WASHINGTON (MAY 10, 2001) – On Thursday, Rep. Bob Bishop (R-Utah) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R –Wyo.) plan to introduce a constitutional amendment that would give states veto power over any federal legislation.

If approved, a vote by two-thirds of state legislatures would repeal any law or regulation passed by Congress.

“The Repeal Amendment provides a targeted way to reverse particular congressional acts and administrative regulations without relying on federal judges or permanently amending the text of the Constitution to correct a specific abuse,” Bishop’s legislative director Cody Stewart said.

The proposed amendment reads:

Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.

“The Repeal Amendment is designed to restore the balance of power in our system of government as provided in the original Constitution, reserving most of the power to the states and the people, while still recognizing a federal role,” Stewart said. “This amendment will help restore balance essential to the preservation of all American liberties, which power-hungry Washington bureaucrats often attempt to undermine.”

The amendment would give the states power to repeal any act, even those within Congress’ enumerated powers, but would not protect a minority of states from an unconstitutional act supported by a two-third majority.

“It’s great to see lawmakers in D.C. make a serious effort to restore the proper balance of power between the state and federal governments, and I commend their efforts,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “But I see some danger in this amendment. It upsets the original federal framework. If the federal government operates within its enumerated powers, we don’t have a problem. When the feds do overstep, Jefferson pointed out the rightful remedy – state nullification. And there are certainly roles granted the federal government that state legislatures shouldn’t have veto power over.”

Other amendment co-sponsors include Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), John Campbell (R-Calif.), Jeff Duncan(R-S.C.) and Morgan Griffith(R-Va.).

Mike Maharrey

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.”



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