TAC Daily Digest http://feed.informer.com/digests/WYPPR38WMR/feeder TAC Daily Digest Respective post owners and feed distributors Fri, 13 Sep 2019 22:13:53 +0000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ What Does the Constitution Mean by a State Legislature? https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/07/what-does-the-constitution-mean-by-a-state-legislature/ Tenth Amendment Center urn:uuid:c3bd69f7-8654-4b32-c978-8511149e9f3d Fri, 07 May 2021 19:03:16 +0000 <p>The Constitution’s frequent use of “state legislatures” requires two main questions to be answered.  One question involves whether an entity other than the state legislature can take an action when the Constitution assigns that action to the state legislature. </p> <p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/07/what-does-the-constitution-mean-by-a-state-legislature/">What Does the Constitution Mean by a State Legislature?</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> <p>The Constitution’s multiple references to “state legislatures” raise difficult and significant issues.  The main question is whether we can give a consistent answer to the meaning of this term across a large number of different constitutional clauses that both fits the constitutional text and gives a plausible answer.  In this essay, I begin to offer a solution to this significant matter.</p> <p>Developing a satisfactory answer is important for several reasons.  First, it provides an originalist answer to a difficult interpretive question – something important in its own right that also demonstrates the power of originalism as an interpretive method.  But it is also important because it addresses two of the most significant questions involving elections in recent years – questions such as (1) whether courts can use state constitutional provisions to displace laws passed by state legislatures that regulate the presidential election and (2) whether state referenda can be used to bypass state legislative redistricting decisions by assigning redistricting decisions to independent commissions.</p> <p>The Constitution’s frequent use of “state legislatures” requires two main questions to be answered.  One question involves whether an entity other than the state legislature can take an action when the Constitution assigns that action to the state legislature.  For example, the Constitution provides that “each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,” the members of the electoral college.  Does that provision allow the state Constitution to override the state legislature’s decision as to the manner of appointing the electors?  And if it does, can the courts enforce that constitutional provision to the detriment of the state legislature?  In the 2020 election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court used the state constitution to override the election law that the state legislature had enacted.  While the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the challenges to that decision, the question remains whether that action was constitutional under the U.S. Constitution.</p> <p>A similar issue that arises here occurs when the state, either through its constitution or some other means, assigns a decision of the state legislature to another entity.  For example, the Constitution provides that “the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”  Does this provision allow the state constitution or the voters through a referendum to assign redistricting decisions to an independent commission rather than the state legislature?  Some states have done exactly that and the Supreme Court in 2015 approved of the action in <em>Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm’n</em>.  My short answer to these questions is that the United States Constitution prevents the state constitution or the voters from assigning any of these decisions to anyone other than the state legislature.</p> <p>The second question raised by the state legislature provisions involves which entity makes a decision when the state legislature is assigned that task.  Is the decision to be made by the state legislature proper – that is, both legislative houses but with no opportunity for the governor to veto it?  Or is it to be made by the state legislature with opportunity for a gubernatorial veto?  Sometimes the practice is for one (for example, state legislative ratification of constitutional amendments), at other times the practice is for the other (state legislative determination of the times, places and manner of holding congressional elections).  Is the practice correct, and if so, why?  Here, I argue that the Constitution draws a distinction between tasks for the state legislature that involve enacting laws and tasks that do not.</p> <p><strong>State Legislatures or Constitutions and Popular Votes</strong></p> <p>Let me start out with the first question.  Can the state constitution make a decision instead of the state legislature?  The short answer is no.  The U.S. Constitution means what it says.  The fact that the state legislature is assigned the decision means the state constitution (especially if enacted in part by an entity other than the state legislature) cannot override the state legislature.  The U.S. Constitution takes priority over the state constitution.  This indicates that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court acted unconstitutionally prior to the 2020 presidential election when it relied upon the state constitution to override the state statute that had required a mail in ballot to be received by 8:00 PM on election night and instead held that the ballot could be received up to three days after the election.</p> <p>Similarly, if the people of the state, through a popular vote allowed by the state constitution, assign the decision on how to hold congressional elections to a redistricting commission, that too is unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court in <em>Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm’n</em> (2015) sought to defend the constitutionality of these commissions by arguing that the people of the state are exercising legislative power and therefore constitute a state legislature.  But the term “state legislature” does not refer to anyone or anything that exercises legislative power.  Rather, it refers to a specific type of institution and therefore the people of the state in a popular vote are not a state legislature.  While the Supreme Court’s approval allows states to combat gerrymandering through popular referenda and redistricting commissions, it does so in an unconstitutional manner.  The only constitutionally authorized ways to combat gerrymandering is through state or congressional legislation.</p> <p>In fact, various constitutional provisions are inconsistent with understanding the people of the state as the state legislature, as, for example, in the clause that provides “if [Senate] Vacancies happen by Resignation or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.”  The people of the state do not take recesses.  The Constitution may contemplate some variety in types of state legislatures, but it does not contemplate a popular vote of the people as a state legislature.</p> <p><strong>State Legislatures Alone or With Governors</strong></p> <p>Now, consider the second question.  Sometimes the practice treats the state legislature as simply the two houses and at other times it treats it as the two houses along with presentment to the governor.  But how can that practice be made consistent with the constitutional text?</p> <p>Here, the answer turns on the type of activity that is assigned to the state legislature.  If the activity involves passing a law, then the state legislature can use its normal process for passage of a law, which in virtually all states involves the possibility of a gubernatorial veto.  Thus, when the Constitution confers on the state legislature the power to regulate “the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections” for members of the House of Representatives,” it contemplates an election governed by laws enacted by the state legislature.  The legislature can then use its ordinary process for passing such laws.</p> <p>By contrast, if the activity is simply a vote on a matter that does not require the passage of a law but instead is simply part of a process established by the Constitution, then the Constitution assigns the task entirely to the state legislature, without the governor’s participation.  For example, the original Constitution provided that the “Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years.”  Since selecting a Senator does not involve passage of a law, the governor is not involved.  A similar result applies to the ratification of constitutional amendments, which does not involve passage of a law, but is simply part of a two part process established by the Constitution.</p> <p>If this is the distinction that the Constitution draws, then how can we derive it from the text?  In other words, how do we derive two different meanings from largely the same language, and how do we then determine which of these meanings apply in which situations?  Let’s begin with deriving two different meanings from largely the same language.  Significantly, this language is capable of both meanings.  Sometimes the words state legislature are used to mean only the two houses – what we can call “the state legislature proper.”  At other times, the words are used to refer to the two houses of the state legislature along with presentment to the governor – as when someone describes a law as having been enacted by the state legislature, even though the governor was involved.  Thus, the language is perfectly consistent with both meanings.</p> <p>Which of the two meanings was employed depends on the context.  In the case of the Constitution assigning a task that involves passage of a law, such as regulating the times, places, and manner of holding congressional elections, the context suggests enactment by the normal state legislative process for passing a law.  In that situation, the Constitution is saying, the state legislature has the power to regulate <em>by law</em> the times, places and manner of holding elections.  It does not need to say that explicitly because it is understood that such actions would normally be enacted through laws.  By contrast, in the case of the Constitution assigning a task, such as selecting a Senator that does not involve passing a law, the term “state legislature” has its more straightforward or proper meaning.</p> <p>The hardest provision to interpret is the one governing the selection of the electoral college.  The provision states “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . . .”  Historically, it appears that state legislatures have proceeded in two ways under this provision.  When the legislature selected the electors, as happened in the early years of the Republic, the legislature proper would make the decision.  When the legislature authorized an election to select the electors, the legislature did so through the ordinarily lawmaking process with an opportunity for gubernatorial veto.</p> <p>Interpreting the provision to authorize this practice is something of a challenge.  One would have to understand the provision to require that the legislature act by law when legislation is required and through the legislature proper when a law is not needed.  That would require reading the provision to say “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature <em>by law or on its own, as the circumstances require</em>, may direct . . . .”  Is this a permissible textual interpretation?</p> <p>Admittedly, this interpretation is a bit of a stretch, but it does have some significant support in addition to fitting the practice.  First, given that the other constitutional provisions involving the state legislature are properly interpreted as using the term to mean either the legislature proper or the legislature by law, depending on the context, this interpretation gains support as having a meaning that is reflected in these other constitutional provisions.  It is a traditional canon of textual interpretation to read constitutional provisions to accord with other provisions in the Constitution.  Second, since this interpretation fits the practice, this reading appears to be how state legislatures historically must have interpreted the provision.</p> <p>In the end, the question of how to interpret the different constitutional provisions involving state legislatures is a challenge both for our constitutional understanding and for originalism.  If it were impossible to reconcile these different provisions in a consistent way, as seems to be assumed by some nonoriginalists, then we would have a much poorer understanding of our Constitution.  And it would give nonoriginalists greater freedom to choose how to interpret provisions, permitting them to reach results that they prefer on political grounds.  But if I am right, the original meaning makes sense, can be understood, and places strict limits on how the Constitution applies to state legislatures in some extremely important cases.</p> <p><strong>NOTE</strong>: <em>This post was originally published at <a href="http://originalismblog.typepad.com/">The Originalism Blog</a>, “The Blog of the Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism at the University of San Diego School of Law,” and is reposted here with permission.</em></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span><p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/07/what-does-the-constitution-mean-by-a-state-legislature/">What Does the Constitution Mean by a State Legislature?</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> Constitution Electoral College State Legislatures states Michael Rappaport Those Other Declarations of Independence https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/those-other-declarations-of-independence/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:438ff44c-6a19-9613-e3ca-742ff313dd84 Fri, 07 May 2021 16:48:06 +0000 <p>While most people are pretty familiar with July 4th, there were actually dozens of other “declarations” and resolutions in support of independence in the months leading up to that date. They came from towns, committees, militias, colonial assemblies and more.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/those-other-declarations-of-independence/">Those Other Declarations of Independence</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p>While most people are pretty familiar with July 4th, there were actually dozens of other “declarations” and resolutions in support of independence in the months leading up to that date. They came from towns, committees, militias, colonial assemblies and more.</p> <p>Path to Liberty, Fast Friday Edition: May 7, 2021<span id="more-37289"></span></p> <p>Subscribe: <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/path-to-liberty/id1440549211?app=podcast&amp;mt=2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Apple</a> | <a href="https://open.spotify.com/show/7iRUIPjKQLyfKbunOuYIBq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Spotify</a> | <a href="https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/b4yrd-92c48/Path-to-Liberty-Podcast" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Podbean</a> | <a href="https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9ibG9nLnRlbnRoYW1lbmRtZW50Y2VudGVyLmNvbS9jYXRlZ29yeS92aWRlby9nb29kLW1vcm5pbmctbGliZXJ0eS9mZWVkLw?sa=X&amp;ved=0CAYQrrcFahcKEwigwITb6MrrAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google</a> | <a href="https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=340324&amp;refid=stpr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Stitcher</a> | <a href="https://tunein.com/podcasts/News--Politics-Podcasts/Path-to-Liberty-p1357275/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">TuneIn</a> | <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/category/video/good-morning-liberty/feed/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">RSS</a> | <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/pathtoliberty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">More Platforms Here</a></p> <p><iframe loading="lazy" width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/1fX5WtWp7IA" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>SHOW LINKS:</strong><br /> <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/members/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">JOIN TAC</a></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/pathtoliberty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Show Archives</a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/07/free-and-independent-states-going-beyond-the-declaration/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Free and Independent States! 