Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Resisting the Empire

Let there be no mistake about it. Resisting the mighty Empire in Washington will require all the civil courage we can muster, and more! If we act peacefully, we will in our demonstrations and discussions be doing what was once expected of ordinary citizens. Today, however, we risk being arrested for doing the same things, as Lisa Nash documents in a Vermont Commons post about a quiet little demonstration against a power project in Brattleboro.

She writes about her husband, who runs a small electrical cooperative, feeling an inner conflict between his desire for business-as-usual, and that of supporting the rights of the demonstrators who were arrested at the request of the speaker (the Governor of Vermont).

If we are to preserve liberty in these difficult times, we will need every ounce of character we can muster, and then need to pray for more.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Why people fear change

This is all too true...
“Because we fear the responsibility for our actions, we have allowed ourselves to develop the mentality of slaves. Contrary to the stirring sentiments of the Declaration of Independence, we now pledge “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” not to one another for our mutual protection, but to the state, whose actions continue to exploit, despoil, and destroy us.”

— Butler D. Shaffer

If the trend toward tyranny is not checked, all of the creativity that has marked progress in the United States and (historically) in the State of Ohio will be extinguished. That loss will impoverish all of us.

Virtual buckeye to Benja Sariwatta at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 3/28

Axxiom for Liberty reports that Maine's Legislative Council by a D-R party line vote recently blocked further consideration of LR 722, introduced by Rep. Richard M. Cebra (R) on Jan. 22. The text of the resolution appears not to be online.

The North Carolina House introduced on Mar. 27 an Oklahoma-style resolution H849, by Reps George Cleveland, Carolyn Justice, and Curtis Blackwood (all R).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

After the State Sovereignty Resolution...

Walter Williams suggests that we should follow the example of Colorado and put some teeth into state sovereignty:

"In 1994, the Colorado Legislature passed a 10th Amendment resolution and later introduced a bill titled 'State Sovereignty Act.' Had the State Sovereignty Act passed both houses of the legislature, it would have required all people liable for any federal tax that's a component of the highway users fund, such as a gasoline tax, to remit those taxes directly to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The money would have been deposited in an escrow account called the 'Federal Tax Fund' and remitted monthly to the IRS, along with a list of payees and respective amounts paid. If Congress imposed sanctions on Colorado for failure to obey an unconstitutional mandate and penalized the state by withholding funds due, say $5 million for highway construction, the State Sovereignty Act would have prohibited the state treasurer from remitting any funds in the escrow account to the IRS. Instead, Colorado would have imposed a $5 million surcharge on the Federal Tax Fund account to continue the highway construction."

But we need to get HCR 11 and the other State Sovereignty resolutions passed first.

One step at a time...

Looking for State Sovereignty talking points?

Michael Boldin at the Tenth Amendment Center has come up with a great list of reasons that should satisfy the lawyer in any of us. Here is one that really leaped off the page, to use with those who believe in the myth of a "living" Constitution:

"We agree with historian Kevin Gutzman, who has said that those who would give us a 'living' Constitution are actually giving us a dead one, since such a thing is completely unable to protect us against the encroachments of government power."

But do check out the other nine!

Imagining Health Care

There is no reason we can't reform health care on the State level; but it will take imagination, and thinking outside the ER. It will have to leverage physicians, hospitals, insurers, educators, and the Departments of Health and Job & Family Services to make the best use of limited resources to promote healthy Ohioans through real prevention, as well as cure.

Lisa Nash is beginning a series of articles in Vermont Commons on imagineering a health care system for the future Republic of Vermont. I invite you to join her for the ride.

Quotation of the Day

From Mirek Topolanek, a Czech who is president of the European Union, on U.S. economic recovery plans, as reported by the Irish Times:

"All of these steps, their combination and their permanency, is a way to hell. We need to read the history books and read with it the lessons of history.”

The Europeans didn't take his "undiplomatic" remarks very well, but as I recall, the Czechs didn't find socialism to be such a good thing. But, of course, we Americans can ignore history and get away with it. Right?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Secession isn't such a crazy idea any more"

In the forum Debate Politics 2.0, Erod is wondering whether the nation is reaching a tipping point on secession. The writer travels throughout the United States, and is finding he is not recognizing the east or west coasts anymore, in part because of the massive immigration. Erod wonders about a President described as "imprudent", a House Speaker "that has the same mental capacity as Elizabeth Taylor," and a California Governor that once played Conan the Barbarian.

