by Ed Martin

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ed Martin, 2012 candidate for US Congress in Missouri, sent the following letter to the entire state legislature in an effort to enumerate the role of a US Senator in the state’s effort to assert sovereignty.


Dear Governor Nixon,

Recently, on behalf of all Missourians, you accepted over $20 million from the federal government to facilitate the implementation of Obamacare insurance exchanges.  I believe this was a mistake and I encourage you to send the money back and to refuse to take any action to implement Obamacare because the law is outside of the jurisdiction of the federal government  as defined by the United States Constitution.

If you do return the money and fight implementation, I pledge my support for your efforts.

I address this letter to you in your capacity as the senior elected official of the state of Missouri according to the Missouri Constitution.  I hope that this letter challenges your thinking.  With this letter, I offer you my commitment to assist you in protecting the liberty of the people of Missouri should I be elected to serve as United States Representative from Missouri’s Second Congressional District and you are re-elected to the office of governor.

It is obvious to me that significant changes have taken place in the relationship between  Missourians and our federal government – changes that  have diminished their liberty and are   not in the interest of Missourians or our nation.

First, the federal government has far outgrown its intended boundaries regarding its powers and the Constitution. Our federal representatives are cobbling together an ever more intrusive and expensive labyrinth of regulations, laws and mandates by asserting authority never granted to them by the states.

Second, our elected officials have, for too long, acquiesced to federal overreach; this acquiescence occurs out of self-interest, disinterest, or misunderstanding. The elected officials charged with protecting the sovereignty of  Missourians – namely our state elected officials as well as our  two United States Senators and the eight United States Representatives  (as of January 2013) – have not been up to the task.

I believe the time has come to begin the long work to restore the proper balance between the states and the federal government.  Toward that end, I offer you my solemn pledge to fight for the liberty of “We the people of Missouri” and to stop the over-reaching federal government in any way I can.  I pledge to assist and advocate for you in your efforts as Governor of Missouri should I be elected as a United States Representative from Missouri in 2012.

Early this year, Americans marked the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act,  commonly known as Obamacare.  Most Americans now recognize this federal takeover of health care as an unwelcome intrusion and a dramatic overreach by the federal government.  Our own state’s clear repudiation of Obamacare in August 2010 along with the general election results in November 2010, ought to have meant the end of this scheme; however, with a divided Congress, repealing Obamacare seems as remote today as it seemed the day after passage.

I believe that this current circumstance calls for a remedy found within the federalist structure of the United States, specifically the assertion of the sovereignty of the State of Missouri in defense of its citizens.  I join those calling for Missouri’s elected officials – including our U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives – to stand between Missouri and the federal government to stop the intrusions  on our liberties and interpose on our behalf.

As a matter of general understanding, I offer these observations:

The U.S. Constitution and the sovereignty of  the people of Missouri

I understand that the United States Constitution is a compact, or agreement, “between” the states.  (See Article VII, the Ratification Clause.)  Our founders intended  the federal government to be an agent or administrator of that compact and assigned to it very specific responsibilities.   By ratifying the Constitution, the states were ceding to the federal government a subset of roles or powers that, under  typical circumstances, would be the purview of a sovereign nation.  For example, the states  gave up the authority to go to war, mint currency, or levy tariffs on imported goods.  The 10th amendment makes it clear, however, that the states have the sovereign authority to manage their internal affairs in all but a limited number of situations as clearly spelled out.  The Missouri Constitution also makes this assertion in Article I, § § 3 and 4. That this is poorly understood is a failure in education and a willful disregard of what our nation’s founders and founding documents enacted.

Over the years, and particularly in the first half of the 20th century, the federal government began encroaching upon the states’ sovereign prerogatives, typically in pursuit of a progressive economic agenda (e.g. expansion of the Commerce Clause).  These insults to state sovereignty were great and small, and, it must be admitted, they were advanced under both Republican and Democrat leadership.  Nearly every department of the President’s cabinet, for example, creates some measure of havoc at the state level either through regulation or funding offered with a rat’s nest of strings attached. These realities have brought us to this point where we the states and the people are becoming broke and hobbled.