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American Revolution Audio/Video Declaration of Independence Path to Liberty Halifax Resolves New York Mechanics Union Pauline Maier Rhode Island Independence Day Michael Boldin Tenth Amendment Center 13:17 While most people are pretty familiar with July 4th, there were actually dozens of other “declarations” and resolutions in support of independence in the months leading up to that date. They came from towns, committees, militias, While most people are pretty familiar with July 4th, there were actually dozens of other “declarations” and resolutions in support of independence in the months leading up to that date. They came from towns, committees, militias, colonial assemblies and more.<br /> Kansas House Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Despite Federal Prohibition https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/kansas-house-passes-bill-to-legalize-medical-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:4ec76a8d-b6d6-6c36-a564-cc38941ee390 Fri, 07 May 2021 16:20:46 +0000 <p>The legislation would establish a medical marijuana program in Kansas for qualified patients. The proposed law would authorize medical marijuana for the treatment of about two-dozen conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/kansas-house-passes-bill-to-legalize-medical-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/">Kansas House Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Despite Federal Prohibition</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>TOPEKA</strong>, Kan. (May 7, 2021) &#8211; On Thursday, the Kansas House passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state despite ongoing federal cannabis prohibition.<span id="more-37282"></span></p> <p>The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee introduced Senate Bill 158 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/KS/bill/SB158/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB158</a>) in February. The legislation would establish a medical marijuana program in Kansas for qualified patients. The proposed law would authorize medical marijuana for the treatment of about two-dozen conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.</p> <p>Under the proposed law, the state would license and regulate medical cannabis growers, testing labs, processors distributors and retailers. Patients would be able to purchase a 90-day supply.</p> <p>SB158 includes some limits on the program. Smoking and vaping products would still be prohibited and there is no provision in the measure for home cultivation. Counties would have the authority to prohibit medical marijuana businesses from operating within their jurisdictions.</p> <p>On May 6, the House passed SB158 by <a href="http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/vote_view/je_20210506153709_197650/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a 79-42 vote</a> with amendments. The Senate previously <a href="http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/vote_view/je_20210325193457_256736/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passed the measure 40-0</a>.</p> <p>Despite the limited nature of the program, enactment of SB158 would take a big step forward, as Kansas Cannabis Business Association CEO Erin Montroy told <a href="https://www.marijuanamoment.net/kansas-house-approves-medical-marijuana-legalization-bill/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Marijuana Moment</em></a>.</p> <blockquote><p>“Today, a Republican initiative to legalize medical marijuana was passed by a Republican supermajority in a non-ballot initiative state. This is a watershed moment, the point where everything changes and nothing will ever be the same.”</p></blockquote> <p><b>EFFECT ON FEDERAL PROHIBITION</b></p> <p>Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970, the federal government maintains complete prohibition of marijuana. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate cannabis within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.</p> <p>The legalization of medical marijuana in Kansas would take the first step and remove a layer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana in the state even though federal prohibition remains in effect. This is significant because FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. When states stop enforcing marijuana laws, they sweep away most of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.</p> <p>Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.</p> <p><b>A GROWING MOVEMENT</b></p> <p>Kansas is one of a growing number of states simply ignoring federal prohibition and nullifying it in practice.</p> <p>Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined them after ballot initiatives in favor of legalization passed in November 2016. Michigan followed suit when <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/11/michigan-votes-to-legalize-marijuana-nullify-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">voters legalized cannabis for general use</a> in 2018. Vermont <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/01/signed-as-law-vermont-legalizes-recreational-marijuana-foundation-to-nullify-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">became the first state</a> to legalize marijuana through a legislative act in 2018. <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/06/signed-by-the-governor-illinois-legalizes-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Illinois followed suit i</a>n 2019. New Jersey, Montana and Arizona all <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/11/04/thirty-six-and-counting-more-states-legalize-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">legalized recreational marijuana through ballot measures</a> in the 2020 election and Mississippi legalized medicinal cannabis. Earlier this year, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/03/to-the-governor-new-york-bill-legalizes-marijuana-for-adult-use-despite-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York</a>, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-new-mexico-bill-legalizes-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New Mexico</a> land <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/virginia-legalizes-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Virginia</a> legalized marijuana through legislative action.</p> <p>With 36 states including allowing cannabis for medical use, and 17 legalizing for adult recreational use, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.</p> <p>The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations or mandates down our throats.</p> <p><strong>WHAT&#8217;S NEXT</strong></p> <p>SB158 now goes back to the Senate for concurrence with the House amendments. Marijuana Moment reported, &#8220;Advocates are hopeful that the measure will pass the Senate in the coming days during the legislative veto session.&#8221; But <a href="https://www.kake.com/story/43837788/kansas-lawmakers-take-steps-toward-legalizing-medical-marijuana" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a local TV station reported</a> the measure likely won&#8217;t be taken up by the Senate until next year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/kansas-house-passes-bill-to-legalize-medical-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/">Kansas House Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Despite Federal Prohibition</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Drug War State Bills cannabis kansas Marijuana SB158 Mike Maharrey Missouri Bill to Take on Federal Gun Control: Past, Present and Future Clears Senate Committee Hurdle https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/missouri-bill-to-take-on-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future-clears-senate-committee-hurdle/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:e3f4f8e4-c1ef-6272-e0a6-0ce6a5d73531 Thu, 06 May 2021 22:25:04 +0000 <p>After appearing to be stalled, a Missouri bill that would take on federal gun control; past, present and future quickly passed out of a second Senate committee today and can now move to the Senate floor.  Passage into law would represent a major step toward ending federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/missouri-bill-to-take-on-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future-clears-senate-committee-hurdle/">Missouri Bill to Take on Federal Gun Control: Past, Present and Future Clears Senate Committee Hurdle</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>JEFFERSON CITY</strong>, Mo. (May 6, 2021) – After appearing to be stalled, a Missouri bill that would take on federal gun control; past, present and future quickly passed out of a second Senate committee today and can now move to the Senate floor.  Passage into law would represent a major step toward ending federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.<span id="more-37280"></span></p> <p>Rep. Jered Taylor filed House Bill 85 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MO/bill/HB85/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">HB85</a>) on Dec 1. Titled the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” (SAPA) the legislation would ban any entity or person, including any public officer or employee of the state and its political subdivisions, from enforcing any past, present or future federal “acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances” that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.</p> <p>HB85 passed the House in February by <a href="https://legiscan.com/MO/rollcall/HB85/id/995893" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a 103-43 vote</a>. On the Senate side, it passed the General Laws Committee on April 26 and was then referred to the governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee. Sen. Lincoln Hough chairs that committee, and he was reportedly the senator most responsible for stalling SAPA in 2020. There was concern that he would roadblock the bill with time running out in the session. But with a strong response to <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/missouri-action-alert-2nd-amendment-preservation-act-hits-roadblock-in-senate/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">action alerts</a> by <a href="http://www.mofirst.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Missouri First</a> and the TAC, HB85 was brought before the committee and passed on Thursday.</p> <p>The full Senate held a hearing on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/missouri-bill-to-ban-enforcement-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future-debated-on-senate-floor/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a Senate companion bill</a> (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MO/bill/SB39/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB39</a>) last week. But with less than two weeks left in the legislative session, the best chance to get SAPA to the governor is for the Senate to pass the House version.</p> <p><strong>DETAILS OF THE LEGISLATION</strong></p> <p>The bill includes a detailed definition of actions that qualify as “infringement,” including but not limited to:</p> <ul> <li>taxes and fees on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services that would have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;</li> <li>registration and tracking schemes applied to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that would have a chilling effect;</li> <li>any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens;</li> <li>any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.</li> </ul> <p>The proposed law defines “law-abiding citizen” as “a person who is not otherwise precluded under state law from possessing a firearm.”</p> <p>Under the proposed law, infringement on the right to keep and bear arms would include the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968. Pres. Trump’s <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/10/states-should-nullify-trumps-unconstitutional-bump-stock-ban/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bump-stock ban</a>, proposed federal “red-flag laws,” and any future gun control schemes implemented by the federal government.</p> <p>The legislation includes a provision that would allow anybody who violates the law and knowingly deprives somebody of their right to keep and bear arms as defined by the law to be sued for damages in civil court.</p> <blockquote><p>“Sovereign, official, or qualified immunity shall not be an affirmative defense in such actions.”</p></blockquote> <p>An amendment to the bill would subject law enforcement agencies and political subdivisions in Missouri to a civil penalty of not less than $50,000 for enforcing or attempting to enforce any of the infringements outlined by the law or for giving material aid and support to such enforcement efforts.</p> <p>An amendment removed provisions that would have made federal agents who violate the law permanently ineligible to serve as a law enforcement officer or to supervise law enforcement officers for the state or any political subdivision of the state.</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Missouri can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>HB85 will now move to the Senate floor for further consideration.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/missouri-bill-to-take-on-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future-clears-senate-committee-hurdle/">Missouri Bill to Take on Federal Gun Control: Past, Present and Future Clears Senate Committee Hurdle</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment Preservation Act Federal Gun Control HB85 Missouri SB39 Mike Maharrey Texas Senate Passes “Constitutional Carry” Bill https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/texas-senate-passes-constitutional-carry-bill/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:27b80a2a-6a1f-aee3-173d-7f84d8338580 Thu, 06 May 2021 16:51:56 +0000 <p>The legislation would repeal Texas’ concealed carry licensing requirements and remove the need for government permission to carry a concealed firearm in the state. If enacted, Texas residents 21 and over would be able to carry a concealed firearm if not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun. Open carry is also allowed under the proposed law.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/texas-senate-passes-constitutional-carry-bill/">Texas Senate Passes “Constitutional Carry” Bill</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>AUSTIN</strong>, Texas (May 6, 2021) – Yesterday, the Texas Senate passed a “Constitutional Carry” bill that would make it legal for Texans to carry a concealed firearm without a license, and foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.<span id="more-37275"></span><span id="more-37046"></span></p> <p>Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) filed House Bill 1927 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB1927/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB1927</a>) on Feb. 12. The legislation would repeal Texas’ concealed carry licensing requirements and remove the need for government permission to carry a concealed firearm in the state. If enacted, Texas residents 21 and over would be able to carry a concealed firearm if not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun. Open carry is also allowed under the proposed law.</p> <p>The state’s concealed carry permitting program would continue for those wanting a permit to carry in the state with reciprocity with Texas.</p> <p>On May 5, the Senate passed HB1927 by <a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/rollcall/HB1927/id/1073440" target="_blank" rel="noopener">an 18-13</a> vote with some amendments. <a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/rollcall/HB1927/id/1055049" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The House previously passed HB1297 by an 87-58 vote</a>.</p> <p>The Senate amendments include a provision to prohibit permitless carry by people convicted of making a terroristic threat, deadly conduct, assault that causes bodily injury, or disorderly conduct with a firearm in the last five years. The Senate also struck a provision to expunge certain weapons-related charges from criminal records and added a provision to allow police to temporarily disarm a person who is detained.</p> <p><strong>EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL</strong></p> <p>While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.</p> <p>The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”</p> <p>Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.</p> <p>State actions such as passing HB357 would lower barriers for those wanting the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>HB1297 now goes back to the House for concurrence with the Senate amendments. If the House approves the Senate changes, the bill will go to Gov. Greg Abbott&#8217;s desk. If not, the bill will move to a conference committee to work out a compromise.