Erod thinks the movie title Idiocracy aptly describes this kind of government.

"Liberals have dumbed down this country to the point that we'll eventually be electing porn stars [Linda Lovelace for President, an X-rated movie title from the 70s] and pro wrestlers [like former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura] to the leadership positions in our country. There's an ill wind coming. I smell civil unrest like we have seen in, oh, about 135 years. Secession isn't such a crazy idea any more."

If this isn't Communism, I don't know what is

The Washington Post reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is supporting a broad power for the Federal government to seize non-bank financial institutions:

"Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner today told Congress the administration will seek unprecedented power to seize non-bank financial companies whose collapse could jeopardize the economy, a move Geithner said would have allowed the government to bail out insurance giant American International Group at a far lower cost to taxpayers. "

The proposal appears to be getting the backing of Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House committee governing banking legislation.

As I recall, a good working definition of Communism (as it was practiced) was seizure and control of manufacturing and financial institutions by the government. Oh yes, I know, it's just the banks and the other financial companies. But manufacturers and service industries, watch out. Your turn is coming.

The slippery slope just keeps getting slipperier.

Virtual buckeye to Rebellion.

State Sovereignty Update - 3/24

Idaho's State Sovereignty Resolution, HJM 4, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 51-17, with 2 abstentions.

One State is conspicuous by its absence from this list. Why isn't Vermont introducing a resolution?

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Feds lay an AIG

Thomas Toles, The Washington Post

I'm sure we have all felt the outrage over the lavish bonuses received by executives and employees of the American International Group (AIG), that were paid to them at our taxpayer expense as recipients of the Federal stimulus package.

It is wrong on several levels. It reminds us all of how faulty our system of corporate governance is, that managers are richly rewarded with bonuses even when their firms are losing money. The historical reason managers are to be paid well, is that they were supposed to accept the risks of running a business -- that when it lost money, so did they. It also shows us how skewed corporate organizations have become in favor of management, being unable to balance its interests with those of shareholders generally, and of employees.

Congress, of course, is criminally negligent. Its leadership forced its membership to accept the stimulus bill with far too little time to even begin to read, let alone analyze, the bill. Consequently, it was passed under pressure from the White House with the great majority of Congressmen left in the dark. Obviously, no one thought about prohibiting bonuses from being paid out of taxpayers' money.

President Obama and the Democratic leadership have been trying to make up for this negligence by feigning outrage that people will do what they could legally get away with. Now, there are calls to seize back the bonuses by charging their recipients a retroactive 90% tax on them.

This introduces a far more serious problem than the misuse of taxpayer dollars. It violates two key provisions of the Constitution:

"No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed." (Article I, Section 9).

Any attempt to add a surtax to the AIG bonuses would be both a bill of attainder and an ex post facto law. A bill of attainder, according to Wikipedia, is a legislative act declaring a person or group of people guilty of a crime and punishing them without a trial. While, strictly speaking, enacting a 90% tax is not criminal law, it is violating the principle that laws are to be of general application, and not applied to specific groups of people in specific circumstances.

Likewise, the Constitution prohibits ex post facto laws because such laws are making an act that was legal at the time it was committed into a punishable offense -- or in this case, is attempting to levy an additional tax on income that was received before that law was passed.

As Americans, we have always taken pride in a system that was governed by laws, not the whims of men. If we allow this provision of the Constitution to go by the wayside, we have eliminated the force of law altogether. We are saying, from now on, we shall allow ourselves to be governed by the whims of our elected officials.

Which will then and there eliminate all of our rights and freedoms, and introduce the kind of tyranny Americans have fought against throughout our history.

Let's correct the mistake, and ensure that bonuses like AIG's will never again occur on our dime, but let AIG's stand as a painful lesson learned, because our individual rights are priceless. We will not give them up even to recover a few hundred billion dollars.

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 3/23

Sam Rohrer's resolution was officially introduced in the Pennsylvania House today, and is numbered HR 95, as previously reported. In the Pennsylvania Senate, Mike Folmer (R) introduced a resolution Mar. 19 modeled on Oklahoma's as SR 51.

In Nevada, Pete Goicoechea (R) introduced AJR 15 in the Assembly Mar. 16, modeled on Oklahoma's.

