SALT LAKE CITY – With the passage of HB 131, the Constitutional and Federalism Defense Act, Utah has taken a firm stance against the central government’s assault on states’ rights. “[If] we want to be a sovereign we have to act like one,” said Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, committee co-chair. The bill, signed by Gov.…Details
Once again, the nine robed federal employees filling seats at the Supreme Court failed to check constantly expanding federal power.
The feds have tried to unconstitutionally regulate intrastate commerce in many ways through agencies under the purview of the executive branch. Using a several different alphabet agencies, they have maintained bans on hemp and marijuana, and even regulated food, environmental conditions and firearms within the borders of individual states.
While the Constitution delegates power to the federal government for regulation of interstate commerce – trade crossing state lines – the federal government was never intended to interfere with economic activity confined within the borders of the state.
On June 13, the Supreme Court rubber stamped this unconstitutional exercise of federal power, concluding federal acts override state and local laws.
In 1997, the Port of Los Angeles (“the Port”) introduced a plan to expand its cargo terminals to better accommodate its high shipping volume. Following public concern that the plan could significantly increase air pollution, the Board of Harbor Commissioners adopted a Clean Air Action Plan (“CAAP”). The CAAP aimed to reduce emissions and specifically targeted the Port’s drayage truck business. Roughly 16,000 drayage trucks regularly serve the Port, transporting goods between customers and the cargo terminals. Beginning in 2008, the CAAP banned drayage trucks from the Port, unless the carriers entered into a series of concession agreements. These agreements imposed a progressive ban on older trucks and provided incentives for drayage truck operators to convert their aging fleets to cleaner trucks.
American Trucking Associations (“ATA”), a national association of motor carriers, challenged several provisions within the concession agreements and brought suit against the City of Los Angeles and its Harbor Department. ATA argued that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (“FAAA”) preempted the agreements. The FAAA Act prohibits a state from enacting any regulation related to the “price, route, or service of any motor carrier.” ATA claimed that the concession agreements amounted to such a regulation. ATA further argued that the State could not limit a federally licensed motor carrier’s access to a port.”
The FAAA legitimately preempts state and local laws when regulating commerce in such places as ports, where interstate and foreign commerce takes place. However, off-site parking falls under to state and local authority and not federal regulation. But the Supremes opined that since neither California nor the city of Los Angeles ever had a problem with FAAA regulating things just outside the port before, well, then it’s just fine and dandy for the feds to regulate it under the FAAA now. Therefore, the strict regulations imposed by the state of California and the city of Los Angeles are now null and void under this ruling. Not only that, the FAAA can stop a city or state from preventing trucks access to a port based on consignments of statute all across the U.S.Details
In a move that would make Joseph Story and John Marshall rise from their graves and offer him high-fives, 10th Circuit Judge David Nuffer made himself the sole arbiter of federal and state powers, ruling last Friday that federal park rangers’ authority supersedes that of the State of Utah in matters concerning local law.
Gov. Gary Herbert signed HB155, on April 3. The new law prohibits federal Land Management officers from acting as agents of state and local law by “limiting the authority of specified federal employees to exercise law enforcement authority within Utah.” The bill came in response to officers of the Forestry Service taking it upon themselves to administer local traffic laws, making such unauthorized actions class-B misdemeanors; punishable by a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
“We don’t want Utah citizens going before a federal magistrate for a speeding ticket,” said Utah AG Swallow, in the AG’s press release on May 13. “Federal officers should be enforcing federal laws and state and local officers should be enforcing state and local laws. We are concerned about the federal government once again encroaching on states rights and we will vigorously defend the constitutionality of HB 155.” [Emphasis added.]
Federal attorneys promptly sued, and on May 13th, Nuffer granted a temporary injunction, stopping the law from taking effect. Last Friday’s ruling extends the injunction until the issue is settled at trial.Details
Local resistance to unconstitutional violations of the Second Amendment continues to grow with the Mt. Holly Springs, Pa. council passing a resolution declaring that its citizens have the right to own firearms “free of unreasonable restraint and regulation.”
