Tuesday wasn’t just a big day at the ballot box for Republicans. It also featured significant victories for advocates of decentralized governance. The people of several states flexed their muscles at the ballot box, directing their states to essentially ignore federal overreach.Details
AUSTIN, Texas – A Texas bill that would nullify warrantless drone spying gained final approval this week and now heads to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk for his signature.
HB912 would virtually eliminate all warrantless drone spying in the Lone Star State and criminalizes all drone use outside of carefully prescribed parameters.
The Texas Privacy Act states that “a person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image.” The offender would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if they were caught violating this part of the law.
The bill then outlines acceptable application of drones, including pursuant to a criminal warrant.
Data gathered by law enforcement illegally ‘may not be used as evidence in any criminal or juvenile proceeding, civil action, or administrative proceeding’ according to the bill and ‘is not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for its release.’ This incentivizes police to not misuse the drone technology unless they wish to risk jeopardizing their entire investigation.
House passed the bill by a vote of 128-11 on May 10, and the Senate gave a slightly amended version its approval 29-1 a week later. HB912 then went to a conference committee and both chambers approved the final version.Details
In less than two weeks, Missouri could join Kansas in enacting a state law refusing to enforce federal gun control measures.
On May 22, the Second Amendment Preservation Act (HB 436) was sent to Governor Jay Nixon. As of this writing, Nixon, a Democrat, has not indicated whether he plans to veto or sign the bill.
Earlier this month, both houses of the Republican-controlled state legislature passed the bill by an overwhelming majority.
When asked about Governor Nixon’s intention, a source inside his office told The New American that in an effort to avoid multiplying the several scandals already plaguing his administration, Nixon would likely let the bill sit on his desk without signing or vetoing it, thus allowing the measure to become law without his participation.
Every bill which shall have passed the house of representatives and the senate shall be presented to and considered by the governor, and, within fifteen days after presentment, he shall return such bill to the house in which it originated endorsed with his approval or accompanied by his objections. If the bill be approved by the governor it shall become a law. When the general assembly adjourns, or recesses for a period of thirty days or more, the governor shall return within forty-five days any bill to the office of the secretary of state with his approval or reasons for disapproval. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within the time limits prescribed by this section it shall become law in like manner as if the governor had signed it.
Therefore, the Missouri gun control nullification bill could become law on July 6 (45 days from its May 22 transmittal date) without the governor’s signature.
Should he decide to sign the bill, however, Governor Nixon would join Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas, who recently enacted a similar measure passed with overwhelming support by the Kansas state legislature.
While there are similarities between the Kansas and Missouri measures, the text of the Missouri bill goes much farther in its bold opposition to attempts by the federal government to infringe on the right of Missourians to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.Details
Don’t look now, but nullification is about to spread to the courtroom. NBC 7 in San Diego reported this week that the city’s mayor, Bob Filner, has called for jurors to refuse to convict the operators of licensed marijuana dispensaries who have been arrested under anti-drug laws by the federal government. State and local laws in San Diego permit the sale and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has injected himself into a federal criminal case against the operator of a medical marijuana dispensary, intensifying his standoff with federal prosecutors on cannabis enforcement issues.
Filner’s urging jurors who’ll be chosen for the trial to reject federal law in favor of state statutes under a centuries-old legal concept known as “jury nullification”– whereby jurors can refuse to convict people under laws they believe should not be applied.
“It’s time, like with Prohibition, to step back and say this was a stupid thing to do,” Filner said outside the courthouse. “Let’s step back, and juries ought to take the lead and say that to the federal government…and if the federal government isn’t listening to the mayor, maybe they’ll listen to the jury.”
Against the articulated wishes of the community, the federal government continues to raid these dispensaries and arrest the people who operate them, actions that clearly violate both the Constitution and the sovereignty of the state and local governments. Filner in decrying this federal usurpation stated, “This is way overdoing it when local laws, state laws allow compassionate use of medical marijuana.”Details
CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire moved a step forward toward legalizing marijuana for medical use, joining the swelling ranks of states nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on weed.
On Thursday, the state Senate passed HB573 18-6.
The legislation would allow qualifying patients to legally possess and use marijuana to treat illnesses including cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and Crohn’s Disease. It would also create a system for setting up dispensaries in the state.
The House passed the bill 286-64 in March, but the Senate approved an amended version to satisfy several demands by Gov. Maggie Hassan. The Senate version strips allowances for growing marijuana at home and drops the number of approved dispensaries from five to four. It also removes post-traumatic stress from the list of approved conditions and adds a resident requirement for an affirmative defense in court. Hassan has indicated she won’t sign a bill with a home-grown option, although she supported it as a Senator.