The Michigan State Senate received SCR4, introduced by Bruce Patterson (R). This resolution is unique and quite brief. While it contains elements of Oklahoma's, it contains this interesting statement:

"Whereas, All government agencies and their agents and employees operating within the geographic boundaries of the state of Michigan, or whose actions have an effect on the inhabitants, lands, or water of Michigan, shall operate within the confines of the original intent of the Constitution of the United States or be subject to penalty of law as provided for now or in the future within the Constitution of the state of Michigan, the Michigan statutes, or the common law."

Now this is language even a Buckeye can love!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's official now: Ohio's State Sovereignty resolution is HCR 11

I have updated the links on this site to point to the official General Assembly version.

Looking for ideas on how to support HCR 11? This Ohio Freedom Alliance thread has some good ideas, and an easy to use e-mail generator (the State Liberty Action Mailer, or "SLAM").

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 3/17

Two States that had introduced resolutions in their House of Representatives have also introduced similar resolutions in their Senate:

Arizona SCR1038 was introduced Feb. 2 by Sen. Randy Gould (R). It is identical to their House Resolution (HCR2024).

Texas SCR39 was introduced Mar. 4 by Sen. Glenn Hegar (R). While generally modeled on Oklahoma's, it has some interesting features, unique to this resolution:

In the clause that states that "Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative functions of the States", in addition to the New York v. United States case (1992) cited in the other resolutions, the Texas Senate has added Printz v. United States, 521 US 898 (1997).

It also includes quotations from both Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton(!) in support of limiting the role of the Federal government; and reinforces the right of individuals to bear arms.

According to the John Birch Society's Tenth Amendment Movement site, Sen. Sam Rohrer's resolution in Pennsylvania has been introduced and numbered HR95, but I am unable to confirm it on the Pennsylvania General Assembly website.

What nullification means

Nullification is an old word in political discourse that has not been heard much since the War between the States, but is again becoming current in light of State sovereignty resolutions being introduced in Idaho, Montana, and Missouri. In the first two resolutions, the State is reserving the right to intercede against Federal enforcement of firearms laws on certain types of weapons; in Missouri, it is to intercede against Federal enforcement of parts of abortion laws.

The theoretical basis for nullification came from the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, introduced in 1798 by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It was intended to provide an additional protection for the States against the encroachment of Federal authority in areas not authorized to the Federal government by the U.S. Constitution. I write "additional," because the original protection was the appointment of U.S. Senators by State legislatures, one that was taken away from us by the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913.

It has always been a controversial subject; not only between Federal authorities and State governments, but among the people themselves. Ohio's great political philosopher, Frederick Grimke, for example, favored secession as a remedy of last resort, but opposed nullification.

This article, written for the Tenth Amendment Center by historian Thomas Woods, is a scholarly, but readable introduction to the subject.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 3/14

Greg Campbell (R) has introduced HJR 298 to the Alabama House of Representatives. The text is not yet available, but the summary suggests that it is modeled on Oklahoma.

In Pennsylvania, a rally is scheduled in support of their State sovereignty resolution at noon on Monday, Mar. 16 in the State Capitol rotunda in Harrisburg. I imagine that will be when Rep. Sam Rohrer finally introduces it in their House.

I would also like to give a fond farewell to the blog mrstep.com, one of my best sources of new information, which is ending for the blogger's personal reasons. And I had so hoped to see Ohio in green (resolution introduced) on his pretty map! Other sources for this information are the Tenth Amendment Center, Google Alerts, and an occasional e-mail.

Talking points on State sovereignty to address critics

Justin Lowry, writing for the Tenth Amendment Center, has a great discussion on how to view the State sovereignty resolutions. He views it as part of constructive change. In it, he address the objections that it is secessionist or unpatriotic.

He includes some interesting advice on how supporters should behave:

"The question is then how must we act. What type of change must we bring about? Gradual change is too slow, radical is too fast. We must achieve a perfect balance between patience and ferocity. Ferocity should always be synonymous with liberty. Consider the nature of a wild and domesticated dog. A domesticated dog enjoys its captivity, but a wild dog will fight fiercely to avoid capture.

"That is how we must be. We must provide fierce, constant, and persistent pressure on our legislature. We must rally friends, neighbors, and strangers to our cause for them to do the same.

