Twenty and Counting? Illinois Legislature Sends Governor Bill to Nullify Federal Marijuana Laws

SPRINGFIELD, Ill – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will be deciding if his state will become the 20th to defy and nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on marijuana  after the state Senate approved legislation on Friday.

The Illinois House passed the bill legalizing marijuana for medical use by a vote of 61-57 in April, and the Senate concurred by a vote of 35-21.  on Wednesday.  Passage into law would nullify, as 19 states are already doing, unconstitutional federal bans on the plant.

Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But sharing an opinion on something doesn’t necessarily make it a fact. You can claim you are a unicorn, but you’re not. Clearly, the Constitution delegates no power of marijuana regulation to the feds. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.


So, more and more states continue to do exactly what they should do when the federal government tries exercise power it does not legitimately possess.

Ignore it.

Nineteen states have done just that, legalizing marijuana for either limited medical purposes – or as done by the People of Washington State and Colorado last fall, legalize the plant for the general public. The wave continues to build, with even more state legislatures considering medicinal marijuana legislation in the current session, and more likely to follow suit this year and next.

The message?  When enough people say NO to unconstitutional federal “laws” – and enough states back them up, there’s not much the feds can do about it.


Kansas Town Passes Ordinance Nullifying Unconstitutional Federal Gun Laws

A small city in Kansas stepped up and added another level of defense in the battle to protect the right to keep and bear arms in the Sunflower State this week.

Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861, affirming its commitment to the Second Amendment by adopting Section 4 of the State Bill of rights. It provides for the right to keep and bear arms, for the defense of self, family, home and state. With that right under assault by an overzealous and overreaching federal government, state officials moved in to interpose. On April 16, Gov. Brownback signed “The Second Amendment Protection Act” into law.

The passage and signing of the 2nd Amendment Protection Act represented a huge step in protecting the right to keep and bear arms in Kansas, but local support will play a vital role in the ultimate success of the new Kansas law. The town of Herndon did its part to add another layer of protection for its citizens, passing an ordinance refusing any local cooperation with federal efforts to infringe on the Second Amendment. If other cities, counties and towns follow Herndon’s lead on this, blanketing the entire state with local governments refusing to enforce, federal gun control measures will be rendered toothless throughout the state. Judge Andrew Napolitano affirmed that such widespread noncompliance can make federal laws “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government absolutely cannot enforce gun control in Kansas without the help of Kansas.

On May 7, the Honorable Mayor Kenny Chartier, introduced  Ordinance # 510 to the city council. The council did not even wait for the presentation of the ordinance before making a motion to adopt. It prohibits any agency or person in the employ of the City of Herndon from enforcing, providing material support for, or participating in any way in the enforcement of any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of federal government regarding personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition with the city limits.


Never Mind the IRS, You’d Better Be Nice to Kathleen Sebelius

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board is everything its critics say and worse. It is a democracy-skirting, Congress-blocking, powers-unseparating, law-entrenching, tax-hiking, fund-appropriating, price-controlling, health-care-rationing, death-panelingtechnocrat-thrilling, authoritarian, anti-constitutional super-legislature. Its very existence is testament to government incompetence. It stands as a milestone on the road to serfdom.

The Congressional Research Service has now confirmed what HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pretends not to know but what Diane Cohen and I explained here:

[I]f President Obama fails to appoint any IPAB members, all these powers fall to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

That’s an awful lot of power to give any one person, particularly someone who has shown as much willingness to abuse her power as Sebelius has.

I would also like the Congressional Research Service to address a feature of IPAB that Cohen and I first exposed. According to the statute, we write: 


Executive Orders: The Constitution Doesn’t Authorize Legislation by Executive

When the most current occupant of the White House was thwarted by Congress (as well as preempted by many states, aka Nullified before the fact) in his attempt to further remove the natural right of bearing arms, he decided he would write Executive Orders.

So what are Executive Orders?  The Constitution does not clearly give the President an authority called “Executive Orders”.  However, in Article II, Section 1 and in Section 3 we do see phrases such as “[the President] take care that the laws be faithfully executed”.   The purpose is generally thought to mean these orders would be the means by which the President would direct the heads of departments in carrying out the laws or regulations enacted by Congress.

President Washington, issued 8 of what are now called executive orders; President Lincoln issued 48; President T Roosevelt; issued 1,081;  Franklin Roosevelt produced 3,522 and Mr. Clinton created 364.

Have some Presidents used the “Executive Orders” to end run around Congressional checks and make law by fiat?  We all know of the infamous Order number 9066 wherein Franklin Roosevelt delegated military authority to “remove any or all people (used to target specifically Japanese Americans and German Americans) in a military zone”. The authority delegated to General John DeWitt paved the way for all Japanese-Americans on the West Coast to be sent to internment camps for the duration of World War II.


Former Senate Candidate/Cancer Patient, Hardy Macia Pleads MMJ Case to New Hampshire’s Governor

In a short You-tube video, former senate candidate for the 2nd Congressional Seat of New Hampshire, and current cancer patient Hardy Macia, pleading his death bed case for the ability to cultivate and use Medical Marijuana to New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan. New Hampshire passed House Bill-573, March 20, 2013, when the house voted in favor, 286-64, allowing individuals the ability to use, and cultivate marijuana for medical use. Provisions of HB-573, allow patients to access marijuana from one of five state regulated health centers and/or cultivate up to three cannabis plants. According to the bill, the state regulated dispensing centers will not begin serving patients for two years, which makes the cultivation aspect of the bill very important for today’s patients in need of this very useful medication.

