbus, Ohio.

MISSION: Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots political action committee (PAC) dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. We work to elect pro-gun candidates and lobby for pro-gun legislation.

Given this mission statement, I was surprised to read the following statement in a recent article written by Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors member Gerard Valentino:

“We also need to rally behind that idea that the Second Amendment protects an individual right that the government can infringe only when there is an overwhelming public need. Since we have more guns on the street than ever before and gun crime continues to plummet, it eliminates the government’s justification to restrict gun rights.”

Mr. Valentino must be reading from a “living, breathing” copy of the US Constitution.  My old-fashioned copies  state 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.”

No caveats. No exceptions. No ambiguity at all.

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Criminals Break the Law…So Let’s Pass More Laws?

Those of us who understand and value our unalienable, constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms often use this argument regarding gun control:

Gun “laws” don’t work because criminals don’t obey the law!

This seems like a logical argument since criminals, by the very definition of the word, ignore and break the law. Synonyms for criminal include lawbreaker, crook, offender and wrongdoer among others.

Of course we’re not saying that we don’t need laws, we’re just saying that additional laws won’t stop criminals – who by definition are already breaking the law – from breaking the law.

Many people agree with this line of thinking, but apparently only when it comes to gun control.

Example: Several members of the Ohio General Assembly – including some of the more liberty-minded members – support calling for an Article V convention for the purpose of passing an amendment to the Constitution. Ohio HJR 3 calls for an amendment which ”shall provide that an increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate states”.

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Alpena County, Michigan Passes 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution

The vote on August 27 was unanimous.

The Alpena County Board of Commissioners passed Resolution #13-23 to (1) “affirm the individual right to bear arms as delineated in the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Michigan” and (2) “oppose any new statutes at any level of government, state or federal, which will diminish the ability of the law-abiding to defend themselves and their families.”

In addition, the resolution states that “[T]here is no benefit to, nor justification for, removing firearms or other weapons from the hands of law-abiding citizens while the lawless still possess them”.

This courageous exercise of federalism – that would surely make Thomas Jefferson & James Madison proud – sites both the Second Amendment of the US Constitution as well as Article 1, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution.

Local support will play a vital role in the success of those who want to protect the right to keep and bear arms. The resolution is a great first step, as it gets the commissioners on record in support of the Second Amendment. But, since it’s non-binding, it will require another step to have concrete effect. Cities within the county – and the county board itself – should follow up this resolution with ordinances prohibiting any cooperation with federal agents attempting to enforce acts violating the Second Amendment. Such an ordinance will give these statements teeth.

As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance will make federal gun control measures “nearly impossible to enforce.”  (video here)

Here are some concrete steps you can take in your own area.

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