"Our argument must be logical. I say we take our founders intentions to heart, but not have them be our argument. The truth is, most people don’t care what our founders intended, and it’s near impossible to make them care."

Oregon: Don't beg for your rights!

Oregon is one of the States that has introduced a State sovereignty resolution, but as Denny Jackson pointed out to the Ron Paul group, it is incredibly weak. In fact, to those who are familiar with the thinking of the Founding Fathers, its summary is downright offensive.

Here are Mr. Jackson's comments:

"Urges Congress to refrain from imposing mandates on states and to allow State of Oregon to freely exercise sovereignty granted to it under Tenth Amendment of Constitution of United States." [Emphasis added] 'Urges'? Should be 'Demands.' After all, we don't merely 'urge' people to obey the law, we demand it (or at least we should). Requested is the word used in the bill. [And requested is itself weak -HT] Why this was changed to the weak and inaccurate urges is strange.

"'...imposing mandates...' Congress has no authority to impose anything that is not within the scope of the powers delegated to it by the US Constitution. Again, this is no place to 'urge,' 'suggest,' 'imply,' 'implore,' or any such language, but to demand that Congress and the President -- and the States for that matter -- obey the supreme law of the land. Such mandates are unconstitutional usurpations of authority and violations of the trust placed in our federal servants by We the People.

"'...allow State of Oregon to freely exercise...'? This should read, 'State of Oregon will freely exercise..'! Sovereigns aren't 'allowed' to exercise their powers. Such a proposal completely misunderstands the nature of sovereignty and is oxymoronic. A sovereign possesses powers by virtue of being sovereign, not because a higher power granted them. A sovereign is the highest power within its
jurisdiction. Exercising its powers is the proper function of a sovereign and anything less is dereliction of duty.

"Which leads us finally to '...granted to it...' How about '...protected...' The 10th Amendment is not a grant of power to anyone, but a statement clarifying the proper jurisdictions of the federal and State governments. It also makes clear that We the People ultimately hold sovereign power in the United States of America, delegating a portion of that power to the various governments for protection of our
unalienable rights. The 10th Amendment is there, as are all the amendments in the Bill of Rights, to prevent the federal government from overstepping its limits and violating the sovereignty of the several States and the rights of their citizens, not to grant powers to the States (which inherently possess those powers delegated to them by the People of the respective States). [Emphasis in the last three paragraphs added.]

"I believe the issue of sovereignty and the delegation of governmental powers by the sovereign People is unquestionably the most fundamental one that all citizens should be familiar with. It goes to the very nature of the rights of the People to delegate powers of government and to determine the proper jurisdictions of those governments. Ultimately the only legitimate function of any government is to protect the rights of the people who formed it, which is why those people must demand, not 'urge,' that their government respect the limits they set. To fail to do this opens the door to tyranny."

I suppose a weak resolution is better than none at all, but I would suggest that the residents of the sovereign State of Oregon demand that their legislators put some backbone into this resolution!"

Virtual buckeye to Teri Hamel.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Rep. Jarrod Martin (R-Beavercreek) and Rep. Kris Jordan (R-Delaware County and Assistant Minority Whip) introduced Ohio's State Sovereignty Resolution today by depositing it with the Clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives. A number has not yet been assigned.

The resolution is modeled on that introduced in Oklahoma and several other States, but is a bit stronger than some, specifically by the addition in the Whereas clauses of language stating that the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ensures that each State has rights that the Federal government may not usurp, and by quoting Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution in its guarantee that every State shall be guaranteed a republican form of government. It also quotes the Ninth Amendment's guarantee that the enumeration of rights in the Constitution shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The resolution also adds a resolve "that all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalty or sanction or that requires states to enact legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."

Introduction is only the first step in the legislative process. The Speaker of the House, Armond Budish (D-Cleveland), will refer the resolution to a committee, probably to the State Government committee chaired by Ronald Gerberry (D-Austintown). To move the resolution out of committee will require a great deal of effort and education by supporters, due to the Democratic majority in the Ohio House, and the nearly universal hostility of Democrats to the measure nationwide. However, I believe that a great deal of misinformation (maybe even disinformation) has been circulated by opponents of State Sovereignty resolutions; which The Ohio Republic will address in coming days. Educating the Representatives and the public to the truth about State sovereignty may well turn the tide in its favor.