Council members voted unanimously May 14 to pass a resolution affirming the rights of its citizens to keep and bear arms.
The Second Amendment Preservation Resolution was based upon the Tenth Amendment Center’s model legislation and was proposed by resident Chris Rietmann. As reported in an article the Cumberland Sentinel, Reitmann explained why he proposed the bill saying, “I believe that the Framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully and, for the most part, it has worked very well for us for the last 200-plus years. I don’t believe you can legislate natural rights.”
The resolution is non-binding, and the city council chose to set aside a proposed Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance that would have nullified any federal gun control laws within city limits. The council sent the ordinance its legislative council for review.
Rietmann said the goal of the ordinance was to forbid borough officials, including the police, from assisting the federal government in carrying out what he called “acts that deny local residents their Second Amendment rights.”Details
We at the Tenth Amendment Center have promoted the idea that nullification brings people from both sides of the political equation together. And although we have seen mainstream voices from the establishment left and establishment right come together to denounce nullification, the idea continues to catch on amongst the freedom-starved American people. One recent example of nullification catching on comes from the left as author W.W. Houston wrote a recent article for the Economist on May 9 triumphing the idea of nullification and states rights.
Houston began his article with an interesting anecdote about the founding of the Republic of Texas. According to legend, freedom fighters in Texas held up a flag over their cannon that said ‘COME AND TAKE IT’ in defiance of their Mexican oppressors. Houston brought up a recent bill that had passed the Texas House that declared all federal gun control laws to be null and void, comparing it to their revolutionary ancestors. Usually, you would expect a mainstream media outlet at this point to go on a tyrade against this legislation calling it “crazy”, “racist”, “extreme” and every other derogatory term they could come up with. However, this time the Economist has thrown us a curve ball and is actually running the pro-States Rights point of view.
The article goes on to give a solid description of the arguments and counter-arguments for nullification before closing tremendously with an eloquent defense of states rights. “The discretion of states to decide what federal laws they will enforce strikes me as part of a healthy division and balance of government power. Requiring that states devote its citizens’ resources to the enforcement of laws with which the state legislature disagrees seems to me straightforwardly to deny the democratic sovereignty of the state’s people,” Houston said.Details
The “winners” write the history, and always in favor of their side of the “argument”.
Government’s job is to “control” the people. Control takes power and power comes at a price: the people’s liberty. In a nutshell, government power stands as the enemy of liberty. And when it comes to the war between power and liberty, power generally triumphs.
And government writes our history.
Most people allow the government to educate their children and that means they learn the approved government version of history. Sadly, it is totally corrupt. Few Americans realize it and can’t, or wont, correct the mistake.
I will try to help correct a piece of the disinformation surrounding the 10th Amendment and put it all into the correct perspective for you.
We’ve watched government trample on the Constitution throughout most of our recent history. We do not have to look very far to see examples. President Bush’s Administration created the The Patriot Act, anything but patriotic. Throughout his terms in office, Bush completely disregarded what the Constitution said and wielded the arms of war with wanton disregard.
President Obama continues in the same vein with more anti-constitutional measures. When Congress does not do what Obama wants he creates Executive Orders with the force of law. Effectively legislating from the White House and overstepping his constitutional boundaries without any regard to the laws our country.
Our Constitution is a document designed to LIMIT the power of the federal government. It enumerates the exact duties, responsibilities and powers of each branch of the federal government. In other words, the federal government ONLY has the powers over things that are specifically spelled out in the Constitution. ALL OTHER POWERS are reserved for the states and people. This is succinctly spelled out in the 10th Amendment.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
“The Second Amendment Preservation Act” successfully made its way through a Missouri State Senate Committee on Wednesday, bringing the state ever closer to protecting the natural rights of their citizens.