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/texas-senate-passes-constitutional-carry-bill/">Texas Senate Passes “Constitutional Carry” Bill</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills Concealed Carry Constitutional Carry firearms guns HB1911 HB1927 Texas Mike Maharrey Signed by the Governor: Arizona Law to Require a Criminal Conviction for Asset Forfeiture https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-arizona-law-to-require-a-criminal-conviction-for-asset-forfeiture/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:bde8582e-0d41-01a4-bebc-e8a3e380e0ca Thu, 06 May 2021 16:45:26 +0000 <p>Arizona law now requires a criminal conviction before the prosecutors can begin forfeiture proceedings in most cases. The bill also includes provisions that increase protections for property owners involved in the forfeiture process, including requiring an arrest before property can be seized and the prompt return of property if no criminal case exists.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-arizona-law-to-require-a-criminal-conviction-for-asset-forfeiture/">Signed by the Governor: Arizona Law to Require a Criminal Conviction for Asset Forfeiture</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>PHOENIX</strong>, Ariz. (May 6, 2021) – Yesterday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law reforming the state’s asset forfeiture laws and prohibiting the state from taking a person’s property without a criminal conviction in most cases. The proposed legislation builds on important reforms signed into law in 2017 that opted Arizona out of a federal forfeiture program.<span id="more-37274"></span></p> <p>A coalition of 12 Republicans introduced House Bill 2810 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/AZ/bill/HB2810/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB2810</a>) on Feb. 8. Arizona law now requires a criminal conviction before the prosecutors can begin forfeiture proceedings in most cases. The bill also includes provisions that increase protections for property owners involved in the forfeiture process, including requiring an arrest before property can be seized and the prompt return of property if no criminal case exists.</p> <p>The House<a href="https://legiscan.com/AZ/rollcall/HB2810/id/1014445" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> passed the measure by a vote of 57-2</a>. The Senate concurred with a <a href="https://legiscan.com/AZ/rollcall/HB2810/id/1064544">vote of 29-1</a>. With Gov. Ducey&#8217;s signature, the law will go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns sine die, currently scheduled for May 7.</p> <p>&#8220;Arizona&#8217;s Constitution provides broad protections for personal rights and property &#8212; broader so than the United States Constitution,&#8221; Ducey wrote in <a href="https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/signing_letter_hb2810_05.05.2021.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">his signing letter</a>. &#8220;As such, when reviewing legislation, I have a constitutional responsibility to provide balance between those rights and ensuring that law enforcement has the tools necessary to protect our state. HB2810 provides this balance.&#8221;</p> <p>Historically, Arizona had some of the most onerous civil asset forfeiture laws in the country. Although prosecutors claim that drug kingpins and white-collar criminals are their primary targets, three-quarters of forfeiture cases involve property valued at less than $10,000.</p> <p>“The median cash forfeiture in Arizona was $1,000,” said Paul Avelar, managing attorney for the <a href="https://ij.org/">Institute for Justice’s Arizona office</a>. “When half of your cash forfeitures are less than $1,000, it is not a tool that is ‘targeting’ cartels. And this is such a low figure that most people will, rightly, realize the costs of fighting back are prohibitive. But lots of small forfeitures can mean big money: Agencies took in $24 million in fiscal year 2019 alone.”</p> <p>Originally intended to counter organized racketeering, the process of bringing civil charges against property rather than criminal charges against humans has proven very lucrative for law enforcement. This is largely due to the ease with which seizures can be carried out since property has no civil rights and the standards for evidence are much lower in non-criminal actions. Accuse a piece of property of involvement in a crime and it can be taken, sold, and the money used for just about any purpose. Property owners are often unwilling or unable to petition for its return due to the expense and effort involved.</p> <p>For years, various groups have worked to add protections against unreasonable seizures, political corruption, and prosecutorial indiscretion but have faced strong opposition from prosecutors and other law-enforcement officials. The most significant progress towards reforming forfeiture laws in Arizona was made in 2017 <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/08/now-in-effect-new-arizona-law-takes-on-state-federal-asset-forfeiture/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">when house bill 2477 was enacted into law</a>.</p> <p>Introduced by then-representative Eddie Farnsworth, HB 2477 required detailed reporting of collections, allocations, and the purpose for each use of funds taken, and placed oversight of each county’s forfeiture operations with the board of supervisors rather than prosecutors. The idea was to shed some light on the massive scale of assets being seized in the state and to remove the conflict of interest prosecutors had to enhance their budgets at the expense of private citizens. Its biggest weakness, supporters say, was that there was still no requirement for a conviction in order to seize property, so forfeitures could be processed even when the state could not prove a crime had been committed by the property owner.</p> <p>The enactment of HB2810 builds on previous reforms and address that weakness.</p> <p><strong>NECESSARY</strong></p> <p>While some people believe the Supreme Court “ended asset forfeiture, its opinion in <i>Timbs v. Indiana</i> <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/02/asset-forfeiture-was-not-ended-by-the-supreme-court-good-morning-liberty-02-25-19/">ended nothing</a>. Without further action, civil asset forfeiture remains. Additionally, as law professor <a href="https://reason.com/volokh/2019/02/20/supreme-court-rules-that-excessive-fines">Ilya Somin noted</a>, the Court left an important issue unresolved. What exactly counts as “excessive” in the civil forfeiture context?</p> <blockquote><p>“That is likely to be a hotly contested issue in the lower federal courts over the next few years. The ultimate effect of today’s decision depends in large part on how that question is resolved. If courts rule that only a few unusually extreme cases qualify as excessive, the impact of Timbs might be relatively marginal.”</p></blockquote> <p>Going forward, opponents of civil asset forfeiture could wait and see how lower federal courts will address this “over the next few years,” or they can do what a number of states have already taken steps to do, end the practice on a state level, and opt out of the federal equitable sharing program as well.</p> <p><strong>FEDERAL LOOPHOLE</strong></p> <p>The 2017 reforms took a big step toward closing a loophole that allows state and local police to get around more strict state asset forfeiture laws in a vast majority of situations. This is particularly important in light of a <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/07/30/states-can-thwart-new-doj-asset-forfeiture-policy/">policy directive issued in July 2017 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions</a> for the Department of Justice (DOJ) that remains in effect today.</p> <p>A federal program known as “<a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/12/federal-asset-forfeiture-program-helps-local-police-steal/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Equitable Sharing</a>” allows prosecutors to bypass more stringent state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the federal government through a process known as adoption. The DOJ directive reiterates full support for the equitable sharing program, directs federal law enforcement agencies to aggressively utilize it, and sets the stage to expand it in the future.</p> <p>Law enforcement agencies can circumvent more strict state forfeiture laws by claiming cases are federal in nature. Under these arrangements, state officials simply hand cases over to a federal agency, participate in the case, and then receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds. However, when states merely withdraw from participation, the federal directive loses its impact.</p> <p>Until recently, California faced this situation. The state has some of the strongest state-level restrictions on civil asset forfeiture in the country, but state and local police were circumventing the state process by passing cases to the feds. According to a report by the Institute for Justice, <em>Policing for Profit</em>, California ranked as the worst offender of all states in the country between 2000 and 2013. In other words, California law enforcement was passing off a lot of cases to the feds and collecting the loot. The <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/09/signed-as-law-california-reins-in-asset-forfeiture-takes-on-federal-equitable-sharing-program/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">state closed the loophole</a> in 2016.</p> <p>According to an <a href="http://ij.org/pfp-state-pages/pfp-Arizona/">Institute for Justice report</a>, Arizona has been one of the worst offenders of this program:</p> <blockquote><p><em>Arizona law enforcement’s use of the Department of Justice’s equitable sharing program results in a ranking of 32<sup>nd</sup> nationally. In calendar years 2000 to 2013, Arizona law enforcement agencies received nearly $70 million in DOJ equitable sharing proceeds, averaging just under $5 million per year.</em></p></blockquote> <p>The 2017 reforms effectively closed this loophole. The law reads in part:</p> <blockquote><p>The seizing agency or the attorney for the state may not enter into any agreement to transfer or refer seized property to a federal agency for the purpose of forfeiture if the property was seized pursuant to an investigation that either:</p> <p>1.  Did not involve a federal agency.</p> <p>2.  Involves a violation of a state law and no violation of a federal law is alleged.</p> <p>Property that is seized in a joint investigation may not be transferred or referred to a federal agency for the purpose of forfeiture unless the gross estimated value of the seized property is more than seventy‑five thousand dollars.</p></blockquote> <p>Reporting in some areas has revealed that 85 percent of seizures received by law enforcement agencies through the federal equitable sharing program did not meet a $50,000 threshold. Supporters view the law’s higher requirement as significant.</p> <p>“While we’d like to see Arizona and every other state completely opt-out of this federal program, an 80-85 percent reduction in seizures through this federal scheme is a huge step forward to nullify it in practice and effect,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said.</p> <p>Requiring a criminal conviction is the next logical step. With the federal loophole closed, the passage of HB2810  makes it virtually impossible for police to take a person’s assets without first establishing their guilt.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-arizona-law-to-require-a-criminal-conviction-for-asset-forfeiture/">Signed by the Governor: Arizona Law to Require a Criminal Conviction for Asset Forfeiture</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Asset Forfeiture State Bills Arizona Equitable Sharing HB2810 Mike Maharrey Louisiana House Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of Future Federal Gun Control https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-house-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-future-federal-gun-control/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:c79a3a71-1426-66f5-4341-72dfecb68eb8 Thu, 06 May 2021 16:30:18 +0000 <p>Titled the “Louisiana Firearm Protection Act,” the legislation would bar state enforcement of certain future federal gun control that infringes on a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Louisiana.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-house-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-future-federal-gun-control/">Louisiana House Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BATON ROUGE</strong>, La. (May 6, 2021) – On Tuesday, the Louisiana House passed a bill to prohibit state and local enforcement of some future federal gun control. Passage into law would represent a first step toward stopping federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.<span id="more-37276"></span></p> <p>Rep. Larry Frieman (R-Abita Springs) filed House Bill 118 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/LA/bill/HB118/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB118</a>) on March 15. Titled the “Louisiana Firearm Protection Act,” the legislation would bar state enforcement of certain future federal gun control that infringes on a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Louisiana.</p> <p>On May 4, the House <a href="https://legiscan.com/LA/rollcall/HB118/id/1071935" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passed HB118 by a 70-30 vote</a>.</p> <p>The bill defines specific acts enacted after Jan. 1, 2021, that would be considered infringements, including but not limited to:</p> <ul> <li>taxes and fees on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services that would have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;</li> <li>registration and tracking schemes applied to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition;</li> <li>any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens;</li> <li>any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.</li> </ul> <p>A law-abiding citizen is defined as ” a person who is not otherwise precluded under state law from possessing a firearm.”</p> <p>The proposed law would prohibit the state, its agencies, and its political subdivision from “adopting a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity explicitly or through consistent overt action enforces a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation enacted that purports to regulate a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition” if it infringes on the right to keep and bear arms.</p> <p>It would also prohibit the use of state assets, state funds, or funds allocated by the state to local entities “in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent, or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement of or any investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation regarding a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition” that infringes on the right to keep and bear arms.</p> <p>The proposed law would create a cause of action to sue any person that violates the law in state court without the possibility “sovereign, official, or qualified immunity” as an affirmative defense. Any state agency or political subdivision in violation of the law would be subject to losing state grant funds the following year.</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Louisiana can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>HB118 now moves to the Senate for further consideration. At the time of this report, it had not been assigned to a Senate Committee. Once it receives a committee assignment, it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-house-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-future-federal-gun-control/">Louisiana House Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment Preservation Federal Gun Control firearms HB118 Louisiana second amendment Mike Maharrey Now in Effect: Utah Law Further Limits Warrantless Collection of Electronic Data https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/now-in-effect-utah-law-further-limits-warrantless-collection-of-electronic-data/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:49a5a78a-1596-330d-4a69-2de20a9cfd18 Thu, 06 May 2021 02:19:35 +0000 <p>On Wednesday, a Utah law went into effect that requires police to get a warrant before accessing data transmitted through an electronic communication service. The new law will not only increase privacy protections in Utah; it will also hinder the expansion of the federal surveillance state</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/now-in-effect-utah-law-further-limits-warrantless-collection-of-electronic-data/">Now in Effect: Utah Law Further Limits Warrantless Collection of Electronic Data</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>SALT LAKE CITY</strong>, Utah, (May 5, 2021) – On Wednesday, a Utah law went into effect that requires police to get a warrant before accessing data transmitted through an electronic communication service. The new law will not only increase privacy protections in Utah; it will also hinder the expansion of the federal surveillance state.