New Hampshire’s state website promoting its attractions
Lawmakers in New Hampshire are telling the federal government to back off because plans for a federal handgun license, “hate crimes” laws to regulate Christians’ speech about their own religious beliefs on homosexuality, President Obama’s youth corps for mandatory public service and the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” to “balance” talk radio are none of them constitutional.
Such plans by the bureaucrats and administrators in Washington, D.C., are “altogether void” and if mandated, “shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States,” the lawmakers are warning.
The terse alarm is contained in House Concurrent Resolution 6, which has been introduced for debate. It affirms states’ rights “based on Jeffersonian principles.”
It’s not the first such move in the United States. WND reported last year when state representatives in Oklahoma, steamed over a perceived increase in federal usurping of states’ rights, approved Joint House Resolution 1089 on a 92-3 vote to reassert the state’s sovereignty under the 10th Amendment and serve “notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates.”
According to DailyPaul.com, a website assembled in support of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Missouri, Washington and Arizona also have moved in the direction of reasserting states’ rights.
The Tenth Amendment states, “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 also is being cited in the New Hampshire plan.
It states that New Hampshire people “have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent State; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America…”
That means, the resolution states, any “Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of American or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government … and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America.”
It lists as actions that the federal government would be prohibited from doing:
- 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.
- 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.
- Requiring involuntary servitude or governmental service of persons under the age of 18 other than pursuant to, or as an alternative to, incarceration after due process of law.
- Surrendering any power delegated or not delegated to any corporation or foreign government.
- Any act regarding religion; further limitations on freedom of political speech; or further limitations on freedom of the press.
- Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition.
New Hampshire Rep. Dan Itse, a sponsor of the resolution, said he wants New Hampshire to be among the states “standing up to the federal government, enforcing the Constitution.”
He called the current status in the United States, with federal rules and regulations reaching into virtually every facet of a state citizen’s life, “a usurpation by the federal judiciary of the people’s right of self-government.”
“What I see happening is a growing disregard for the rights of individuals and the rights of the states. At some point you have to draw the line,” he told WND.
The resolution then, he said, is a warning.
“If you’re in a marriage, and things are going rotten, it’s not right just to all of a sudden hand the other party divorce papers. The right thing to do is say, ‘there’s a problem. Let’s go to counseling.’ This is in essence telling the general government if you continue down this road – you will have nullified the Constitution,” he told WND.
He said New Hampshire lawmakers already have defied the federal government in approving a ban on the Real ID, a government program to stiffen identity procedures.
The New Hampshire resolution points out that New Hampshire was set up as “a free, sovereign and independent body-politic, or State” and when its residents ratified the U.S. Constitution they recommended: “That it be Explicitly declared that all Powers not expressly & particularly Delegated by the aforesaid are reserved to the several States to be, by them Exercised.”
In a direct attack on federal authority the resolution states: “Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”
It cites the specific powers given the federal government in the Constitution: to deal with treason, counterfeiting and piracy.
At American Thinker, commentator Larrey Anderson wrote that the plan is pending in the legislature’s State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee, and also is supported by Rep. Paul Ingbretson, Rep. Tim Comerford, and Sen. William Denley.
“Interestingly, the authors of the New Hampshire Resolution took most of the language from the document commonly known as ‘Jefferson and Madison’s Kentucky Resolutions of 1798,'” he wrote. “The New Hampshire Resolution boldly defends the state’s (and it citizen’s) rights preserved under the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.”
He noted a concurrent resolution lacks legal authority as a non-binding expression of the intentions of the legislature.
“Nevertheless, these four New Hampshire state legislators have shown much courage by introducing (or reintroducing) these precious principles that have been the bedrock of our republic,” Anderson wrote. “Maybe HCR 6, the shot heard round little old New Hampshire, will inspire more Americans to realize the desperate need to free ourselves from an overreaching federal government. In which case, the shot heard round New Hampshire might become the next shot heard round the world.”
Participants in the site’s forum page said they were sending information on the resolution to lawmakers in Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Michigan and other states. Several other participants said they wished their own lawmakers had such fortitude.
“At least one state gets it,” said one forum participant. “We must free ourselves of that which I firmly believe wants to enslave us, our own government.”