States to feds: Stay in D.C.!
$11 trillion ‘micromanaging’ price sparks explosion in sovereignty movement
Posted: May 12, 2009
8:59 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
A movement to reclaim for states all rights not specifically designated to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution is exploding across the nation, with 35 states already acting or at least considering such proposals – and one state lawmaker estimating the nation as a whole could save $11 trillion in coming years if it would succeed.
WND reported not long ago when the number of states with lawmakers considering such sovereignty efforts reached 20.
Now, according to the Tenth Amendment Center, such provisions have been launched in at least 35 states. They all address the Tenth Amendment that says: “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.”
South Carolina’s S. 424 is an example. It is titled: “To affirm South Carolina’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution over all powers not enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.”
Essentially it’s a reminder that the United States is made up of individual states; it’s not a federal authority broken up into political subdivisions.
In South Carolina, the proposals remains pending in the state Senate, where Sen. Lee Bright said he still hopes that it will be adopted this year.
The proposal there notes specifically that the “federal government was created by the states … to be an agent of the states,” and the states currently “are treated as agents of the federal government,” many times in violation of the Constitution.
The resolution states:
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring: That the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, claims for the State of South Carolina sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.
Be it further resolved that all federal governmental agencies, quasi-governmental agencies, and their agents and employees operating within the geographic boundaries of the State of South Carolina, and all federal governmental agencies and their agents and employees, whose actions have effect on the inhabitants or lands or waters of the State of South Carolina, shall operate within the confines of the original intent of the Constitution of the United States and abide by the provisions of the Constitution of South Carolina, the South Carolina statutes, or the common law as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
Bright told WND the movement is spreading from state to state as fast as lawmakers discover it.
Among the states where such proposals at least have been considered are Louisiana, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Nevada, Oregon, Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Idaho, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Kentucky, Alaska, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Minnesota, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Texas, New Hampshire, Missouri, Iowa, Montana, Michigan, Arizona, Washington and Oklahoma.
In North Dakota, it passed the House and Senate both in April, with the House a short time later adopting changes made by the Senate.
In South Dakota, it was approved by both houses of the Legislature and under that state’s rules does not need the governor’s signature.
Just last week, Rep. M.J. “Manny” Steele, a Republican in South Dakota, wrote that he believes up to $11 trillion is being wasted in the coming years by Washington’s efforts “to duplicate and micromanage our states’ affairs.”
He said states should manage their own affairs and not be dependant on a federal cash cow to make ends meet. Likewise with industries, he said, citing federal cash dumps on the banking, insurance and automobile industries.
After all, he agreed, with enough federal money allocated to the industry, Americans all still could be listening to 8-track tapes in their cars, but would that really be the best outcome?
Steele told WND his dollar estimate was based on what President Obama himself has allocated in the coming years to spend on stimulus packages, industry bailouts and the like.
“If we would just let the market take care of these things,” he said.
His letter noted that Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Carolina legislatures joined South Dakota’s in passing some statement on the Tenth Amendment this year. The results vary based on state procedures, however. In Oklahoma, the governor vetoed the plan and it was launched on its second trip through the legislature.
“Over the course of decades, there have been increasing federal mandates and acts designed to effectively step in and legislate the affairs of our various states from Washington D.C.,” Steele said. “Federal usurpation into state affairs severely limits the ability of state governments to operate according to their citizens’ wishes.”
Lawmakers in 20 states move to reclaim sovereignty
Obama’s $1 trillion deficit-spending ‘stimulus plan’ seen as last straw
Posted: February 06, 2009
11:50 pm Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Randy Brogdon
NEW YORK – As the Obama administration attempts to push through Congress a nearly $1 trillion deficit spending plan that is weighted heavily toward advancing typically Democratic-supported social welfare programs, a rebellion against the growing dominance of federal control is beginning to spread at the state level.
So far, eight states have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, including Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.
Analysts expect that in addition, another 20 states may see similar measures introduced this year, including Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania.
“What we are trying to do is to get the U.S. Congress out of the state’s business,” Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Randy Brogdon told WND.
“Congress is completely out of line spending trillions of dollars over the last 10 years putting the nation into a debt crisis like we’ve never seen before,” Brogdon said, arguing that the Obama stimulus plan is the last straw taxing state patience in the brewing sovereignty dispute.
“This particular 111th Congress is the biggest bunch of over-reachers and underachievers we’ve ever had in Congress,” he said.
“A sixth-grader should realize you can’t borrow money to pay off your debt, and that is the Obama administration’s answer for a stimulus package,” he added.
The Ninth Amendment reads, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Tenth Amendment specifically provides, “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.”
Brogdon, the lead sponsor of the Oklahoma state senate version of the sovereignty bill, has been a strong opponent of extending the plan to build a four-football-fields-wide Trans-Texas Corridor parallel to Interstate-35 to Oklahoma, as WND reported.
Rollback federal authority
The various sovereignty measures moving through state legislatures are designed to reassert state authority through a rollback of federal authority under the powers enumerated in the Constitution, with the states assuming the governance of the non-enumerated powers, as required by the Tenth Amendment.
The state sovereignty measures, aimed largely at the perceived fiscal irresponsibility of Congress in the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, have gained momentum with the $1 trillion deficit-spending economic stimulus package the Obama administration is currently pushing through Congress.
Particularly disturbing to many state legislators are the increasing number of “unfunded mandates” that have proliferated in social welfare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, in which bills passed by Congress dictate policy to the states without providing funding.
In addition, the various state resolutions include discussion of a wide range of policy areas, including the regulation of firearms sales (Montana) and the demand to issue drivers licenses with technology to embed personal information under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and the Real ID Act (Michigan).
Hawaii’s measure calls for a new state constitutional convention to return self-governance, a complaint that traces back to the days it was a U.S. territory, prior to achieving statehood in 1959.
“We are trying to send a message to the federal government that the states are trying to reclaim their sovereignty,” Republican Rep. Matt Shea, the lead sponsor of Washington’s sovereignty resolution told WND.
“State sovereignty has been eroded in so many areas, it’s hard to know where to start,” he said. “There are a ton of federal mandates imposed on states, for instance, on education spending and welfare spending.”
Shea said the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package moving through Congress is a “perfect example.”
“In the state of Washington, we have increased state spending 33 percent in the last three years and hired 6,000 new state employees, often using federal mandates as an excuse to grow state government,” he said. “We need to return government back down to the people, to keep government as close to the local people as possible.”
Shea is a private attorney who serves with the Alliance Defense Fund, a nationwide network of about 1,000 attorneys who work pro-bono. As a counter to the ACLU, the alliance seeks to protect and defend religious liberty, the sanctity of life and traditional family values.
Republican state Rep. Judy Burges, the primary sponsor of the sovereignty resolution in the Arizona House, told WND the federal government “has been trouncing on our constitutional rights.”
“The real turning point for me was the Real ID act, which involved both a violation of the Fourth Amendments rights against the illegal searches and seizures and the Tenth Amendment,” she said.
Burges told WND she is concerned that the overreaching of federal powers could lead to new legislation aimed at confiscating weapons from citizens or encoding ammunition.
“The Real ID Act was so broadly written that we are afraid that it involves the potential for “mission-creep,” that could easily involve confiscation of firearms and violations of the Second Amendment,” she said.
Burges said she has been surprised at the number of e-mails she has received in support of the sovereignty measure.
“We are a sovereign state in Arizona, not a branch of the federal government, and we need to be treated as such, she insisted.