Respective states have a right and duty to stand between the federal government and the state’s citizens in some circumstances.  When the federal government – which derives its authority from the states – oversteps its boundaries, the state must interpose itself between the federal government and the people.   We have no choice: interposition is a REQUIREMENT of our system of government.

For proof of this assertion, look no further than Article I, Section 2 of the Missouri Constitution. It says that “giv[ing] security” to the basic civil rights of the People is the “principal office of government” and that when government fails to do so it “fails in its chief design”.

Since you took an oath to support and defend the Missouri Constitution,  you should be interposing, and you should have help in  the defense of  Missourians.

This defense of the state must include both United States Senators and all eight of our U.S. Representatives whose task is to  quash any encroachment upon his fellow citizens’ rights and sovereignty.   Those Senators and Representatives should work in consultation and concert with the people’s representatives at home, to keep the Feds tending to Federal tasks and leaving the states to their business.  Currently, we have federal elected officials who are not defending us and who, too often, act more like some sort of associate President to help burden states and their citizens with new programs or regulations.

Obamacare and the Protective Assertion of Sovereignty

In light of this understanding of the intended relationship between the people of Missouri and the federal government, I believe it is time for significant changes in  the way our state deals with federal encroachments.

How, then, do we return to  the  proper relationship between the states and their agent, the federal government?   Or more simply: how do we undo what has been done to us?

First, we all must state, publicly and without reservation, the truth of the sovereignty of  Missourians as it relates to the state and federal governments.

Second, we must join forces – today! – to fight off the encroachments of the federal government starting with Obamacare.  Governor Nixon, you must lead!  But you must know that the federal elected officials will stand with you and fight side-by-side with you.  I will do this!

Why begin with Obamacare?  First, Obamacare was so recently repudiated by the overwhelming majority of Missourians in passing Proposition C.  Second, it is a clear and unequivocal assault on the freedom of individual citizens of Missouri and the regulatory prerogatives of the state.  Third, even after the landslide drubbing proponents of Obamacare took in the November 2010 elections, federal elected officials are not moving to repeal, defund or otherwise stop it.

By engaging in a debate, and ultimately seeking executive action and legislation to nullify this most odious federal law, you will step into this breach and lead us.  If you do this,  Missouri will begin the slow process of restoring the state’s proper position in the pantheon of American political institutions.  I am convinced that this is a potent curative to the overreach we have been experiencing these last many years.

Should I prevail in the 2012 election to represent the people of the 2nd Congressional District of Missouri, you will have an ally in the reassertion of the sovereignty of the great state of Missouri.  I do believe it will be my role to help protect Missouri from federal laws and regulations that overstep the  constitutional role of the federal government.

Toward that end, I make these commitments to you and to your successors in office:

  • Each year, I will request a meeting with you and with the Missouri General Assembly expressly to discuss any federal actions or contemplated actions that we are concerned constitute an overreach by the federal constitutional authority. (Perhaps the week of March 23rd would be a good time given its significance as an anniversary of Obamacare.)  I will invite the other seven U.S. Representatives along with both of Missouri’s U.S. Senators.
  • I will support you in any effort to interpose on behalf of the people, including  nullifying  any law, regulation, or other action that we deem to be an overreach of federal constitutional  jurisdiction.  This includes your executive actions as well as action by the Missouri General Assembly.

Finally, I will fight against any action by the federal government to punish the state or Missourians for any expression of state sovereignty.  We all know from experience that the federal government can and will use its power to withhold and intrude in our state, and I will fight to stop this abuse.

I am copying this letter to the Speaker of the Missouri House, the President Pro Tempore of the Missouri Senate, and to Attorney General Koster for their information and education.  Also, I intend this to be a “circular letter” and will treat it as such.

I look forward to your reply to this letter and wish you all the best on this day, Saturday, August 20, 2011.


Ed Martin

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