<span id="more-37273"></span></p> <p>Rep. Craig Hall (R-West Valley City) introduced House Bill 87 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/UT/bill/HB0087/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB87</a>) on Jan 19. The law prohibits law enforcement agencies from accessing electronic information or data transmitted through a provider of an electronic communication service. In practice, this tightens up the existing law to ensure police must get a warrant before accessing communication service provider networks in order to intercept data.</p> <p>The law also makes some technical changes to warrant reporting procedures.</p> <p>On Feb. 22, <a href="https://legiscan.com/UT/rollcall/HB0087/id/1010768" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the Senate passed HB87 by a 25-0 vote</a> with no amendments. The House previously approved the measure with a <a href="https://legiscan.com/UT/rollcall/HB0087/id/1003932" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 72-0</a>. With Gov. Cox&#8217;s signature, the law went into effect May 5.</p> <p><strong>Another Step Forward</strong></p> <p>The enactment of HB87 will further expand existing laws already on the books in Utah requiring police to get a warrant before accessing location information, stored data, and transmitted data from an electronic device. The current laws effectively ban the warrantless use of “<a href="https://www.eff.org/pages/cell-site-simulatorsimsi-catchers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stingrays</a>.” These devices essentially spoof cell phone towers, tricking any device within range into connecting to the stingray instead of the tower, allowing law enforcement to sweep up communications content, as well as locate and track the person in possession of a specific phone or other electronic device. Current law also requires police to get a warrant before accessing electronic data from third-party providers.</p> <p>In 2019, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/05/now-in-effect-utah-law-bans-warrantless-access-to-information-in-the-cloud/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the law was expanded</a> to prevent warrantless access to data uploaded into the “cloud.” The enactment of HB87 will further limit the ability of law enforcement agencies to warrantlessly gather electronic information and data.</p> <p>The law does provide some exceptions to the warrant requirement that will allow law enforcement agencies to obtain location information in the event of an emergency involving an imminent risk to an individual of death, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, live-streamed sexual exploitation, kidnapping, or human trafficking; or if a remote computing service inadvertently discovers information that appears to pertain to the commission of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving physical violence, sexual abuse, or dishonesty. It also allows police to access stored or transmitted data from an electronic device, or electronic information or data transmitted by the owner of the electronic information or data to a remote computing service under a judicially recognized exception to the warrant requirement, or in connection with a report forwarded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2258A.</p> <p>The statute specifically excludes information obtained in violation of the law from judicial proceedings.</p> <p><strong>IMPACT ON FEDERAL PROGRAMS</strong></p> <p>It has become standard practice for law enforcement agencies to upload warrantless surveillance data gathered at the state level to federal <em>fusion centers</em> operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies. Fusion centers serve as clearinghouses for all kinds of information shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies—including data gathered by surveillance cameras, drones, intercepted cellphone and email communications, social network spying, as well as ALPRs and other invasive modes of surveillance. The DHS funds and ultimately runs 79 fusion centers across the U.S. The DHS describes homeland security intelligence/information fusion as the ”…process of managing the flow of information to support the rapid identification of emerging terrorism-related threats requiring intervention by government and private-sector authorities.”</p> <p>Fusion centers were sold as a tool to combat terrorism, but that is not how they are being used. The ACLU pointed to a <a href="https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/media/investigative-report-criticizes-counterterrorism-reporting-waste-at-state-and-local-intelligence-fusion-centers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bipartisan congressional report</a> to demonstrate the true nature of government fusion centers: “They haven’t contributed anything meaningful to counterterrorism efforts. Instead, they have largely served as police surveillance and information sharing nodes for law enforcement efforts targeting the frequent subjects of police attention: Black and brown people, immigrants, dissidents, and the poor.”</p> <p>Fusion centers operate within a broader federal system known as the “information sharing environment” or ISE. According to <a href="http://www.dni.gov/index.php/about/organization/information-sharing-environment-what-we-do" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">its website</a>, the ISE “provides analysts, operators, and investigators with information needed to enhance national security. These analysts, operators, and investigators…have mission needs to collaborate and share information with each other and with private sector partners and our foreign allies.” In other words, ISE serves as a conduit for the sharing of information gathered without a warrant. Known ISE partners include the Office of Director of National Intelligence which oversees 17 federal agencies and organizations, including the NSA. ISE utilizes these partnerships to collect and share data on the millions of unwitting people they track.</p> <p>When states limit the data and information law enforcement agencies can collect, it minimizes the amount of information and data that can end up in this federal information-sharing pipeline. Legislation such as HB87 practically hinders the operation and growth of the federal surveillance state. Simply put if the data is never gathered in the first place, it can’t be shared.</p> <p>In a nutshell, without state and local cooperation, the feds have a much more difficult time gathering information. The enactment of HB87 will strike another blow to the surveillance state and would be a win for privacy.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/now-in-effect-utah-law-further-limits-warrantless-collection-of-electronic-data/">Now in Effect: Utah Law Further Limits Warrantless Collection of Electronic Data</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. State Bills Surveillance HB87 Privacy surveillance Utah Mike Maharrey More Government Spying and Lying https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/05/more-government-spying-and-lying/ Tenth Amendment Center urn:uuid:39edf553-458e-2eec-948b-13fd6cb9dfd8 Thu, 06 May 2021 00:14:33 +0000 <p>Twice last week, the federal government's unconstitutional spying on ordinary Americans was exposed. One of these revelations was made by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., who wrote that the FBI is still using warrantless spying in criminal cases, notwithstanding the Constitution and federal laws. The other revelation was a surprise even to those of us who monitor these things — the United States Postal Service acknowledged that it has been spying on Americans.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/05/more-government-spying-and-lying/">More Government Spying and Lying</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> <p>Twice last week, the federal government&#8217;s unconstitutional spying on ordinary Americans was exposed. One of these revelations was made by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., who wrote that the FBI is still using warrantless spying in criminal cases, notwithstanding the Constitution and federal laws. The other revelation was a surprise even to those of us who monitor these things — the United States Postal Service acknowledged that it has been spying on Americans.</p> <p>Here is the backstory.</p> <p>The modern American security state — the parts of the federal government that spy on Americans and do not change on account of elections — received an enormous shot in the arm in 1978 when Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That naively misguided and profoundly unconstitutional law was sold to Congress as a way to control the security state&#8217;s spying in the aftermath of Watergate. Watergate had revealed that President Richard M. Nixon used the FBI and the CIA to spy on real and imagined domestic political adversaries.</p> <p>FISA set up a secret court that authorized domestic spying by issuing warrants not based on probable cause of crime, as the Constitution requires, but on probable cause of communicating with foreign agents. Never mind that communications about noncriminal matters are protected speech; the FISA court issued tens of thousands of these warrants.</p> <p>As the security state&#8217;s appetite for spying grew more voracious, its agents and lawyers persuaded the FISA court to lower the bar for issuing a surveillance warrant from communicating with a foreign agent to communicating with a foreign person, and to expand the scope of those warrants to include Americans who have communicated with other Americans who have communicated with foreign people. Under this procedure, if I call my cousins in Florence and then you call me, all of your calls could be surveilled.</p> <p>Jealous of the ease with which America&#8217;s spies can obtain warrants from the FISA court, the FBI persuaded its friends on Capitol Hill to enact legislation that gives the FBI a peek at data the security state gathers — if it meets certain standards — to see if any of it pertains to criminal matters. Each one of these FBI peeks at raw intelligence data is known as a &#8220;share.&#8221;</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">All of this was done in utter disregard of the Fourth Amendment</span> requirements that no search warrants shall be issued without showing under oath probable cause of crime and that all warrants shall specifically describe the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.</p> <p>If an FBI agent sees evidence of a nonnational security crime on one of the shares, the agent will try to use it in a criminal prosecution, even though he acquired it in violation of the Fourth Amendment. If federal prosecutors want to introduce evidence from the share at trial, they need to find another source for it, as no judge will admit raw intelligence data obtained without a warrant in a criminal case.</p> <p>After 9/11, President George W. Bush ordered the National Security Agency — the 60,000-person strong branch of the military that quarterbacks domestic spying — to capture every keystroke on every computer and the contents of every phone call in America. All presidents since Bush — even President Donald Trump, who was personally victimized by this spying — have continued the practice of universal, suspicionless, warrantless spying.</p> <p>The NSA sharing data with the FBI is deeply troubling because it violates both the Fourth Amendment and federal law. The intentional use of FISA to obtain data about an American for nonnational security-related criminal activity is itself a criminal act as it constitutes a planned and direct violation of the Fourth Amendment by electronic means — otherwise known as hacking.</p> <p>Last week, the chief judge of the FISA court revealed that for 2019 the FBI reported just one instance of sharing, even though Department of Justice auditors found 91 instances. And that number is far lower than the true number of shares since — inexplicably — the DOJ counts all shares performed by one agent as one share, even though the agent may have accessed the data of more than one American.</p> <p>In August 2019, one FBI agent accessed the raw intelligence data of 16,000 Americans in order to find criminal evidence about seven of them. The FBI reported that as one share.</p> <p>Also last week, the USPS revealed that its postal inspectors have been monitoring social media at random, looking for troublemakers. Since social media is publicly posted, you and I can read it at will. But the Fourth Amendment requires that the government have &#8220;articulable suspicion&#8221; about the person whose social media is being surveilled before it begins its surveillance — even surveillance of publicly available materials. This is to prevent fishing expeditions.</p> <p>What articulable suspicions did the Postal Service have before its police began their surveillance? What conceivable threat to the postal mails is manifested in texts and emails (other than that the latter are infinitely faster and profoundly more efficient)? None and none.</p> <p>All this shows just how corrupted America&#8217;s security state has become under presidents of both parties. From counting 16,000 as if it were one, to hacking the texts and emails of people without articulable suspicion or probable cause, to orchestrating end runs around the Fourth Amendment, to lying to federal judges about all this — we see the tactics of the East German Stasi and Soviet KGB have been reborn on this side of the Atlantic.</p> <p>Of what value is the constitutional guarantee of privacy if those we have hired to protect it are themselves undermining it?</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span><p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/05/more-government-spying-and-lying/">More Government Spying and Lying</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> Current Events Surveillance FBI fisa FISC NSA Section 702 spying USPS Judge Andrew Napolitano The Thin Blue Line Standing Between You and Your Guns https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/the-thin-blue-line-standing-between-you-and-your-guns/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:fec9ec66-ed2f-3703-c2e2-ffcf14504d29 Wed, 05 May 2021 23:49:51 +0000 <p>Bills to end state and local enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun control are being watered down or killed due to intense police lobbying. The ugly truth is the "thin blue line" is standing between you and your guns.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/the-thin-blue-line-standing-between-you-and-your-guns/">The Thin Blue Line Standing Between You and Your Guns</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p>Bills to end state and local enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun control are being watered down or killed due to intense police lobbying. The ugly truth is the &#8220;thin blue line&#8221; is standing between you and your guns.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here&#39;s the hard truth: The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thinblueline?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#thinblueline</a> is standing between you and the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2ndAmendment?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#2ndAmendment</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/mmaharrey10th?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mmaharrey10th</a> <a href="https://t.co/51qxw9jlAX">pic.twitter.com/51qxw9jlAX</a></p> <p>&mdash; TenthAmendmentCenter (@TenthAmendment) <a href="https://twitter.com/TenthAmendment/status/1389350304328556546?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2021</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><strong>For Further Reading</strong></p> <p><a class="_blank cvplbd" href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/26/arkansas-governor-vetoes-bill-to-end-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control-override-effort-underway/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Arkansas Governor Vetoes Bill to End State Enforcement of Federal Gun Control, Override Effort Underway</a></p> <p><a class="_blank cvplbd" href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/22/joe-biden-and-guns/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Joe Biden and Guns</a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/03/oklahoma-senate-passes-second-amendment-sanctuary-bill-that-would-have-little-effect/">Oklahoma Senate Passes “Second Amendment Sanctuary” Bill that Would Have Little Effect</a></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/the-thin-blue-line-standing-between-you-and-your-guns/">The Thin Blue Line Standing Between You and Your Guns</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Audio/Video Maharrey Minute Right to Keep and Bear Arms 2nd Amendment firearms Police Mike Maharrey Now in Effect: Utah Law Reforms Asset Forfeiture, Opts Out of Federal Equitable Sharing Program https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/now-in-effect-utah-law-reforms-asset-forfeiture-opts-out-of-federal-equitable-sharing-program/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:f4cb3d80-5477-6007-2742-69f8715fb803 Wed, 05 May 2021 21:12:32 +0000 <p>The new law makes several positive changes to Utah’s asset forfeiture process and clarifies ambiguity in the current law. It also includes important provisions that will opt Utah out of a federal asset forfeiture program in most cases.