Chelsea Schilling is a commentary editor and staff writer for WND and a proud U.S. Army veteran. She has also worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.More ↓Less ↑
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a joint resolution declaring Alaska’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution – and now 36 other states have introduced similar resolutions as part of a growing resistance to the federal government.
Just weeks before she plans to step down from her position as Alaska governor, Palin signed House Joint Resolution 27, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Kelly on July 10, according to a Tenth Amendment Center report. The resolution “claims sovereignty for the state 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.”
Alaska’s House passed H.J. Res. 27 by a vote of 37-0, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 40-0.
According to the report, the joint resolution does not carry with it the force of law, but supporters say it is a significant move toward getting their message out to other lawmakers, the media and grass-roots movements.
Be it resolved that the Alaska State Legislature hereby claims sovereignty for the state 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.
Be it further resolved that this resolution serves as Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.
While seven states – Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Alaska and Louisiana – have had both houses of their legislatures pass similar decrees, Alaska Gov. Palin and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen are currently the only governors to have signed their states’ sovereignty resolutions.
The resolutions 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.”
The Tenth Amendment Center also reported that Florida State Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, introduced a memorial earlier this month urging “Congress to honor the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and United States Supreme Court case law which limit the scope and exercise of federal power.”
“Now more than ever, state governments must exercise their Constitutional right to say no to the expansion of the federal government’s reckless deficit spending and abuse of power,” Sen. Baker said. “With this resolution, our Legislature can send a message to Washington that our state’s rights must be respected.”
As WND reported, South Carolina’s proposal, S. 424, 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 proposal 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.
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, Florida, 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, Massachusetts, Missouri, Iowa, Montana, Michigan, Arizona, Washington and Oklahoma.
In Louisiana, it passed the Senate in May and the House in June.
In Idaho, it passed the House in March and the Senate in April.
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.
In May, 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 dependent 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.
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 and has been passed by the House.
“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.”