This is where Hardy Macia’s video comes into the story. Apparently, under the duress of the state law enforcement community and it’s unions, Governor Maggie Hassan has decided the only way she will sign HB-573 is if the cultivation provision is removed from the bill. This obviously puts Mr. Macia and other patients in a legal conundrum.

The video begins with an emaciated, and obviously very ill Hardy Macia whispering his introduction to Governor Hassan. Mr. Macia offers he has been an advocate for the use of medical marijuana for over ten years, due to a cousin’s car accident which left them a quadriplegic. “


Is Kathleen Sebelius Barack Obama’s Oliver North?

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

I blogged earlier about how HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is unethically, and possibly illegally, shaking down industries she regulates to get them to fund ObamaCare’s implementation.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the ranking member of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, says this is “arguably an even bigger issue [than] Iran-Contra,” and ably defends his position against the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff.

Excerpts from Alexander’s comments:


It’s Time to Set Aside Our Differences and Focus On Our Similarities

This topic isn’t a new one here at the Tenth Amendment Center. We often discuss the left/right paradigm, and the sentiment of John Adams that; “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

Who could have known those words would ring so true today.

I had the opportunity to spend some time with our friends at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee this weekend, along with a few coalition partners. I arrived at our Friday night reception to meet a bunch of really open, and friendly activists. As we headed into our weekend, several of those in attendance identified themselves to me as progressives. Early on, someone labeled me as the capitalist, libertarian contingent in the room. It turned out that for a few, capitalism and libertarians weren’t necessarily the most popular things going around. Fortunately, we were all there to learn and those things didn’t detract. I was able to share a little bit about coalition building, and the need for us to work together, regardless of where we have politically identified up until now.

Within personal bubble, I tend to be in contact with a lot more people who consider themselves to be politically on the right. I am very used to the bad arguments and misconceptions coming from that side. It was incredibly interesting for me to be with a group who almost wholly identifying with the political left. Turns out, they have some of the same misconceptions about the other side, as the other side has about them! Of course I already knew that to be true, but somehow, within the group, it seemed more profound.

As the realization of this sank in, I just felt sad. Because here was a room full of really fantastic people, doing good work. People with amazing perspective, great ideas, and intelligent things to say… and a whole group of people across the aisle were missing out on them. I personally benefited incredibly from the wealth of experience and thoughtfulness that was in that room. I considered a couple of people at home who could have used the experience even more than I. It was challenging for me, at times, because I had one or two preconceived notions of my own that I wasn’t completely aware of. More than challenging though, it was just really inspiring. I was impressed by the level of respectfulness that everyone showed to one another.


MSNBC’s Kornacki Attacks Nullification, Makes a Fool of Himself

It’s no secret that MSNBC has no love for nullification.

Back in 2011, Rachel Maddow attempted to link the growing nullification movement to racism. Jason Rink used parts her television segment and refuted many of her statements in his documentary, Nullification: A Rightful Remedy.

The folks over at MSNBC haven’t changed their tune. Recently, The Rachel Maddow Show producer Steven Benen wrote a commentary on the show’s blog page called, Pointless Nullfication in Kansas  critical of the recently passed Firearms Freedom Act. Tenth Amendment Center’s Executive Director Michael Boldin responded to Benen’s article with an audio segment, MSNBC: Where it’s Always Opposite Day.

And the assault continues.

Recently, Up with Steve Kornacki broadcasted a show segment, again discussing the Kansas Firearms Freedom Act.

The anti-nullification slant was apparent just from the selection panel members: Democrat State Senator David Haley, Harper’s Magazine Columnist Thomas Frank who is also author of What’s the Matter with Kansas, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner from and the “token” Republican Sheila Frahm, also from Kansas.


Arizona Voters Get Opportunity To Consider State Sovereignty Amendment In November 2014

PHOENIX, Ariz. ( May 15, 2013) – The people of Arizona haven’t had much to cheer about when it comes to assertion of state sovereignty to block unconstitutional federal acts. Several measures passed through the state legislature over the last two years, but none escaped the ink flowing from Gov. Jan “Finger-wagging” Brewer’s veto pen.

Last year, the Arizona governor vetoed a bill nullifying indefinite detention provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act and a sheriff’s first initiative that would have required federal agents to notify the county sheriff before operating in their jurisdiction. During the latest legislative session, Brewer rejected a bill that would have allowed the use of gold and silver as legal tender in the Grand Canyon State.

But Brewer won’t have the opportunity to put the kibosh on a powerful state sovereignty bill  garnering final approval in the legislature Tuesday.

The people of Arizona will get the final say.

HCR1016 places a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 general election ballot. If approved by the voters, a direct mechanism will be created to help ensure that the use of state personnel and financial resources will only be authorized for activities consistent with the Constitution. That would functionally prohibit state cooperation with  federal enforcement of  gun “laws” violating the Second Amendment, or attempts to indefinitely detain people in Arizona under the NDAA. The provision would essentially end all state cooperation with  any unconstitutional acts across the board.