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/now-in-effect-utah-law-reforms-asset-forfeiture-opts-out-of-federal-equitable-sharing-program/">Now in Effect: Utah Law Reforms Asset Forfeiture, Opts Out of Federal Equitable Sharing Program</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>SALT LAKE CITY</strong>, Utah (May 5, 2021) – Today, a Utah law goes into effect that reforms the state’s asset forfeiture laws and opts the state out of the federal &#8220;equitable sharing&#8221; program.<span id="more-37272"></span></p> <p>Sen. Todd Weiler (R) introduced Senate Bill 98 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/UT/bill/SB0098/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB98</a>) on Jan. 19. The new law makes several positive changes to Utah’s asset forfeiture process and clarifies ambiguity in the current law. It also includes important provisions that will opt Utah out of a federal asset forfeiture program in most cases. This is particularly important in light of a  <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/07/30/states-can-thwart-new-doj-asset-forfeiture-policy/">policy directive issued in July 2017 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions</a> for the Department of Justice (DOJ) that remains in effect today.</p> <p>In 2000, Utah voters overwhelmingly passed “Initiative B” to limit the ability of the state government to take property. <a href="https://libertasutah.org/bill/sb-98-changes-to-civil-asset-forfeiture/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">According to the Libertas Institute</a>, “Law enforcement officials then immediately sought to undermine the law and re-introduce the ability to obtain a part of the resulting proceeds from the confiscated property.”</p> <blockquote><p>“In 2013, law enforcement crafted legislation that gutted several private property and due process protections in forfeiture law and then stood by silently—and knowingly—while the legislature was misled into believing that <a href="http://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/static/HB0384.html">the lengthy change</a> to forfeiture law was only technical and superficial, as opposed to substantive.”</p></blockquote> <p>SB98 makes numerous changes that will clarify current law and make changes to several provisions in order to restore the intent of the voters who passed Initiative B. As Libertas puts it, the legislation “Cleans up and clarifies forfeiture law in response to the Court’s criticism that the existing statute was ‘not a model of clarity.’”</p> <p>On March 4, <a href="https://legiscan.com/UT/rollcall/SB0098/id/1022175" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the House passed SB98 passed SB98 73-0</a>. The Senate previously <a href="https://legiscan.com/UT/rollcall/SB0098/id/994995" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passed SB98 by a 26-0</a> vote. In March, Gov. Cox signed it into law.</p> <p><strong>FEDERAL LOOPHOLE</strong></p> <p>“<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH6vYLXTfGI">Equitable Sharing</a>” allows prosecutors to bypass more stringent state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the federal government through a process known as adoption. The new DOJ directive reiterates full support for the equitable sharing program, directs federal law enforcement agencies to aggressively utilize it, and sets the stage to expand it in the future.</p> <p>Law enforcement agencies often bypass more strict state forfeiture laws by claiming cases are federal in nature. Under these arrangements, state officials simply hand cases over to a federal agency, participate in the case, and then receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds. However, when states merely withdraw from participation, the federal directive loses its impact.</p> <p>Until recently, California faced this situation. The state has some of the strongest state-level restrictions on civil asset forfeiture in the country, but state and local police were circumventing the state process by passing cases to the feds. According to a report by the Institute for Justice, <em>Policing for Profit</em>, California ranked as the worst offender of all states in the country between 2000 and 2013. In other words, California law enforcement was passing off a lot of cases to the feds and collecting the loot. The <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/09/signed-as-law-california-reins-in-asset-forfeiture-takes-on-federal-equitable-sharing-program/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">state closed the loophole</a> in 2016.</p> <p>SB98 closes the loophole in Utah by prohibiting a peace officer, agency, or prosecuting attorney from directly or indirectly transferring or releasing property seized under the law to a federal agency or to a governmental entity not created or subject to the laws of this state. The language does allow the transfer of cases to the federal government under a few specifically defined situations, but will ban the process in the vast majority of cases.</p> <p>As the Tenth Amendment Center <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2015/09/feds-meddling-in-attempt-to-undermine-state-asset-forfeiture-reform/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">previously reported</a> the federal government inserted itself into the asset forfeiture debate in California. The feds clearly want the policy to continue.</p> <p>Why?</p> <p>We can only guess. But perhaps the feds recognize paying state and local police agencies directly in cash for handling their enforcement would reveal their weakness. After all, the federal government would find it nearly impossible to prosecute its unconstitutional “War on Drugs” without state and local assistance. Asset forfeiture “equitable sharing” provides a pipeline the feds use to incentivize state and local police to serve as de facto arms of the federal government by funneling billions of dollars into their budgets.</p> <p><strong>NECESSARY</strong></p> <p>While some people believe the Supreme Court “ended asset forfeiture, its opinion in <i>Timbs v. Indiana</i> <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/02/asset-forfeiture-was-not-ended-by-the-supreme-court-good-morning-liberty-02-25-19/">ended nothing</a>. Without further action, civil asset forfeiture remains. Additionally, as law professor <a href="https://reason.com/volokh/2019/02/20/supreme-court-rules-that-excessive-fines">Ilya Somin noted</a>, the Court left an important issue unresolved. What exactly counts as “excessive” in the civil forfeiture context?</p> <blockquote><p>“That is likely to be a hotly contested issue in the lower federal courts over the next few years. The ultimate effect of today’s decision depends in large part on how that question is resolved. If courts rule that only a few unusually extreme cases qualify as excessive, the impact of Timbs might be relatively marginal.”</p></blockquote> <p>Going forward, opponents of civil asset forfeiture could wait and see how lower federal courts will address this “over the next few years,” or they can do what a number of states have already taken steps to do, end the practice on a state level, and opt out of the federal equitable sharing program as well.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/now-in-effect-utah-law-reforms-asset-forfeiture-opts-out-of-federal-equitable-sharing-program/">Now in Effect: Utah Law Reforms Asset Forfeiture, Opts Out of Federal Equitable Sharing Program</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Asset Forfeiture State Bills Equitable Sharing SB98 Utah Mike Maharrey Louisiana Senate Passes “Constitutional Carry” Bill https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-senate-passes-constitutional-carry-bill/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:7e2111ab-b758-d4cc-0bde-5763a047f940 Wed, 05 May 2021 20:23:22 +0000 <p>The legislation would allow Louisiana residents 21 and over who are not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Under the proposed law, the state would continue issuing conceal carry permits for residents who want to carry in other states that have CCDW reciprocity with Louisiana.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-senate-passes-constitutional-carry-bill/">Louisiana Senate Passes “Constitutional Carry” Bill</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BATON ROUGE</strong>, La. (May 5, 2021) &#8211; Last week, the Louisiana Senate passed a “Constitutional Carry” bill that would make it legal for Louisianans to carry a concealed firearm without a license, and foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.<span id="more-37262"></span></p> <p>Sen. Jay Morris (R-West Monroe) introduced Senate Bill 118 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/LA/bill/SB118/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB118</a>) on March 30. The legislation would allow Louisiana residents 21 and over who are not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Under the proposed law, the state would continue issuing conceal carry permits for residents who want to carry in other states that have CCDW reciprocity with Louisiana.</p> <p>On April 27, the Senate passed SB118 by <a href="https://legiscan.com/LA/rollcall/SB118/id/1063860" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a 27-11 vote</a>.</p> <p><strong>EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL</strong></p> <p>While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.</p> <p>The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”</p> <p>Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.</p> <p>State actions such as passing SB118 would lower barriers for those wanting the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>SB118 has been sent to the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice, where it will need a majority vote in order to advance to the House floor.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-senate-passes-constitutional-carry-bill/">Louisiana Senate Passes “Constitutional Carry” Bill</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills Concealed Carry Constitutional Carry firearms guns Louisiana SB118 TJ Martinell Texas House Passes “Suppressor Freedom” Bill https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/texas-house-passes-suppressor-freedom-bill/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:9b8ff01e-92ac-7faf-eb23-47b8355315ae Wed, 05 May 2021 20:10:57 +0000 <p>The legislation would repeal Texas code criminalizing owning a firearm “silencer,” more accurately referred to as a sound “suppressor” - outside of Federal regulations. The bill would also ban the state from enforcing any federal restrictions on suppressors that don't exist under the laws of the state.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/texas-house-passes-suppressor-freedom-bill/">Texas House Passes “Suppressor Freedom” Bill</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>AUSTIN</strong>, Texas (May 5, 2021) &#8211; Yesterday, the Texas House passed a bill that would take the first two steps against National Firearms Act (NFA) restrictions on firearm sound suppressors.<span id="more-37270"></span></p> <p>Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) filed House Bill 957 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB957/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB957</a>) on Jan. 4. The legislation would repeal Texas code criminalizing owning a firearm “silencer,” more accurately referred to as a sound “suppressor” &#8211; outside of Federal regulations. The bill would also ban the state from enforcing any federal restrictions on suppressors that don&#8217;t exist under the laws of the state.</p> <p>Yesterday, the Texas House passed HB957 by a <a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/rollcall/HB957/id/1071382" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 95-51</a>. 14 Democrats joined 81 Republicans in voting yes.</p> <p>Suppressors simply muffle the sound of a gun. They do not literally silence firearms. Nevertheless, the federal government heavily regulates silencers under the National Firearms Act. The feds charge a $200 tax on the purchase of the devices. Buying one also requires months-long waits after filing extensive paperwork with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.</p> <p>The repeal of state suppressor restrictions will not alter federal law, but it does remove a layer of law hindering access to these devices. The widespread easing of suppressor regulation in states subtly undermines federal efforts to unconstitutionally regulate firearms. Banning enforcement of federal restrictions is particularly important in light of not just restrictions under the NFA, but <a href="https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/joe-bidens-war-guns-has-new-target-silencers-184244" target="_blank" rel="noopener">proposals from Congress</a> and the Biden administration to ban them completely.</p> <p>HB957 includes provisions to exempt suppressors made and sold in Texas from federal regulations under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, although this section of the bill is unlikely to have immediate impact without approval of a federal court.</p> <p><strong>FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT</strong></p> <p>HB957 provides that &#8220;the State of Texas, including an agency, department, commission, bureau, board, office, council, court, or other entity that is in any branch of state government&#8221; along with all local governments &#8211; are banned from helping the federal government enforce regulations on suppressors. The bill would ban those entities from adopting &#8220;a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity enforces, or by consistent action allows the enforcement of, a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation that purports to regulate a firearm suppressor if the statute, order, rule, or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation that does not exist under the laws of this state.&#8221;</p> <p>In Section 2 of the bill, Section 46.05(a), Penal Code of the State of Texas is also amended to repeal state criminalization of suppressor possession outside of Federal regulations, including the NFA (TX Penal Code 46.05(a)(6).</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits. By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Texas can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/12/28/states-dont-have-to-comply-the-anti-comandeering-doctrine/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> (1997) serves as the cornerstone. For the majority, Justice Scalia wrote, in part:</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>HB957 will now move to the Senate for further consideration. Once it receives a committee assignment, it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative session.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/texas-house-passes-suppressor-freedom-bill/">Texas House Passes “Suppressor Freedom” Bill</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Uncategorized Michael Boldin Power Corrupts. So Don’t Trust Anyone Who Has it https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/power-corrupts-so-dont-trust-anyone-who-has-it/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:1c272346-7bb3-5191-f2a9-4179ef18ca69 Wed, 05 May 2021 17:53:06 +0000 <p>“Power corrupts” has been a maxim for ages, but most people still seem to trust people with power as long as it’s used in a way they want it to be used. This is extremely short-sighted. The Founders warned us about this - whatever power you give someone today to do “good” will eventually be in the hands of someone who can use that power for the opposite.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/power-corrupts-so-dont-trust-anyone-who-has-it/">Power Corrupts. So Don’t Trust Anyone Who Has it</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p>“Power corrupts” has been a maxim for ages, but most people still seem to trust people with power as long as it’s used in a way they want it to be used. This is extremely short-sighted. The Founders warned us about this &#8211; whatever power you give someone today to do “good” will eventually be in the hands of someone who can use that power for the opposite.