Arizona State Sovereignty Amendment Back from the Dead!

UPDATE: The Arizona Senate passed HCR2004 16-14 the second time around 0n April 30.

HCR:2004 unfortunately failed to pass in the Senate on the third reading of April 24, 2012, with a vote of 14 “Ayes”, 14 “Nays”, and two who did not vote (Steve Gallardo and Frank Antenori). Supporters thought the bill was dead.

However, Senator Yarbrough (who voted no) put forth a motion to reconsider, and the motion carried. To view the vote detail, and to see the breakdown of who voted for or against HCR: 2004, please Click Here.

As Joel Poindexter wrote in the previous Tenth Amendment Center story Arizona Moves to Regain Sovereignty, “The proposed amendment, HCR:2004, is intended to reassert Arizona’s sovereignty as a state, and regain control over much of the state’s lands and resources. According to Section C. of the proposal: “The State of Arizona declares its sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within its boundaries….” The authors made exceptions for existing military posts, Indian reservations, and federal property, pursuant to the US constitution’s Article I, Section 8, Clause 17.”

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Ohio Considering Tenth Amendment Resolution

There is a growing understanding that the federal government has become too big, to demanding and exceeds the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution, and to that end, more and more states are reaffirming their sovereignty through resolutions based on the Tenth Amendment.

The main thrust of SCR 24 is “To reassert the principles of federalism found throughout the Constitution of the United States of America and embodied in the Tenth Amendment, to notify Congress to limit and end certain mandates, and to insist that federal legislation contravening the Tenth Amendment be prohibited or repealed.”

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Arizona Moves to Regain Sovereignty

In December of last year an amendment to Arizona’s constitution was introduced by representatives Chester Crandell, Brenda Barton, and state senator Sylvia Allen. On Monday the proposed change was approved by committee in the state’s senate, as reported by The Yuma Sun, and with full Senate approval will begin making its way to the ballot in November.

The proposed amendment, HCR 2004, is intended to reassert Arizona’s sovereignty as a state, and regain control over much of the state’s lands and resources. According to Section C. of the proposal: “The State of Arizona declares its sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within its boundaries….” The authors made exceptions for existing military posts, Indian reservations, and federal property, pursuant to the US constitution’s Article I, Section 8, Clause 17.

According to senator Allen, the federal government made “an implicit promise” to the state of Arizona in 1912, in exchange for control over large sections of state lands. The deal was supposed to allow the federal government to sell off the land to pay the national debt, but as Allen describes, this never happened.

Presently the feds control almost half of the state’s lands, with total holdings standing at well over 100,000 square miles. Private ownership amounts to only seventeen percent, with the remaining territory is held by the state and reservations.

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Missouri House Moving Forward on State Sovereignty Legislation

“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 Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

As the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states, the Tenth Amendment serves to define federal power as that which is specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States – and no more! The United States Supreme Court even went so far as to rule in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states. But lately, the states are increasingly being treated as agents of the federal government, with many federal mandates standing in direct violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

But under HCR:7, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives “hereby claims sovereignty for the State of Missouri under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall serve as a notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally-delegated powers; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.

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The First State Needs to Act Like a State

Amid the chatter among fellow Tenth Amendment Center contributors, it came up in conversation that Delaware currently lacks a Tenth Amendment Center state chapter.  This was while discussing an article in the Examiner about a bill in the Delaware House that would essentially do the opposite of the Sheriffs First model legislation advocated on the Tenth Amendment Center website.

Delaware, as far as the Tenth Amendment Center’s legislative tracking goes, shows only two pieces of legislation on record, with very different results for the two bills.  HB353, the Health Care Freedom Act, was introduced March 30, 2010, and didn’t get any further than that.  The bill has not been reintroduced in any subsequent legislative session.  The other, SB17, legalized marijuana for medicinal use; it passed both the House and Senate by considerable majorities and was signed into law May 13, 2011.  Delaware, like New Jersey, apparently can pass Tenth Amendment related legislation when their officials feel the situation calls for it.  Unfortunately, that situation doesn’t seem to come along very often.

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Will Kansas Interpose to Protect Residents Against NDAA?

April 3, 2012: It’s official. The people of Kansas are serious about protecting their natural rights, and won’t be led into the shackles of tyranny without a fight. Because, as reported at “Occupy 316”, members of Occupy Wichita recently recognized the 2012 NDAA passage for what it was, and staged a demonstration outside Senator Pat Roberts’ office – complete with detainees, a prison cell and private security personnel. (Senator Roberts was one of the Kansas Senators who voted Yes on NDAA, along with fellow Senator Jerry Moran, and Representatives Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo).

And as reported by Michael Boldin in the Tenth Amendment Center article “Cherokee County Rejects NDAA”, the people of this county didn’t wait around until their citizens began disappearing off the streets, but took preemptive action, unanimously passing a resolution in opposition to the NDAA.