Let me deal head-on with one misconception much beloved by the media: This is not, repeat not, a resolution threatening secession. The purpose of this resolution is to add Ohio's voice to those of other States to warn the Federal government that its arrogance in dealing with the States is being noticed, and will no longer be tolerated. Far from being a resolution from secession, it may well provide the greatest hope of preserving the Union on the terms on which it was created. Contrary to what some media are writing, the State Sovereignty resolution does not promote secession; but if this movement fails and the consolidation of government (and even the economy) under the control of the Federal Government continues unabated, the collapse of the Union will become inevitable. The resolution is not likely to satisfy most secessionists; but is stronger than I expected, and will very well serve the ultimate purpose of moving our nation back to real liberty and justics for all.

Following is the complete text of the resolution (I shall include a .pdf link as soon as it becomes available):

LSC 128 0585

128th General Assembly
Regular Session

H.C.R. No. 11


To claim sovereignty over certain powers pursuant to
the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States of America, to serve notice to the
federal government to cease and desist certain
mandates, and to insist that certain federal
legislation be prohibited or repealed.


WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: "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."; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Many federal laws directly violate the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States, states in part, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York . United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS, a number of proposals from previous administrations, some now pending from the present administration, and some proposals by Congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State of Ohio hereby claims 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 Constitution of the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED, That 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; and be it further

RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalty or sanction or that requires states to enact legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the House of Representatives transmit authenticated copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate of each state's legislature, and each member of the Ohio Congressional Delegation.

Texas turns down Federal unemployment money

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants to turn down $550 million in unemployment funds that are part of the Federal "stimulus" package. The action is particularly courageous, because Gov. Perry is seeking re-election this year.

While Gov. Perry does plan to accept most of the approximately $17 billion slated for Texas, he rejects the unemployment funds, because it would force the State to enlarge its unemployment insurance program and greatly increase taxes for Texas employers. He assured Texans that the action will not affect existing benefits.

"Democrats denounced the decision as brazen political move that endangers thousands of unemployed Texans. An estimated 250,000 Texans have lost jobs since the recession began. 'After declaring his unconscionable decision today to turn away $555 million in unemployment relief meant for a rapidly increasing number of unemployed Texans, Gov. Perry will be resting comfortably tonight in a home paid for by Texas taxpayers,' said Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.

"As he does, families throughout this state will be huddling at their kitchen tables, poring through mounting unpaid bills and wondering how they are going to survive."

Part of that concern is based on a projected $800 million deficit in the Texas unemployment trust fund by September.

I thought I just read that Gov. Perry was going to continue existing benefits, meaning that he is going to use existing funding sources...

The Texas House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding voted 5-1 to push ahead with proposed changes in the Texas unemployment insurance law to meet federal criteria for accepting the money."

"'Again and again, we hear the purpose of the federal stimulus legislation is to create jobs, but this portion will actually slow job creation,' Perry said. 'If Washington really wanted to help, wanted to respect our rights as a state, they would send money to the unemployment account with no strings attached just like they did in 2002.'

"Perry touted Texas’ economy, relatively strong compared to the rest of the country, as proof that the federal government shouldn’t be telling him how to govern in an economic crisis.

"Perry is the latest Republican governor to turn down federal stimulus money. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would not accept nearly $100 million in stimulus money to expand unemployment benefits. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford asked for a federal waiver Thursday to spend $700 million in stimulus money to pay down state debt and said if the waiver wasn’t approved he would not pursue the money. That state’s Legislature is expected to make sure the state gets the money anyway, making Sanford’s move largely symbolic."

As I have written of Gov. Strickland, our State governments face some excruciatingly difficult decisions in this economy. Do we set priorities that take into account both the present and the future, or do we just take care of the moment and ruin our hope for the future?

"A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation."
-- James Freeman Clarke

Thursday, March 12, 2009

State Sovereignty Update - 3/12

Oregon now has a State Sovereignty resolution, HJM17 (to those of us east of the Mississippi, that's "House Joint Memorial"), introduced by Reps. Dennis Richardson (R) and Mike Schaufler (D).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Question for the Left: What is your real problem with State sovereignty?

Ever notice that when bloggers on the Left dislike an idea that makes sense, they resort to childish namecalling, without even addressing the issue?