</p> <p>Path to Liberty: May 5, 2021<span id="more-37266"></span></p> <p>Subscribe: <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/path-to-liberty/id1440549211?app=podcast&amp;mt=2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Apple</a> | <a href="https://open.spotify.com/show/7iRUIPjKQLyfKbunOuYIBq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Spotify</a> | <a href="https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/b4yrd-92c48/Path-to-Liberty-Podcast" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Podbean</a> | <a href="https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9ibG9nLnRlbnRoYW1lbmRtZW50Y2VudGVyLmNvbS9jYXRlZ29yeS92aWRlby9nb29kLW1vcm5pbmctbGliZXJ0eS9mZWVkLw?sa=X&amp;ved=0CAYQrrcFahcKEwigwITb6MrrAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google</a> | <a href="https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=340324&amp;refid=stpr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Stitcher</a> | <a href="https://tunein.com/podcasts/News--Politics-Podcasts/Path-to-Liberty-p1357275/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">TuneIn</a> | <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/category/video/good-morning-liberty/feed/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">RSS</a> | <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/pathtoliberty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">More Platforms Here</a></p> <p><iframe loading="lazy" width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/0uMDZ_AfvQw?start=71" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>SHOW LINKS:</strong><br /> <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/members/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">JOIN TAC</a></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/pathtoliberty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Show Archives</a></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2010/09/28/courage-liberty-guns-and-weed/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2010 SF &#8211; 25th Annual gun rights policy conference speech</a></p> <p><a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20121223115758/https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/2nd-amendment-preservation-act/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dec 2012 &#8211; Archive</a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/01/texas-legislator-to-file-firearms-protection-act/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">January 2013 &#8211; Rep. Steve Toth &#8211; working on a bill along these lines</a></p> <p>Texas bills from 2013</p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><a href="https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB553"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HB553 &#8211; Rep John Otto</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> &#8211; ban virtually all federal gun control</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><a href="https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB928"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HB928 &#8211; Rep Matt Krause</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> &#8211; used anti-commandeering to ban enforcement of all fed &#8211; some exceptions &#8211; </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><a href="https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB1076">HB1076 &#8211; Toth</a> &#8211; same bill &#8211; but Jan 2013 date &#8211; only new</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-by-the-governor-arizona-law-bans-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Arizona HB2111 2021 law</a></p> <p><a href="http://thomaspaine.org/essays/american-revolution/the-forester-s-letters.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Thomas Paine, The Forester III, Pennsylvania Journal (24 April 1776)</a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-senate-passes-bill-protecting-joe-bidens-gun-control-plans/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Texas SB513 Report</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.themarshallproject.org/2019/10/31/why-some-police-departments-are-leaving-federal-task-forces" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Marshall project on task forces</a></p> <p>IJ Asset forfeiture reports</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://ij.org/pfp-state-pages/pfp-california/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">California</a></li> <li><a href="https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/?state=NC" target="_blank" rel="noopener">North Carolina</a></li> <li><a href="https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/?state=MO" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Missouri</a></li> <li><a href="https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/?state=TX" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Texas</a></li> </ul> <p><a href="https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&amp;Bill=HB2622" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB2622</a></p> <p><a href="http://records.countyofupshur.com/countyclerk/minutes/LinkedDir/2019/Links%202019-02-15-Regular/1062-Memorandum%20with%20ATF.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ATF MOU Upshur County</a></p> <p><a href="https://publicdocuments.fortworthtexas.gov/CSODOCS/doc/22105/Page2.aspx?repo=City-Secretary&amp;dbid=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Contract 43739 Ft Worth Police and ATF</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/02/state-federal-task-forces-and-the-national-police-state/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Episode: Joint Task Forces</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.atf.gov/file/10941/download" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ATF Business Model</a></p> <p><a href="https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2703#Otis_1644_1094" target="_blank" rel="noopener">James Otis, Jr. Writing as “Freeborn American” (27 Apr 1767)</a></p> <p><strong>MORE VIDEO SOURCES (links update by 12p pst)</strong><br /> <a href="https://odysee.com/@TenthAmendmentCenter:6/path-050321:c" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Watch on Odysee</a></p> <p><a href="https://tv.gab.com/channel/tenthamendmentcenter/view/2nd-amendment-what-the-heck-is-60903df7a10eb8afbedb3682" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Watch on Gab TV</a></p> <p><a href="https://lbry.tv/@TenthAmendmentCenter:6/path-050321:c" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Watch on LBRY</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/1236017421618438144" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Watch on Minds</a></p> <p><a 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rel="noopener">Facebook</a><br /> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tenthamendmentcenter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Instagram</a><br /> <a href="https://gab.com/TenthAmendmentCenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gab</a><br /> <a href="https://mewe.com/p/tenthamendmentcenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">MeWe</a><br /> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/tenthamendmentcenter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">LinkedIn</a><br /> <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/tenthamendment/_created/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pinterest</a><br /> <a href="https://hyprr.com/profile/tenthamendmentcenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hyprr</a></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/power-corrupts-so-dont-trust-anyone-who-has-it/">Power Corrupts. So Don’t Trust Anyone Who Has it</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Audio/Video Founding Fathers Founding Mothers Path to Liberty Abigail Adams Founders Power Quotes Michael Boldin Tenth Amendment Center 29:39 “Power corrupts” has been a maxim for ages, but most people still seem to trust people with power as long as it’s used in a way they want it to be used. This is extremely short-sighted. The Founders warned us about this - whatever power you give someon... “Power corrupts” has been a maxim for ages, but most people still seem to trust people with power as long as it’s used in a way they want it to be used. This is extremely short-sighted. The Founders warned us about this - whatever power you give someone today to do “good” will eventually be in the hands of someone who can use that power for the opposite. Massachusetts Bills Would Limit State Participation in Federal Police Militarization Programs https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/massachusetts-bills-would-limit-state-participation-in-federal-police-militarization-programs/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:6c1697aa-732e-44e3-ae8a-cbd2f1d38495 Wed, 05 May 2021 10:57:48 +0000 <p>The bills would prohibit local law enforcement agencies from applying for or receiving military-grade controlled property or funds for the acquisition or transfer of military-grade controlled property from a federal agency - unless the local law enforcement agency provides notice to the local legislative body, including a detailed list of supplies and equipment sought to be acquired or transferred.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/massachusetts-bills-would-limit-state-participation-in-federal-police-militarization-programs/">Massachusetts Bills Would Limit State Participation in Federal Police Militarization Programs</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BOSTON</strong>, Mass. (May 5, 2021) &#8211; Bills introduced in the Massachusetts House and Senate would take the first step to limit state participation in federal police militarization programs by limiting local law enforcement agencies from acquiring certain military equipment from federal programs.<span id="more-37244"></span></p> <p>A coalition of Democrats introduced House Bill 2479 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MA/bill/H2479/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">H2479</a>), and Senate Bill 1539 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MA/bill/S1539/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">S1539</a>) on March 29. The legislation would require law enforcement agencies to get local government approval before obtaining military equipment through federal programs.</p> <p>The bills would prohibit<span dir="ltr"> local law enforcement agencies from applying for</span><span dir="ltr"> or receiving military-grade</span><span dir="ltr"> controlled</span><span dir="ltr"> property or funds for the acquisition</span><span dir="ltr"> or transfer of military-grade controlled </span><span dir="ltr">property from a federal agency &#8211; unless the local law enforcement agency provides notice to the local legislative body, including a detailed list of supplies and equipment sought to be acquired or transferred. A public hearing would also be required, giving the public an opportunity to testify and comment. Finally, the local governing body would have to vote to approve the intended application or transfer.</span></p> <p>The legislation applies both to the well-known 1033 program, along with any other military surplus program operated by the federal government.</p> <p>While passage of H2479/S1539) wouldn’t end the militarization, it would make it more difficult for police to obtain such weapons and equipment, and set the stage for further limits in the future.</p> <p>Police departments often obtain military and surveillance equipment from the federal government in complete secrecy. Requiring public disclosure of all requests for military gear would bring the process into the open and provide an opportunity for concerned residents to stop the acquisition through their local representatives.</p> <p><strong>FEDERAL SURPLUS AND GRANT MONEY</strong></p> <p>Through the federal 1033 Program, local police departments procure military-grade weapons. Police can also get military equipment through the Department of Homeland Security via the (DHS) “Homeland Security Grant Program.” The DHS <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/04/12/dhs-announces-funding-opportunity-fiscal-year-2019-preparedness-grants#:~:text=Homeland%20Security%20Grant%20Program%20(HSGP,of%20terrorism%20and%20other%20threats." data-et-has-event-already="true">doles out over $1 billion in counterterrorism funds</a> to state and local police each year. According to a 2012 Senate report, this money has been used to purchase tactical vehicles, drones, and even tanks with little obvious benefit to public safety. And, according to ProPublica, “In 1994, the Justice Department and the Pentagon-funded a five-year program to adapt military security and surveillance technology for local police departments that they would otherwise not be able to afford.”</p> <p>In August 2017, President Trump issued an executive order that <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/08/28/executive-order-takes-window-dressing-off-police-militarization-program/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">gave a push to local police militarization</a>. Trump’s action rescinded an <a href="https://www.bja.gov/publications/LEEWG_Report_Final.pdf">Obama-era policy </a>meant to provide greater transparency and oversight around the Department of Defense 1033 program and other federal resources that provide military weapons to local police. Biden will reportedly reinstitute the Obama policy, but it was nothing more than window-dressing. In practice, the Obama EO did little to stem the flow of military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.</p> <p>Even with the Obama-era limits back in place, the 1033 program will remain essentially intact. Military gear will continue to pour into local police agencies, just as it did when Obama was in the White House.</p> <p>Even if you see the Obama/Biden limits as a positive, the multiple federal flip-flops underscore the importance of putting limits on police militarization at the state and local level. Federal policy tends to change depending on the party in power. Whatever limits Biden imposes through executive order can be undone with a stroke of the next president’s pen. The only way to effectively end police militarization for good is permanently withdrawing the state from these federal programs.</p> <p>Passage of H2479/S1539 would limit Massachusetts&#8217; participation in federal police militarization programs and create a framework of transparency. It would also create a foundation for the public to stop their local police from obtaining this type of gear.</p> <p><strong>COMMAND AND CONTROL</strong></p> <p>Arming ‘peace officers’ like they’re ready to occupy an enemy city is totally contrary to the society envisioned by the founders. They’ve turned ‘protect and serve’ into ‘command and control.’</p> <p>In the 1980s, the federal government began arming, funding and training local police forces, turning peace officers into soldiers to fight in its unconstitutional “War on Drugs.” The militarization went into hyper-drive after 9/11 when a second front opened up – the “War on Terror.”</p> <p>By making it more difficult for local police to get this military-grade gear and surveillance technology, and ensuring they can’t do it in secret, it makes them less likely to cooperate with the feds and removes incentives for partnerships. Passage of S1539/H2479 would take a first step toward limiting police militarization in Massachusetts.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>H2479 and S1539 have both been referred to the Joint Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. Bills must have a hearing and be voted out of committee with a majority in order to continue on in the legislative process.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/massachusetts-bills-would-limit-state-participation-in-federal-police-militarization-programs/">Massachusetts Bills Would Limit State Participation in Federal Police Militarization Programs</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Police State Bills 1033 Program Federal Militarization H2479 Massachusetts S1539 Amanda Bowers Understanding Texas Second Amendment “Sanctuary” Bills https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/understanding-texas-second-amendment-sanctuary-bills/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:41f2fe91-c4d8-648c-c1e5-e3c298bf2f84 Tue, 04 May 2021 21:02:41 +0000 <p>Special to the TAC from Texas Gun Owners of America</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/understanding-texas-second-amendment-sanctuary-bills/">Understanding Texas Second Amendment “Sanctuary” Bills</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><em>The following article was written by Rachel Malone, Texas Director, Gun Owners of America (GOA).</em></p> <p>Last week, the Texas House passed <a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB2622/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB2622</a> by Holland and the Senate passed <a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB513/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB513</a> by Hall. Both of these bills contain language that is now being called “Second Amendment Sanctuary”—although the concept is not new. We have been testifying on similar bills (under different nicknames) in Texas since 2013.</p> <p>Now, each bill will be sent to the other chamber.