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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Food Freedom for New Hampshire?

The mood of  New Hampshire’s  legislature concerning an overstepping federal government is clearly illustrated in NH HB1650. In no uncertain terms, the representatives of the people of New Hampshire have made clear their thoughts on the role of the United States Government,  declaring that Uncle Sam is bounded by the U.S. Constitution, and that when it decides to step outside these limits, it is unlawful  and of no effect. The bill has provisions which would make it a criminal act for its violation:

439-A:5 Penalty.

I. Any public servant of the state of New Hampshire as defined by RSA 640:2 that enforces or attempts to enforce a federal act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation upon a foodstuff labeled “Made in New Hampshire,” that is produced commercially or privately in New Hampshire, and that remains within the state of New Hampshire shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

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Will Mississippi Defy Feds, Legalize Medical Marijuana?

Senator Deborah Jeanne Dawkins (D) has introduced a bill to allow medical use of marijuana by seriously ill patients under doctor’s supervision.

Senate Bill 2252 “an act to authorize the medical use of marihuana by seriously ill patients under a physician’s supervision; to define certain terms; to provide an exemption from criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marihuana; to provide limitations on the medical use of marihuana; to provide a legal defense for patients and primary caregivers; to amend sections … of Mississippi code to transfer marihuana from schedule I to schedule II under the controlled substances law; to amend section … Mississippi code of 1972, to exempt the medical use of marihuana from criminal penalties under the controlled substances law; and for related purposes.”

The bill also states: “Although federal law expressly prohibits the use of marihuana, the laws of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington permit the medical use and cultivation of marihuana. The Legislature intends to join in this effort for the health and welfare of the citizens of Mississippi.  However, the Legislature does not intend to make marijuana legally available for other than medical purposes.”

If passed, this bill it would put the state in conflict with federal law declaring itl illegal to use, buy and sell marijuana. As the bill authors point out, 99 out of 100 arrests for marijuana are by the states, but this bill still will not protect the states citizens from federal prosecution. The state is legally within its rights to decide this issue based on the 10th Amendment which declares; “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.”  Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is the federal government given the authority to regulate what plants we grow or consume. This remains purely a state power.

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Oklahoma governor puts taxpayers’ money where her mouth is

Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin just set an important precedent. By rejecting $54.6 million in federal money to begin implementation of ObamaCare, the governor has firmly set herself against the unconstitutional law and with the citizens of her state. From Fox News: To make it clear Oklahoma will develop its own plan, the state will not accept a $54.6 million…

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Keep your stinkin’ money

The Florida Supreme Court ruled today that Gov. Rick Scott can reject $2.4 billion in federal money for high speed rail.

“Our taxpayers aren’t going to take the risk of the cost overrun of building it,” Scott said.

He estimates the project will cost $3 billion. And if we examine the history of virtually every other government funded project in the history of humankind, it would be a pretty safe wager to bet that it would cost even more than that.

Sure, the governor received assurances that private money will cover cost overruns. Yeah. Right. After the private entities that will benefit from the project receive a barrel full of tax write-offs, kickbacks and backroom deals to its further benefit.

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Texas Takes on the TSA

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Joe Pagliarulo (“Joe Pags“) spoke about his experience with the TSA’s invasive security procedures, the 4th Amendment, and what the state of Texas is doing about. Filling in for Glenn Beck, Pagliarulo quoted the following from bill sponsor Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview): Any person who touches another person…

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New England Nullification Tradition Marches On

Though many living in New England today might be loathe to admit it, there is a long history of nullification being used in the region to defy unconstitutional federal edicts. This week, the town of Sedgwick, Maine voted to carry on that proud tradition by nullifying certain federal agricultural regulations.

They did so through what might be the most legitimate form of democratic expression left in America: the New England town meeting. (Which have been held in the Sedgwick town hall since 1794.)

According to one report, the residents of Sedgwick voted to enact a law that not only permits

“Sedgwick citizens…to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing,”

but declares that

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South Carolina reps see the light on Commerce Clause

Two state representatives in South Carolina are pushing back against a federal ban of incandescent light bulbs set to begin in January of 2012. There is no constitutional authority for Congress to impose such a ban on the citizens of the several states, and it’s nice that South Carolina noticed. From NetRightDaily: “State Representatives Sandifer and Loftis are taking the lead…

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Supreme Court gets the Constitution right, for once

In an overwhelming 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the odious Westboro Baptist Church and the First Amendment. That is, the amendment which protects ALL speech, not just politically-correct, state-approved speech. Bravo. The nine highest-paid federal judges in the land have proved themselves capable of comprehending the plain language of the Constitution. Why then,  we…

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