Here are two examples, both from yesterday, attacking Chuck Norris' take on secession on the Glenn Beck program:

Daily Kos: “Chuck Norris and Glenn Beck Want to Cut-and-Run”

drinking liberally in new milford: “Will the GOP upChuck on Norris support?” – also includes attacks on Sarah Palin:

The most unfortunate thing is, there are grownups who take them seriously.

State Sovereignty Resolution Scorecard format updated

To more clearly present the status of the State Sovereignty Resolutions (and to keep my arithmetic correct), I have reorganized the scorecard into divisions as follows:

Resolutions introduced and remaining active in the current session: 18

Resolutions introduced during the current session that have been defeated by a vote of a house of the legislature; or are known likely to be defeated (for example, by a committee chairman refusing to hold a hearing, or by a committee vote): 4

Resolutions enacted to date, both current session and since 1994: 4

The special case of Hawai'i with an active case before the United States Supreme Court challenging the legality of its Statehood vote in 1959: 1

These figures will match the total number of States introducing resolutions (or a court case) asserting sovereignty: 27.

I hope you will find this helpful.

South Carolina's State sovereignty resolutions break from the pack

The State that gave us John C. Calhoun, who aggressively promoted the right of States to nullify unconstitutional Federal laws; and which was the first to secede in 1860, remains in the forefront of the State sovereignty movement with its two resolutions.

S424 is an Oklahoma-style resolution with a twist, adding the following paragraph to the standard resolution. It is being considered in Senate committee.

Be it further resolved that all governmental agencies, quasi-governmental agencies, and their agents and employees operating within the geographic boundaries of the State of South Carolina, or all 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 or be subject to penalty of law as provided for now or in the future, within the Constitution of South Carolina, the South Carolina statutes, or the common law as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. [Emphasis added for clarity.]

H3509 is a more concise version of New Hampshire's and includes the secession trigger. It passed the House Feb. 26, and is currently in Senate committee.


Whereas, the South Carolina General Assembly declares that the people of this State have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent State, and shall exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right pertaining thereto, which is not expressly delegated by them to the United States of America in the congress assembled; and

Whereas, some states when ratifying the Constitution for the United States of America recommended as a change, "that it be explicitly declared that all powers not expressly and particularly delegated by the aforesaid are reserved to the several states to be by them exercised" [Emphasis added]; and

Whereas, these recommended changes were incorporated as the Ninth Amendment,
where the enumeration of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, and as the Tenth Amendment, where 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; and

Whereas, the several states of the United States of America, through the Constitution and the amendments thereto, constituted a general government for special purposes and delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving each state to itself, the residuary right to their own self government.

Now, therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

[The following text is close to New Hampshire's secession trigger; however South Carolina was careful to substitute abridgment for nullification.]

That the General Assembly of South Carolina, based on the above principles and provisions, hereby declares by this resolution, that any act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States, or Judicial Order by the federal courts which assumes a power not delegated to the government of the United States of America by the Constitution and which serves to diminish the liberty of any of the several states or their citizens shall abridge the Constitution. The General Assembly further declares that acts which would cause such an abridgment include, but are not limited to:

(1) establishing martial law or a state of emergency within one of the states comprising the United States of America without the consent of the legislature of that state;

(2) requiring involuntary servitude, or governmental service other than a draft
during a declared war, or pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law;

(3) requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service of persons under the age of eighteen other than pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law;

(4) surrendering any power delegated or not delegated to any corporation or foreign government;

(5) any act regarding religion, further limitations on freedom of political speech, or further limitations on freedom of the press; and

(6) further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and each member of the South Carolina Congressional Delegation.

Stay tuned. Things are getting right interesting...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 3/10

Will Wohler informed me by email that the Georgia resolution link was outdated. It has been replaced by the current resolution (HR280).

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R) introduced HCR69 in the Mississippi House Mar. 5.

South Dakota passes Sovereignty Resolution

I have learned that the South Dakota Senate concurred in HR 1013 last Thursday (Mar. 5) to become the first State to complete the process of adopting a State Sovereignty Resolution.

So, yes, it can be done.