</p> <p>You can <a href="https://texas.gunowners.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/2A-Sanctuary-comparison.pdf">CLICK HERE to see the comparison of SB513 (as amended) and HB2622</a>.</p> <p><strong>2A Sanctuary Legislation: What Is It, Really?</strong></p> <p>We have worked all session to remind you of the nature of a Second Amendment Sanctuary bill.</p> <p>This legislation is generally intended to <strong>keep Texas from being complicit</strong> in <strong>future Federal gun-control schemes</strong>.</p> <p>It obviously has limitations:</p> <ul> <li>It <strong>does not</strong> stop our state or local government from infringing on our gun rights</li> <li>It <strong>does not</strong> do anything to curb existing infringements (federal, state, or local)</li> <li>It <strong>does not</strong> stop the Federal government from enforcing its own laws</li> </ul> <p>It simply says that our state people and resources will not be used to help the Federal government enforce their laws that don’t exist in Texas law.</p> <p>Most bills <strong>do not contain any individual criminal penalty</strong> for officers who violate it. Instead, they <strong>prohibit</strong> state and local entities from enforcing the laws, they <strong>remove funding</strong> from entities that violate this law, and they provide a way for the <strong>Attorney General to enforce</strong> this law through court action.</p> <p>SB513, however, does contain an individual criminal penalty.</p> <p><strong>SB513 As amended In the Senate</strong></p> <p>There has been a lot of controversy over an amended draft offered by Senator Hall to his sanctuary bill, Senate Bill 513. It removes the individual criminal penalty for officers who are participating in a joint task force.</p> <p>As frequently happens, there are no perfect solutions. We—and Senator Hall—would have preferred the original version of Hall’s bill—without the federal/state task force exception. However, we also prefer for a bill to pass and give us some protection instead of having no related bills even get through committee—as has been the case since 2013.</p> <p>So the question becomes whether the task force exception is so wide that a bill containing it is worse than nothing. The answer: definitely not.</p> <p>The bill still has all the enforcement mechanisms that most of the other 2A Sanctuary bills have. It<strong> still prohibits all enforcement</strong> of Federal gun-grab laws that don’t exist in our state laws—including on joint task forces. It would <strong>still remove funding</strong> from entities that participate in this enforcement, including District Attorney offices, public universities, and law enforcement agencies. And it <strong>still provides</strong> a mechanism for <strong>Attorney General enforcement</strong>.</p> <p>And take into consideration that the result of doing nothing may be that there are no limits on the use of federal and state law enforcement resources to enforce the most extreme items of Biden’s gun control agenda.</p> <p>It may also be possible to plant our marker—and try to improve upon it the next session.</p> <p>And, finally, although we do not believe Biden can override this prohibition MERELY by asking the state for help, it may be possible to tweak the language by, for instance, require the task force be established by rule or regulation and have been in existence prior to Biden’s inauguration—or perhaps otherwise.</p> <p><strong>HB2622 as Passed By the House</strong></p> <p>As you can see in our <a href="https://texas.gunowners.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/2A-Sanctuary-comparison.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">side-by-side comparison</a>, HB2622 never had an individual criminal penalty at all.</p> <p>It also includes a troublesome, vague exception clause:</p> <p>It says that the entire bill’s prohibition “does not apply to a contract or agreement to provide assistance in the enforcement of a federal statute order, rule, or regulation in effect on January 19, 2021.”</p> <p>This is vague and could be taken to mean either that it’s fine for entities to enforce any Federal firearms-related law in effect on 1/19/21, OR that it’s fine for entities to enforce any Federal firearms-related laws, including future laws, as long as the entity had some kind of agreement in place on 1/19/21 that they would help enforce laws.</p> <p>Of course, we would hope that a court would never construe it to mean that pre-existing agreements give clearance for enforcing any future Federal gun-grab laws. But we’d rather that the language be clarified and strengthened.</p> <p><strong>Take Action!</strong></p> <p>Call your State Representative and State Senator. Tell them that you want Texas to pass Second Amendment Sanctuary legislation to take a stand against future Federal gun-grab laws.</p> <p>And tell them that you want <strong>no exceptions, no outs, no compromises.</strong></p> <p><span class="TextRun BCX0 SCXW20462291" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" data-contrast="auto"><span class="NormalTextRun BCX0 SCXW20462291">Although there are some in both the House and Senate who will stand strong and continue fighting for our rights no matter what—including Senator Hall, who has been a champion in the Senate </span></span><span class="TextRun BCX0 SCXW20462291" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" data-contrast="auto"><span class="NormalTextRun BCX0 SCXW20462291">for all of our pro-gun priorities—it takes </span></span><span class="TextRun BCX0 SCXW20462291" lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" data-contrast="auto"><span class="NormalTextRun BCX0 SCXW20462291">the votes of a majority (or sometimes more) in order to get this legislation to the floor and get it passed. </span></span>Please reach out to your State legislators today!</p> <p><a href="https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Find the Capitol Office info of your State Senator and State Representative here.</a></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/understanding-texas-second-amendment-sanctuary-bills/">Understanding Texas Second Amendment “Sanctuary” Bills</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment firearms Gun Owners of America HB2622 SB513 Texas TAC Daily Updates Signed by the Governor: Arkansas Law Takes Step Toward Treating Gold and Silver as Money https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-arkansas-law-takes-step-toward-treating-gold-and-silver-as-money/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:8b11c825-2ed9-0a50-533c-04bd1a213914 Tue, 04 May 2021 20:59:13 +0000 <p>The new law will relieve some of the tax burdens on investors, and it will also eliminate one barrier to using gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundational step for people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-arkansas-law-takes-step-toward-treating-gold-and-silver-as-money/">Signed by the Governor: Arkansas Law Takes Step Toward Treating Gold and Silver as Money</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>LITTLE ROCK</strong>, Ark. (May 4, 2021) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a bill into law exempting gold and silver bullion and coins from sales tax. The new law will relieve some of the tax burdens on investors, and it will also eliminate one barrier to using gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundational step for people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.<span id="more-37257"></span></p> <p>Sen. Mark Johnson (R) introduced Senate Bill 336 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/AR/bill/SB336/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB336</a>) on Feb. 22. The law exempts coins, currency and bullion from the state sales and use tax. This includes bars, ingots, or coins made from gold, silver, platinum, or palladium that are sold based on the value of the metal.</p> <p>The Senate passed SB336 by a <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arkansas-passes-bill-to-take-step-toward-treating-gold-and-silver-as-money/arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Votes?id=SB336&amp;rcs=2966&amp;chamber=Senate&amp;ddBienniumSession=2021%2F2021R" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 30-1</a>. The House concurred with a <a href="https://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Votes?id=SB336&amp;rcs=3157&amp;chamber=House&amp;ddBienniumSession=2021%2F2021R" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 93-0</a>. With Gov. Hutchinson&#8217;s signature, the bill will go into effect July 1.</p> <p><strong>KNOCKING DOWN BARRIERS</strong></p> <p>Repealing sales taxes on precious metal bullion takes a step toward treating gold and silver as money instead of commodities. Taxes on precious metal bullion erect barriers to using gold and silver as money by raising transaction costs. As <a href="https://www.soundmoneydefense.org/">Sound Money Defense League</a> policy director Jp Cortez testified during a committee hearing on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/07/wyoming-legal-tender-act-treats-gold-and-silver-as-money-foundation-to-undermine-the-federal-reserve/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a similar bill in Wyoming</a> in 2018, charging taxes on <em>money itself</em> is beyond the pale.</p> <blockquote><p>“In effect, states that collect taxes on purchases of precious metals are inherently saying gold and silver are not money at all.”</p></blockquote> <p>Imagine if you asked a grocery clerk to break a $5 bill and he charged you a 35 cent tax. Silly, right? After all, you were only exchanging one form of money for another. But that’s essentially what Arkansas’ sales tax on gold and silver bullion does. By eliminating this tax on the exchange of gold and silver, Arkansas would treat specie as money instead of a commodity. This represents a small step toward reestablishing gold and silver as legal tender and breaking down the Fed’s monopoly on money.</p> <p>“We ought not to tax money – and that’s a good idea. It makes no sense to tax money,” former U.S. <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/03/ron-paul-testimony-in-support-of-arizona-sound-money-bill-hb2014/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Rep. Ron Paul said during testimony in support an Arizona bill</a> that repealed capital gains taxes on gold and silver in that state. “Paper is not money, it’s fraud,” he continued.</p> <p>The impact of enacting this legislation will go beyond mere tax policy. During <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/03/ron-paul-standing-on-the-right-side-of-history/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an event after his Senate committee testimony</a>, Paul pointed out that it’s really about the size and scope of government.</p> <blockquote><p>“If you’re for less government, you want sound money. The people who want big government, they don’t want sound money. They want to deceive you and commit fraud. They want to print the money. They want a monopoly. They want to get you conditioned, as our schools have conditioned us, to the point where deficits don’t matter.”</p></blockquote> <p>Practically speaking, eliminating taxes on the sale of gold and silver cracks open the door for people to begin using specie in regular business transactions. This marks an important small step toward currency competition.</p> <p>The effect has been most dramatic in Utah where <a href="https://upma.org/">United Precious Metals Association</a> (UMPA) was established after the passage of the Utah Specie Legal Tender Act and the elimination of all taxes on gold and silver. UPMA offers accounts denominated in U.S.-minted gold and silver dollars. The company also recently released the “Utah Goldback.” UPMA describes it as “the first local, voluntary currency to be made of a spendable, beautiful, physical gold.”</p> <p><strong>BACKGROUND</strong></p> <p>The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” Currently, all debts and taxes in South Carolina are either paid with Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) which were authorized as legal tender by Congress or with coins issued by the U.S. Treasury — very few of which have gold or silver in them.</p> <p>The Federal Reserve destroys this constitutional monetary system by creating a monopoly based on its fiat currency. Without the backing of gold or silver, the central bank can easily create money out of thin air. This not only devalues your purchasing power over time; it also allows the federal government to borrow and spend far beyond what would be possible in a sound money system. Without the Fed, the U.S. government wouldn’t be able to maintain all of its unconstitutional wars and programs. <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/06/17/the-federal-reserve-the-engine-that-powers-the-most-powerful-government-in-history/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Federal Reserve is the engine that drives the most powerful government in the history of the world</a>.</p> <p>The passage of SB336 removes one of the tax barriers that hinder the use of gold and silver as money in Arkansas.</p> <p>Repealing taxes on gold and silver also takes the first step in the process of abolishing the Federal Reserve system by attacking it from the bottom up – pulling the rug out from under it by working to make its functions irrelevant at the state and local levels, and setting the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve monopoly by introducing competition into the monetary system.</p> <p>In <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/04/04/ending-the-federal-reserve-from-the-bottom-up/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a paper</a> presented at the Mises Institute, Constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene said when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.</p> <blockquote><p>“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”</p></blockquote> <p>Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people. Nullifying the Fed on a state-by-state level is what will get us there.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-arkansas-law-takes-step-toward-treating-gold-and-silver-as-money/">Signed by the Governor: Arkansas Law Takes Step Toward Treating Gold and Silver as Money</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Federal Reserve State Bills Arkansas Gold SB336 Sound Money Taxes Mike Maharrey The Framers did not violate their trust https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/04/the-framers-did-not-violate-their-trust/ Tenth Amendment Center urn:uuid:8e51ed06-469c-e6d9-279e-f1fe4782bb9a Tue, 04 May 2021 20:57:30 +0000 <p>The claim that the Constitution was a “coup” is a slander against the framers. The vast majority of convention delegates had full authority to act as they did. And of the small minority who did not, most did not sign the Constitution.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/04/the-framers-did-not-violate-their-trust/">The Framers did not violate their trust</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> <p>This is the fifth in a series of essays defending the U.S. Constitution against common accusations against it. This essay examines the claim that that the framers &#8211; the Constitution’s drafters &#8211; staged a <em>coup d’</em>é<em>tat</em> by proposing a new Constitution. <strong>As usually stated, the allegation is that:</strong></p> <p><em>“The Confederation Congress adopted a resolution calling a convention limited only to proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation. But the convention disregarded limits on its authority and instead drafted an entirely new document. Moreover, the Articles could be amended only by approval of Congress and unanimous consent of the states. But the convention unilaterally changed the rule to allow ratification by nine states.”</em></p> <p>This charge is very old: It first arose during the ratification debates of 1787–1790. Although modern scholars have debunked it (<a href="https://articlevinfocenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Farris-2017.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pdf</a>), the Constitution’s critics continue to peddle it. In doing so, they &#8211;</p> <ul> <li>overlook critical events leading up to the convention;</li> <li>fail to read Congress’s resolution carefully;</li> <li>are unaware of the real source of the framers’ powers;</li> <li>are unaware that Congress actually approved the convention’s product; and</li> <li>overlook important historical sources.</li> </ul> <p>Let’s review each of these.</p> <p><strong>Events Leading to the Convention</strong></p> <p>In 1787, the states were bound by a loose agreement called the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles, the states delegated to the Confederation narrow responsibilities, mostly over defense and foreign affairs.</p> <p><strong>Although some refer to the Articles as “our first constitution,” this is a misnomer. During the founding-era, a “confederation” meant a treaty or alliance.