Interstate Compacts and the Tenth

Slate: The New Frontier in Anti-Obamacare Challenges: Interstate Compacts

At today’s final American Legislative Executive Council meetings — semi-annual sit-downs for conservative legislators — a number of experts pushed the concept of Interstate Compacts. It was, for most observers, a brand new idea. Diana Reimer, a Pennsylvania Tea Party activist who was attending the sessions this week, told me it was the most interesting new idea she’d heard.

So what is the idea? Several states — Arizona, Virginia, etc — have already passed Health Care Freedom laws that prohibit the states from complying in the health care mandate. According to Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute, that opens the door for states to form compacts that would supersede federal regulation.

“Take that existing framework,” Dranias suggested to a room of state legislators this morning. “Make any violation by anyone of those rights a criminal offense, pair up with a state that thinks like you on the same topics, make sure they criminalize any violation of those rights, and reach a compact. Lodge it with Congress. And then bring on the fight when the IRS comes in and tries to penalize people for not following the individual mandate.”

More here.

The idea of an Interstate Compact is also discussed in this Federalist Society Video, at around 55 minutes.

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Earmarks: More Than Meets the Eye

The popular press has been obsessed with the topic of earmarks for the last few days.  Some are arguing that the cost of earmarks is insignificant in comparison to the overall size of government.  Others are saying that small, though they may be, eliminating earmarks is an important symbolic step to show that the congress…

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Nullification Ordered for State Government Officials

Thanks to Rob, on our facebook fan page, for the idea.


Dear Mr. Corbett,

I have just ordered you a copy of “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century”, by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr..  It should arrive to PO Box 1145 in Harrisburg, PA within the next week.

As you may know, Dr. Woods is a highly regarded scholar and NY Times best selling author who works with the Mises Institute.  Dr. Woods has a BA from Harvard and PhD from Columbia University.

I believe that this book covers a necessary course of action for our state in order to restore balance to our republic and to resist the relentless march towards federal tyranny in America within the next two or three generations. 

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Action Alert: Kill REAL ID in PA!

I received this message in e-mail from a friend of the Tenth Amendment.


What: Three bills were introduced into the Pennsylvania Senate as a privacy protection package by Senator Mike Folmer(R), District 48, over one and a half years ago. One of those bills, SB 621, The REAL ID Nonparticipation Act, to prohibit implementation of Real ID in Pennsylvania was unanimously passed on June 15 by the full Senate and sent to the PA House Transportation Committee. That committee amended the bill, then passed it unanimously on Sept 13 and referred it to the House Appropriations Committee where it sits. Time is very short. The last House session day for the 2009-2010 Assembly session is only six weeks from today, and there are only 7 more meetings scheduled for Appropriations.
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1811: Resolutions of Pennsylvania Against the Bank

On page 73 of Nullification, Thomas E. Woods, Jr., provides an 1811 quote from the Pennsylvania legislature.  The quote comes from State Documents on Federal Relations, edited by Herman V. Ames.  That, in turn, contains the 1811 Pennsylvania Resolutions Against the Bank.  In the preamble to those resolutions, our legislature wrote, The people of the…

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Uncle Sam Claims the Power to Arrange Marriages?

In the video above, when discussing the Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the speaker pointed out that the “Individual Mandate” is a requirement, by the federal government, that an individual enter into a contract with an insurance company. The advocates claim that this can be justified under the Interstate Commerce Clause or under the power to tax for the “General Welfare”.

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Discussion: Original Jurisdiction

All of the information below is referenced by Publius-Huldah’s Blog, which uses it to conclude,

ONLY the US Supreme Court has Constitutional Authority to Conduct the Trial of the Case Against Arizona & Governor Brewer.

US Constitution, Article 3, Section 2

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make. (emphasis added)

Federalist 81 (Hamilton)

Let us now examine in what manner the judicial authority is to be distributed between the supreme and the inferior courts of the Union.   The Supreme Court is to be invested with original jurisdiction, only “in cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, and those in which A STATE shall be a party.  ” Public ministers of every class are the immediate representatives of their sovereigns.   All questions in which they are concerned are so directly connected with the public peace, that, as well for the preservation of this, as out of respect to the sovereignties they represent, it is both expedient and proper that such questions should be submitted in the first instance to the highest judicatory of the nation.   Though consuls have not in strictness a diplomatic character, yet as they are the public agents of the nations to which they belong, the same observation is in a great measure applicable to them.   In cases in which a State might happen to be a party, it would ill suit its dignity to be turned over to an inferior tribunal. (emphasis added)

US Code: TITLE 28 > PART IV > CHAPTER 81 > § 1251

§ 1251. Original jurisdiction

(a) The Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more States.
(b) The Supreme Court shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction of:

(1) All actions or proceedings to which ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, or vice consuls of foreign states are parties;
(2) All controversies between the United States and a State;
(3) All actions or proceedings by a State against the citizens of another State or against aliens. (emphasis added)

Federalist 78 (Hamilton)

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Fail Safe

Many of today’s debates between statists and libertarians are argued on the grounds of efficiency. The libertarians say that when you let the government do something, you invariably get the DMV or the post office. Statists argue that a centralized public service provides better results because it can gain efficiencies of scale and because the…

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