HB 436 was passed by a Senate Committee on a 4-1 vote. The bill was already passed by a strong veto-proof majority in the State House. It now awaits a full vote in the State Senate before it is fully passed and sent to the governor.
UPDATED 04-26 We’ve been informed that the Senate committee removed an unrelated amendment that the house inserted, so after passing the full senate it will first go back to the House for concurrence, then to the governor’s desk.
If passed into law, HB436 would nullify virtually every federal gun control measure on the books – or planned for the future. It reads, in part:
All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.
(2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
(a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
(b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
(c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.
The bill also does a service of providing the State Legislature and the public-at-large with a history lesson that is particularly appreciated by Tenthers, saying, “The limitation of the federal government’s power is affirmed under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States is reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves.”Details
The State of Missouri is getting serious when it comes to protecting the gun rights of its citizens, and the legislature has proposed amending their State Constitution to show they that mean business.
Senate Joint Resolution 14 was passed by a landslide 29 to 2 vote on Apr. 4, and this proposed State Constitutional Amendment would provide ‘that a citizen has the right to keep and bear arms in defense of their family, in addition to the current rights in defense of home, person and property.’
The bill gets even better from there as it would not just re-affirm gun ownership rights for individuals but it would also remove ‘language stating that the right to keep and bear arms did not justify the wearing of concealed weapons’ and provide ‘that the rights guaranteed under this provision of the Constitution are unalienable. The State of Missouri is obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement.’
The language in this proposed amendment is clear that the State of Missouri must act decisively in protecting the God-given right to bear arms. It is unclear how this would exactly take shape during a full-scale federal ban and seizure of firearms, but this type of action is a decisive rebuke of the would-be gun grabbers and creates the legal requirement that the State defend against such acts. The message is being sent loud and clear to the federal usurpers that at least one state will be firmly on the side of the people should they overstep their bounds on this important issue.Details
Last week Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach introduced Senate Bill No. 528, known as the “Regulate Marijuana Act,” which decriminalizes the sale and use of marijuana for persons 21 years of age and older. Citing the efficient use of law enforcement resources, the potential tax bonanza and individual freedom, SB 528 ends criminal penalties and prosecution of cannabis users and small backyard growers, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars per year, according to Leach.
“Lives are being destroyed by prohibition,” observed Leach, making the case that the health and safety of Pennsylvania would be better served if marijuana were regulated in a manner similar to alcohol.
Leach’s decriminalization bill is actively backed by the non-partisan Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Pennsylvania Veterans for Marijuana Legalization and cleverly-named Pennsylvania Hempland Security.
The bill is not without its flaws. Most detrimentally SB 528 gives the state Liquor Control Board a near monopoly on the wholesale and retail distribution of marijuana, in the manner of Pennsylvania’s much maligned government retail sales of wine and spirits. Still, the bill attempts to reclaim state sovereignty against unconstitutional federal regulation, which is a welcome assertion of state rights secured by the Tenth Amendment.Details
North Carolina is the latest state to take a stand against federal gun control laws, as the Second Amendment Protection Act is now making its way through their State House.
House Bill 518 was introduced on Tuesday and is co-sponsored by an impressive 22 legislators with Reps. Jones, Holloway, R. Brown and Millis as the primary sponsors. It was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary on Wednesday where it awaits further action.
The bill states that “The North Carolina General Assembly finds that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right. The North Carolina General Assembly affirms this right as a constitutionally protected right in this State… This Article applies to firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition that are manufactured in North Carolina.”
The bill continues on to lay out rules to protect firearm and firearm accessories made in North Carolina saying, “A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in North Carolina and that remains exclusively within the borders of North Carolina is not subject to federal law, federal taxation, or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the North Carolina General Assembly that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce.”
To clarify any possible loopholes that the Feds may try to exploit within the law, the bill very specifically states, “The authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce in basic materials does not include authority to regulate firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition made within North Carolina borders from those materials. Firearms accessories that are imported into North Carolina 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 the firearm accessory is attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in North Carolina.”Details