JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Dec. 16, 2015 – A new bill introduced to the Missouri General Assembly could help put the nail the coffin on any enforcement of federal laws and regulations by the Show-Me State.
Introduced by State Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove ), House Bill 215 (HB215) would “prohibit the enforcement of any federal regulation by any state department or agency unless the enforcement is approved by the General Assembly.”
We’re not ones to exaggerate or overstate the significance of legislation. But if this bill were to pass, its repercussions for unconstitutional federal laws could be catastrophic. Such a law would mandate a public and open review of the extent to which the feds rely on states like Missouri to enforce their laws and regulations through local law enforcement.
For example, federal bureaucrats like the ATF, DEA, EPA and other federal ABC agencies depend on the resources and personnel from state law enforcement. Without those resources, they are incapable of giving federal laws any teeth in the state.
This is not just hearsay. The National Governor’s Association noted in a 2013 statement that the “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.” Not some, most.
To get an idea of just how utterly reliant the feds are on states like Missouri, The Environmental Council for the States reported in 2005 that the states conducted about 90 percent of all enforcement actions taken by both the states and the EPA. That’s 90 percent, not nine percent.
According to a DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics report, in 2008 the EPA employed just 202 full-time officers with arrest and firearm authority. They were listed as having another 40 full-time officers in a table titled, ‘Offices of inspectors general employing full-time personnel with arrest and firearm authority’.
In that report, in which their primary duties are listed as, “Special agents investigate suspected individual and corporate criminal violations of the nation’s environmental laws”, the EPA had just over 200 officers.
The states do nearly all the work enforcing many federal laws and regulations, and nearly all those laws are completely unconstitutional.
Passage of HB215 would shine a bright light on just how the state is carrying out enforcement and would set the stage for heavy public pressure to put this to an end.
And, just weeks ago, State Rep. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) pre-filed House Joint Resolution 12 (HJR12) which, if passed, creates a mechanism to prohibit the state “from devoting any resources toward enforcing any federal law deemed unconstitutional by the voters or the general assembly.”
These two bills combined would sound the death knell for unconstitutional federal laws in Missouri through the use of a Supreme Court-approved legal doctrine known as anti-commandeering, depriving the feds of vital assistance.
Also, contact your state sen. and urge them to introduce similar legislation in the senate. Contact info here: http://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/default.aspx.
All other states, contact your state rep and senator and urge them to introduce legislation similar to HB215 in Missouri. Contact info here: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/
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