FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2016) – During the 2017 session, the Kentucky legislature will consider a resolution declaring state sovereignty over powers not delegated to the federal government and demanding that the federal government cease enforcing mandates beyond its constitutionally delegated powers.
Rep. Kevin Bratcher (R-Louisville) prefiled the resolution (BR84) in July. It builds on the Tenth Amendment, declaring the Tenth “defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more.” The resolution then affirms that the federal government exists as an agent of the state. After asserting that the federal government violates its authority by treating the states as its own agents, the resolution affirms the state’s sovereignty and demands the federal government stop acting outside of its delegated powers.
“This Resolution serves as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers. It is the position of the Commonwealth of Kentucky that all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions, or required states to pass legislation or lose federal funding, be prohibited or repealed.”
The resolution also specifically references the anti-commandeering doctrine, a longstanding legal principle establishing that the federal government cannot force or coerce states into implementing or enforcing federal acts or programs.
“The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states.”
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