The legislation will now go back to the House. According to an AP report, it will likely ask to negotiate a compromise.
Activists say they hope to resurrect the home grow option in the final version, but even with the restrictions, the bill would drastically improve prospects for New Hampshire residents who currently risk prison if they treat their pain with marijuana.Details
SACRAMENTO, Cal. (May 24, 2013) – Today, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee gave a “Do-Pass” approval to a bill that could render toothless the federal “indefinite detention” powers under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, by ASM Tim Donnelly was previously passed unanimously by the Public Safety Committee and is expected to get a vote in the full state assembly in the coming week.
California residents are strongly encourage to contact their state representative immediately to request a YES vote on AB351. (contact info here)
If passed into law, AB351 would require that the state refuse to enforce or assist in the enforcement of indefinite detention as may have been authorized by either the 2012 NDAA or the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF). It reads, in part:
“no agency of the State of California, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency, or a political subdivision, of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the California National Guard on official state duty shall knowingly aid an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person within California pursuant to
(A) Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA,
(B) the federal law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40), enacted in 2001”
This would make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to detain without due process in California. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government is going to have an extremely difficult time – at best – carrying out indefinite detention in California without the assistance of California.
Weighing in on the bill, Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey noted the impact it would have if passed into law. “Passage of AB351 would mark the beginning of the end of indefinite detention in California. In those limited situations where federal enforcement still does occur in the face of massive refusal by the state, Rosa Parks proved it: “No” can change the world.”Details
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania is the latest local community to take a stand against the Police State. They recently passed a 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution that stands against the Feds trampling upon the Constitution in their neck of the woods.
The resolution affirms the natural rights of people saying that “any federal act, bill, law, rule or executive order that in any way infringes on our Second Amendment rights by attempting to reduce the private ownership of any firearm, magazine or ammunition shall be unenforceable in Susquehanna County.”
As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here)
The passing of this resolution also marks a rare instance where bipartisanship within government works to the benefit of the American people. The resolution was introduced by Republican Commissioner Michael Giangrieco and supported by Democratic Commissioner MaryAnn Warren, as well as the whole committee. It was passed unanimously.Details
The Preserving Privacy Act of 2013, introduced into the North Carolina General Assembly by Representative Setzer, regulates the usage of drones strictly for the purpose of conducting warranted searches.
The introduction of this bill is rather timely in light of the increased scrutiny on drones after Rand Paul’s Senate filibuster.
“It shall be unlawful for any person or municipal, county, or State law enforcement agency to use a drone for the purpose of gathering evidence or other information or data pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute or rule,” subsection (b) of the bill reads. “A person or municipal, county, or State law enforcement agency may use a drone for purposes other than gathering evidence or other information or data pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute or rule, but any information or data acquired from the use of the drone shall not be disclosed and shall be inadmissible in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding.”
If a drone is needed to prevent imminent harm to life, serious damage to property, or the imminent escape of a suspect, H.B. 312 exempts from regulation any municipal, county, or state law enforcement agency with authorization from a search warrant.
The bill requires that:Details
A bill introduced in the North Dakota State House of Representatives looks to protect the privacy of its residents from the police state by making a set of guidelines for the use of unmanned drones in surveillance by law enforcement.
House Bill 1373 was introduced by Reps. Becker, Anderson, Beadle, Heilman, Hofstad, Monson, Rohr, Toman, Hanson and Sen. Sitte. It was first read on Jan. 21 and referred to the Judiciary Committee where no action has presently been taken.
The bill comes in response to the growing national concern over predator drones, the controversial machines used to drop bombs onto people in foreign lands, coming to American skies en masse. Public safety concerns abound after repeated instances of crashes both domestic and abroad. Another troubling bit of information is that the Air Force maintains the right to spy on and collect data from drone missions about American citizens without so much as a warrant for up to 90 days as long as they claim it wasn’t intentional.
The text of HB 1373 states that “except as provided in section 4 of this Act, a law enforcement agency may not use an unmanned aircraft for surveillance of a person within the state or for the surveillance of personal or business property located within the borders of the state to gather evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct.” Section 4 of the Act gives law enforcement the right to use drones for weather-related catastrophes, exigent circumstances requiring reasonable suspecion to prevent immediate danger to life or bodily harm and national border patrol.Details