But now, with the help of leaders like Kansas Rep. Charlotte O’Hara (Dist.  27), Kansas government may have an opportunity through HR 6021 to interpose (via nullification) on behalf of the people. For example, HR6021 makes clear that, “The NDAA contains provisions repugnant to, and destructive of, the constitutions and Bill of Rights of the United States of America, and this state, directly violating the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 9 [Habeas Suspension Clause], Article III, Section 2, Clause 2 [Trial by jury of all crimes except impeachment], Article III, Section 3 [Treason Clause], Article IV, Section 4 [guarantee of a Republican Form of government] the 4th Amendment [Protection against unreasonable search and seizure] 5th Amendment [Right to grand jury indictment and due process], 6th Amendment [Right to speedy and public trial], 8th Amendment [Protection against cruel and unusual punishments], and 14th Amendment [Equal protection], as well as infringes on the entirety of the Bill of Rights and basic structure of the Constitution, making We the People insecure in the exercise of any of our Rights and Powers…

Because of the above injuries and usurpations of the Constitution, HR6021 states that the NDAA provisions are not only establishing an absolute tyranny over the states, but “are nearly identical to many of the long train of abuses and usurpations that compelled our forefathers to take up arms and to separate from Great Britain, as enumerated in The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, of July 4, 1776: Now, therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Kansas: That for the above and forgoing reasons, this Legislature expresses its belief that the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012 (NDAA) is unconstitutional in authorizing the President to use war powers, the “law of war,” and/or martial law in the United States and its territories over any person…

Appreciate your right to free speech? Speak up!

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NH Medical Marijuana Bill Faces Veto

The New Hampshire Senate passed legislation 13-to-11 Wednesday, March 28, 2012 to allow a patient with a “debilitating medical condition” or that patient’s designated caretaker to cultivate and possess up to six ounces of marijuana, four mature plants and 12 seedlings at a registered “cultivation location.” It would allow the patient or caregiver to possess two ounces elsewhere. 

Despite vocal support from several traditional opponents including Senate Republican Leader Jeb Bradley, it failed to gather the two-thirds majority needed for a veto override.

Governor John Lynch has opposed several medical marijuana bills in recent years. He vetoed a dispensary approach in 2009, citing concerns over proliferation and cultivation beyond the dispensaries, and another medical marijuana bill died last year in the Senate after he had promised a veto. 

Following the Senate vote, Lynch spokesman Colin Manning said the bill was even less restrictive than the dispensary approach, and the governor plans to veto it (Boston Globe).

With seven Republicans supporting the bill, allowing the legislation to cross party lines, and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voting 5-0 to approve the bill, Senator Jim Forsythe (R) is leading the charge to build a veto proof majority for the legislation.

If they are successful, the New Hampshire program would resemble those in Maine and Vermont and would end in three years if lawmakers do not renew it, providing an outlet for review and reform.

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Utah Bill Would Take Ownership of Federal Lands

The Utah bill H.B. 511 titled Eminent Domain of Federal Land was introduced February 27 and on March 2 it was submitted to Rules Committee.

As stated:
This bill authorizes a political subdivision to exercise eminent domain authority on property possessed by the federal government unless the property was acquired by the federal government with the consent of the Legislature and in accordance with the United States Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 17.

To the point this bill would require that the federal government turn over to the state all lands within the boundaries of the state of Utah that are presently under its control unless the state of Utah had deeded that land to them.

Now here is where it gets interesting:
As required by legislative rule and practice, the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel provides the following legislative review note to assist the Legislature in making its own determination as to the constitutionality of the bill.

They have stated that:
Two clauses in the U.S. Constitution empower the federal government to own and retain land.  The first, the Enclave Clause, authorizes the federal government to “purchas[e] by the Consent of the Legislature of the State” land for specific and enumerated purposes like military structures “and other needful Buildings.” U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 8, cl. 17. This bill would not affect lands acquired by the federal government in accordance with the Enclave Clause.

The second, the “Property Clause,” authorizes Congress “to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States…” U.S. Const. art. IV, sec. 3, cl. 2. Unlike the Enclave Clause, the Property Clause does not require that the federal government receive a state legislature’s consent to own land. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that “Congress has the same power over [territory] as over any other property belonging to the United States; and this power is vested in Congress without limitation…”

Parties contesting federal control or ownership of public lands under the Property Clause have argued that the equal footing doctrine requires Congress’ recognition of a state’s sovereignty over public lands. “The equal footing doctrine is grounded in the idea that new states enter the Union with the same rights as the original states.” Koch v. United States, DOI, Interior Bd. Of Land Appeals, BLM, 47 F.3d 1015, 1018 (10th Cir. 1995) (citations omitted). The courts, however, have limited the equal footing doctrine to apply only to the title of land underlying navigable waters: “The equal footing doctrine simply does not cause land in non-navigable waters to pass from the federal government to the state.” Id. at 1019. See also Texas v. Louisiana, 410 U.S. 702, 713 (1973). Furthermore, the equal footing doctrine requires political, not economic or geographic, equality between the states. United States v. Texas, 339 U.S. 707, 716 (1950). See also Texas v. Louisiana, 410 U.S. at 713.

So, basically according to the Supreme Court if you are not one of the original 13 states the federal government can do what it wishes with the land that it has refused to turn over when the territory became a state. Who would have ever though that the Supreme Court made up of 9  federal employees, nominated by the President confirmed for life by the Senate would ever side with the federal government?

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To Some, the Tenth and Nullification is Taboo

With a quip typical of a main stream media talking head, Scott Keyes traversed some well worn turf in the article entitled “Strict Constitutionalist’ Ron Paul Endorses Nullification As A ‘Very Good’ Idea”. In the post, Keyes attempts to justify federal legislative oversteps by referring to any act of congress as “the supreme law of the land” and thus, are good to go.  He makes no distinction in this assertion for the sovereigns of the state, or the individual.

It’s sad really…

As the Constitution lays out the framework for our great republic, the first ten amendments guarantee that the government cannot encroach on, or take away our freedom and liberty.

Our natural rights.

You might recall those. We have been losing a lot of them lately.

He comes to this conclusion by referring to the test of the Constitution which “states clearly that acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land…anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding”

Keyes interpretation of the constitutional passage show no regard for the Ninth or Tenth Amendments.

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