Monday, March 9, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 3/9

I have learned that Mike Kelly (R) in Alaska introduced HR9 to their House Feb. 25.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sorting out Oklahoma's resolutions

Larry from Oklahoma, an e-mail contact, wrote to straighten out the confusion in Oklahoma's State sovereignty resolutions. There are two of them:

HJR1003, introduced by Rep. Charles Key, passed the Oklahoma House Feb. 19.

SJR10, introduced by Sen. Randy Brogdon, passed the Oklahoma Senate Mar. 4.

The two resolutions are very similar; however the House resolution does not require approval by Oklahoma's Governor Brad Henry (D). The Senate resolution does. HJR1003 will be introduced in the Senate this month, and is expected to pass.

Larry recommends this AxXiom for Liberty link for additional information on Oklahoma's resolutions.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Quotation of the day

A bit of history from Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Hamilton's Curse (2008). I could quote the whole book, but there are copyright issues...

"Despite all the Hamiltonians' efforts, the Jeffersonians more or less prevailed for decades. The government remained relatively small and decentralized. By the mid-1850s tariff rates were as low as they would be for the entire nineteenth century, and federal subsidies for 'internal improvements' were all but nonexistent. The Bank of the United States was dismantled in the 1830s. The American banking system was dominated by state-chartered banks that issued currency backed by gold and silver on demand and that therefore did not inflate their currency beyond what their specie reserves justified. It was not a perfect system, of course, but two highly reputable economic historians, Jeffrey Hummel and Richard Timberlake, have made compelling cases that it was the most stable banking system the United States has ever had. (Emphasis DiLorenzo's)

"In short, the Hamiltonian economic agenda had been resoundingly defeated time and again. The Hamiltonians had failed to persuade many of their fellow citizens of the alleged virtues of big, centralized government that would primarily benefit the wealthy and politically connected. There was a good deal of support for this agenda in New England and parts of New York, but it was viewed with great suspicion in most other regions of the country."

Keep in mind that it was during this period that the Ohio Constitution was written (1851). While heavily amended, it is still in effect.

All right now, Democrats, pay attention:

"This all changed in the first years of the War between the States. The Republican Party, which now controlled the government, had inherited the Hamiltonian agenda from the Whigs. No one was more committed to the Hamiltonian cause than President Abraham Lincoln..."

American politics has gone downhill ever since.

Fair and balanced?


Cornerstone Policy Research, a New Hampshire policy think tank, sent out a news release to the Laconia Daily Sun to publicize the rally held in support of that State's now-defeated sovereignty resolution.

They received a reply:

From: michael[at]laconiadailysun.com
Subject: Re: ***CORNERSTONE PRESS RELEASE*** - Statehouse Rally on HCR6
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 11:24:34 -0500
To: kevinhsmith1[at]hotmail.com

What nonsense. Can’t you people find something better to do?

Ah yes, the "mainstream" media...

As another New Hampshire group put it "[the New Hampshire House] chose to Die rather than to Live Free."

Part of our problem is that State sovereignty has come to be branded as a "Republican" or "red state" issue; but as I will show in coming days, it is really an issue that crosses party lines. State sovereignty should appeal just as much to core Democratic principles as it does to Republican ones, rooted as it is in the philosophy of the man who founded the Democratic Party -- Thomas Jefferson.

The challenge for the States where the issue is (or soon will be) active is to bring that message home to the Democrats. It's not just about who is in the White House, it's about our survival as a nation -- it may even be about the freedom to even be Republican or Democrat.

Idaho introduces resolution, draws flak

The Tenth Amendment Center reports that Idaho Rep. Dick Harwood (R) has introduced HJM004 yesterday.

The [Spokane, Washington] Spokesman-Review was on it, including objections by Democrats Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart and Phylis King. Rep. Pasley-Stuart argued that the bill was “over-reactionary” and said, “It alarms me that we are taking a step to the far right at a time that we need to be working together.” The idea that Idaho could save millions by being free of the federal government “is very inaccurate - that’s not the case at all,” she said. Rep. King, D-Boise, noted that Idaho receives federal funds for everything from Medicaid to highways. “We need to work with the federal government rather than stick a pencil in their eye,” she said.

A triumph of partisanship over liberty. Reps. Pasley-Stuart and King have forgotten where "Federal Funds" come from. The truth is, Idaho, Ohio, and every other State could save millions (in Ohio, arguably, billions) by being free of the Federal government.

