Jefferson to Madison — Is Too!

Writing as if he were James Madison, Pete Spiliakos, in his recent article James Madison Keeps It Real On Nullification, (an excellent article I urge you to read) made an interesting argument stating that nullification and interposition were not legal. But before we get to that, let’s look at the rest of his article where he states as Madison that, “Now I’d say that nullification and interposition are two different things. The first is the alleged legal rights of states to suspend the enforcement of any law a state government feels to be unconstitutional within the borders of that state. The second is the power of the state government to protect their citizens from radical violations of their rights by the federal government. I know they sound similar, but they could hardly be more different.”

This is where he goes on to explain the difference between the two concepts. But when you break it down, it is the difference between turning your back and saying I am not going to do that and getting in the bullies face and saying I’m not going to do that and neither are you!

At the Tenth Amendment Center, we have a Model Legislation tab at the top of the page. We offer model legislative bills on different Tenth Amendment issues, and with some there are as many as three different versions.

First, there is a Resolution, which states what Tenth Amendment issue you are raising, and then asks that the federal government stop doing it, a lot like a First Amendment redress of grievances. Second, Nullification, where the Tenth Amendment issue is stated and you refuse to comply and forbid any state officer from aiding or complying with the federal government. Kind of the state version of civil disobedience. And finally comes Interposition, this one restates Nullification but not only will state officials not comply they will physically block federal officials from enforcing the “law” in the state. That’s were things get a little dicey. This is the last option no state wants to be pushed to, but when all else fails they must be willing to push back.

Details

Arizona Demands Equal Treatment

Arizona is tired of waiting so last week the Arizona House OKs Bill to Demand US Public Lands in essence they are asking ARE WE NOT A STATE?

At statehood, the federal government promised all states that it would transfer title for all public lands within the states. The U.S. Supreme Court has called these promises “solemn compacts,” “bilateral (two-way) agreements,” and “solemn trusts” that must be performed “in a timely fashion.”

With the vote of 35-15, SB1332 was changed from requiring that Washington turn over “public lands” to a demand that they do so.  If it passes the Senate, it will place Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in the position that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert found himself in when he signed similar legislation last month, do they join the Western land war: 5 states fight D.C. for control of federal areas.

The fight centers on the millions of acres of lands that were never turned over to the western states after they were admitted to the union. These lands are being held in “trust” for the “public” but they hold valuable resources that the states feel they have a right too. The following list shows what these states see as unequal treatment by the federal government. The percentage of land that is under the control of the feds west of the Mississippi is staggering and they want it turned over as promised in the Enabling Acts that brought these states into existence .

Details

Medicinal Marijuana and Connecticut: House Bill 5389

Currently, 16 states have laws allowing medicinal marijuana usage, and with Connecticut House Bill 5389 passing through the Connecticut House by a 96-51 affirmative vote, there may soon be a 17th. The purpose of this bill is to legalize “palliative marijuana.” The bill states in Section 1.2.B that “any medical condition, medical treatment or disease…

Details

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.”

Details

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.”

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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!

Details

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.

Details