State Sovereignty resolutions do not promote secession! They promote a responsible Federal Government accountable to the States, as the Founders intended it to be. It's not a matter of "sticking a pencil in their eye". It's a matter of having efficient government close to, and accountable to the people who elect it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update 3/4

The Oklahoma Senate passed its State Sovereignty resolution (SJR10) today by a vote of 25-17.

The Arkansas resolution failed in committee, 10-8. The Tolbert Report blog muses, "I did not know that many state representatives disagreed with the 10th Amendment."

AP covers New Hampshire rally

Hundreds of supporters of New Hampshire's sovereignty resolution HCR6 appeared at the Statehouse in Concord to press for adoption. Here is a report by the Associated Press, via Vermont's WCAX-TV.

Despite the show of support, the resolution was defeated in the NH House 216-150.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

State Sovereignty Update - 3/3

Add New Mexico to the growing list of States introducing sovereignty resolutions. Rep. Dennis Roch (R) has introduced HJR27 on the Oklahoma model.

Is resistance to authority unchristian?

Some Christians will quote Romans 13 as a reason for obeying authority -- any authority. In this piece, the Rev. Chuck Baldwin (who was the Constitution Party's candidate for President last year) explains why Romans 13 cannot be used in this manner.

After going through the Biblical arguments and noting numerous examples of men in the Bible resisting authority for Godly reasons, Rev. Baldwin makes this point:

"..If Christians (and others) had been properly obedient to the Constitution (and Romans 13), they would also have submitted to the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which recognizes the authority of the States in matters not specifically ceded to the federal government. In other words, the Constitution intended that the authority of the federal government be small and limited, with most authority residing within the States and among the people themselves.

"As submission to the Constitution and Natural Law have provided a haven of peace and prosperity in these United States, Christians (for the most part) have not had to face the painful decision to "obey God rather than men" and defy their civil authorities. However, as it is obvious that a majority of our government leaders currently have almost no fidelity to their oaths to defend the U.S. Constitution, it is becoming more and more likely that we--like our forefathers--will need to rediscover Benjamin Franklin's declaration that 'Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.' (Of course, this effort, too, must be accomplished within the scope of law, both divine and civil.)

"The problem in America today is that we have allowed our political leaders to violate their oaths of office and to ignore, and blatantly disobey, the "supreme Law of the Land," the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if we truly believe Romans Chapter 13, we will insist and demand that our civil magistrates submit to the U.S. Constitution."

Virtual buckeye to Frank at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

The mainstream media finally notice the State Sovereignty movement

Travis Anderson at the Associated Press has taken notice of the State sovereignty movement, about which we have been reporting for the last several weeks. In general, the report is fair, allowing for a little snark (for example, calling it a "craze"); but there is one comment that does need to be answered:

"Richard Hesse, professor emeritus of constitutional law at the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, said [New Hampshire State Rep. Daniel] Itse's resolution could strip authority from state leaders, as well as from Congress and the president.

"'When you think about this claim that if a state believes a federal law is unconstitutional it can just ignore it, then I presume if a county believed a state law was unconstitutional it could just ignore it,' Hesse said. 'Really what's implicit in this is an unwillingness to recognize a lawful authority.'"

This is not true. The counties are not sovereign. The States are. Counties are creatures of the State legislatures, which can alter or abolish them at any time according to the provisions of their State constitutions. The States were not created by the Federal government -- the reverse is true. Prof. Hesse needs to review Federalist #39 and the Anti-Federalist Papers, before coming up with a statement that is so contrary to the intent of the Founders.

It is the Federal government that is not recognizing lawful authority -- the Constitution of the United States.

Monday, March 2, 2009

State Sovereignty Update - 3/2

South Dakota: HCR1013, modeled on Oklahoma, was introduced today by Rep. Manny Steele (R), Majority Whip. Particularly impressive is that it is co-sponsored by 44 Representatives and 17 Senators.

Virtual buckeye to Tenth Amendment Center.

Support the Ohio Sovereignty Petition!

The Ohio Sovereignty Petition drive continues to build steam! Over 1,000 signatures have been collected on-line, and paper petitions are circulating throughout the State. If you are an Ohio resident, please add your name to the online petition, e-mail your friends with the link urging them to sign, and circulate a paper petition on the site, which is on the upper-right corner of this blog.

We'll keep you posted with the progress of the petition; and the resolution in the General Assembly, once introduced.