</strong> The Articles were analogous to NATO and Congress was analogous to NATO’s administering body, the North Atlantic Council.</p> <p>Like other treaties, the Articles left individual states free to address most issues themselves. Even when issues were common to several states, the states often did not present them to Congress. Instead, they entered bilateral negotiations or they negotiated multilaterally through “<a href="https://articlevinfocenter.com/list-conventions-states-colonies-american-history/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">conventions of the states</a>.”</p> <p>A convention of states met in Annapolis in September 1786. It recommended to the state legislatures that they send commissioners (delegates) to a new convention in Philadelphia the following May with power to propose a stronger central authority.</p> <p>The New Jersey legislature responded in November 1786 by appointing commissioners to the new convention. The legislature granted its commissioners extensive powers to discuss and propose any change in the political system they deemed appropriate for the benefit of the union.</p> <p>The following month the Virginia legislature issued a formal convention “<a href="https://articlevinfocenter.com/who-called-the-constitutional-convention-answer-the-commonwealth-of-virginia/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">call</a>” (invitation) to the other states. Virginia appointed commissioners and granted them powers similar to those the New Jersey legislature granted its commissioners:</p> <p>“devising and discussing all such Alterations and farther Provisions as may be necessary to render the Foederal [<em>sic</em>] Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union and in reporting such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress as when agreed to by them and duly confirmed by the several States will effectually provide for the same.”</p> <p>Note that the phrase “Foederal constitution” means, in accordance with then-prevailing usage, the entire political system. It does not refer solely to the Articles of Confederation, as some critics assume.</p> <p>The powers listed in the Virginia “call” &#8211; to propose any “Provisions as may be necessary” to render the political system “adequate” &#8211; became the basis on which five additional states agreed to participate in the weeks leading up to Feb. 21, 1787.</p> <p><strong>Congress’s Resolution Was Not the Convention Call</strong></p> <p>In February, a committee headed by John Dickinson of Delaware (who had chaired the Annapolis Convention) moved that Congress endorse the pending Philadelphia conclave. Dickinson believed a recommendation, although non-binding, would build public support.</p> <p>The congressional proceedings make it clear everyone understood that unless something changed, the convention would be able to propose reform of the entire political system. But New York did not want that. New York congressional delegates moved that Congress recommend that the convention reduce its scope to proposing amendments to the Articles.</p> <p>New York’s motion failed. But on Feb. 21, 1787, the Massachusetts congressional delegation obtained a compromise resolution. This resolution merely expressed Congress’s “opinion” that the convention focus on amendments to the Articles. As I wrote in a 2013 research study (<a href="https://articlevinfocenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Conventions-FLR.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pdf</a>):</p> <p>“[T]he successful resolution neither ‘called’ a convention nor made a recommendation. In fact, it omitted the language of recommendation in the committee proposal and in the New York motion. The adopted resolution merely asserted that ‘in the opinion of Congress it is expedient’ that a convention be ‘held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation’ ….</p> <p>“It is, perhaps, truly extraordinary that so many writers have repeated the claim that Congress called the Constitutional Convention and legally limited its scope. First, the Confederation Congress had no power to issue a legally-binding call. If the states decided to convene, as a matter of law they &#8211; not Congress &#8211; fixed the scope of their delegates’ authority. Second, the Articles gave Congress no power to limit that scope. To be sure, Congress, like any agent, could recommend to its principals a course of action outside congressional authority. But this is not the same as legally restricting the scope of a convention. Third, by its specific wording the congressional resolution was not even a <em>recommendatory </em>call or restriction. As shown above, Congress <em>dropped </em>the formal term ‘recommend’ in favor of expressing ‘the opinion of Congress.’”</p> <p>Congress could express its “opinion,” but within their own sphere the states could do what they deemed best. <strong>After Feb. 21, five additional states voted to send commissioners to Philadelphia &#8211; but only Massachusetts and New York limited them to amending the Articles. And none of the first seven states to commit narrowed the scope of their commissioners’ powers.</strong></p> <p>It was only later that critics re-fabricated Congress’s “opinion” into a claim that Congress had called the convention and limited its scope.</p> <p><strong>The Framers’ Real Source of Authority</strong></p> <p>Eighteenth-century law and convention practice tell us that the convention’s authority was defined by the broad <em>commissions</em> or <em>credentials</em> issued by a majority of states. Other <a href="https://articlevinfocenter.com/new-information-on-the-convention-process-from-recently-published-founding-era-documents/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">documents</a>, including a <a href="https://articlevinfocenter.com/constitutional-convention-john-jay-letter-shows-its-power-came-from-state-legislatures-not-congress/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">letter</a> written in early 1787 by John Jay to George Washington, confirm this.</p> <p>Critics point out that some commissioners, particularly those from Massachusetts and New York, questioned the source and extent of their authority. But the majority’s credentials were clear. They even adopted a resolution that, as South Carolina’s Charles C. Pinckney noted, effectively “declar[ed] that the convention does not act under the authority of the recommendation of Congress.”</p> <p>Hugh H. Brackenridge, a distinguished Pennsylvania lawyer (and later a justice of the state supreme court) <a href="https://articlevinfocenter.com/new-information-on-the-convention-process-from-recently-published-founding-era-documents/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">summarized</a> the legal situation shortly after the Convention adjourned:</p> <p>“[T]he calling the late convention did not originate with Congress; it began with the state of Virginia which was followed by this state, without any hint of the necessity of this measure from Congress whatever; it was a proceeding altogether out of the confederation, and with which Congress had nothing to do.”</p> <p><strong>Approval by Congress and Ratification by All States</strong></p> <p>Critics complain that Congress did not pass a formal resolution of approval. But that was not the framers’ fault: They sent the Constitution to Congress for approval, but Congress doubted its power to formally endorse it. Congress did vote unanimously to send the document to the states for ratification, and this action was <a href="https://articlevinfocenter.com/did-congress-approve-the-constitution-a-members-letter-says-yes/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">understood</a> to constitute informal approval.</p> <p>What of the claim that the Articles of Confederation required all 13 states to approve any amendment? One response is that all 13 states did, in fact, eventually ratify the Constitution. But a more fundamental response is that the Constitution was not an amendment to the Articles. It was a decision by signatories to a treaty to replace that treaty with a new arrangement. Treaty signatories always have this power. That was doubly so in this instance, because several states had breached the terms of the Articles by, for example, failing to pay required financial assessments. Breach of a treaty by one party releases other parties from their obligations.</p> <p><strong>Relying on Too Few Sources</strong></p> <p>The charge that the framers staged a coup is, like many other slanders against the Constitution, based on misreading a small handful of sources. Some people seem to think they are constitutional “experts” because they have scanned James Madison’s convention notes and the Federalist Papers. But those sources comprise only a tiny fraction of the historical record.</p> <p>For example, some of the Constitution’s enemies seem to think Madison’s tepid defense of convention authority in Federalist No. 40 was all that was said on the subject. But the delegates’ commissions show that Madison understated his case, probably because he did not have copies of the commissions when he wrote No. 40. (He, after all, was far from home at the time.) In my experience, most of the Constitution’s enemies would rather attack than seek the truth.</p> <p><strong>In sum: The claim that the Constitution was a “coup” is a slander against the framers. The vast majority of convention delegates had full authority to act as they did. And of the small minority who did not, most did not sign the Constitution.</strong></p> <p><strong>This essay <a href="https://www.theepochtimes.com/defending-the-constitution-the-framers-did-not-violate-their-trust_3771518.html">first appeared</a> in the April 12, 2021 <em>Epoch Times.</em></strong></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span><p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/04/the-framers-did-not-violate-their-trust/">The Framers did not violate their trust</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> Constitution Constitutional Convention framers Philadelphia Convention Rob Natelson Louisiana House Committee Passes Bill to Create State Process to End Police Qualified Immunity https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-house-committee-passes-bill-to-create-state-process-to-end-police-qualified-immunity/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:d9d9f2ba-a2a0-3203-b06d-ee853cfe3d87 Tue, 04 May 2021 19:05:24 +0000 <p>The legislation would create a cause of action in state courts to sue a police officer for claims of wrongful death, physical injury, or personal injury through any use of physical force in a manner determined by the court to be unreasonable under the laws of Louisiana. “Qualified immunity” could not be used as a defense to liability for claims brought under the law.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-house-committee-passes-bill-to-create-state-process-to-end-police-qualified-immunity/">Louisiana House Committee Passes Bill to Create State Process to End Police Qualified Immunity</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BATON ROUGE</strong>, La. (May 4, 2021) – Yesterday, a Louisiana House committee passed a bill that would create a process to sue police officers in state court for using excessive force without the possibility of “qualified immunity” as a defense.<span id="more-37251"></span></p> <p>Rep Edmond Jordan introduced House Bill 609 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/LA/bill/HB609/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB609</a>) on April 2. The legislation would create a cause of action in state courts to sue a police officer for claims of wrongful death, physical injury, or personal injury through any use of physical force in a manner determined by the court to be unreasonable <strong>under the laws of Louisiana</strong>. “Qualified immunity” could not be used as a defense to liability for claims brought under the law.</p> <p>On May 3, the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure amended and passed HB609 by a 9-4 vote. The amendment strengthened the proposed law by removing violations of the U.S. Constitution from the state&#8217;s cause of action.</p> <p><strong>The Process </strong></p> <p>Typically, people sue police for using excessive force or other types of misconduct through the federal court system under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. But <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/06/13/how-federal-courts-gave-us-qualified-immunity/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">federal courts created a qualified immunity defense out of thin air</a>, making it nearly impossible to hold law enforcement officers responsible for actions taken in the line of duty. In order to move ahead with a suit, the plaintiff must establish that it was “clearly established” that the officer’s action was unconstitutional. The “clearly established” test erects an almost insurmountable hurdle to those trying to prove excessive force or a violation of their rights.</p> <p>The enactment of HB609 would create an alternative path in state court with no qualified immunity hurdle to clear.</p> <p><strong>In Practice</strong></p> <p>It remains unclear how the state legal process will play out in practice.</p> <p>The first question is whether people will actually utilize the state courts instead of the federal process. Under the original constitutional system, it would have never been a federal issue to begin with. Regulation of police powers was clearly delegated to the states, not the federal government. But with the advent of the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/05/30/the-incorporation-doctrine-broke-the-constitutional-system/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">incorporation doctrine</a>, people reflexively run to federal courts. But by removing the qualified immunity hurdle, it should incentivize people to take advantage of the state system.</p> <p>The second question is if police officers will be able to have cases removed to federal jurisdiction in order to take advantage of qualified immunity.</p> <p>State and local law enforcement officers working <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/04/16/joint-law-enforcement-task-forces-are-creating-a-national-police-state/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">on joint state/federal task forces</a> almost certainly would. They are effectively treated as federal agents.</p> <p>For Louisiana law enforcement officers not operating with a federal task force, it seems unlikely they will be able to remove the case to federal court initially with the U.S. Constitution removed from the process, but that door could open on appeal. The only way to avoid federal jurisdiction and ensure federal qualified immunity doesn’t come into play is to limit the suit to issues of <strong>state</strong> law under the <strong>state</strong> constitution.</p> <p>One attorney the Tenth Amendment Center talked to said that it might be possible for officers to have their case removed to federal court to consider U.S. constitutional ramifications. But he said even then, he thinks federal courts would have to respect the state law prohibiting qualified immunity as a defense. The federal court would likely have to apply the state law as the state intended, even though the federal court might well be able to decide whether or not a U.S. constitutional violation had taken place.</p> <p>Regardless, a process operating totally under the state constitution will be much less likely to end up in federal court than a process that depends on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The state process will make it more difficult for police to simply side-step civil suits by declaring sovereign immunity up front.</p> <p><strong>Moving Forward </strong></p> <p>The Supreme Court shows no interest in rolling back its qualified immunity doctrine. In fact, the High Court recently rejected several cases that would have allowed it to revisit the issue. For instance, the SCOTUS let stand an <a href="http://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/201715566.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Eleventh Circuit decision</a> granting immunity to a police officer who shot a ten-year-old child in the back of the knee, while repeatedly attempting to shoot a pet dog that wasn’t threatening anyone.</p> <p>Congress could prohibit qualified immunity. <a href="https://amash.house.gov/media/press-releases/amash-pressley-introduce-bipartisan-legislation-end-qualified-immunity" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A bill</a> sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.) and  Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) during the last Congress would have done just that, but it was never taken up. Congress does not have a good track record of reining in government power.</p> <p>The best path forward is to bypass the federal system.</p> <p>Other states should follow their lead and create state processes to hold their police officers accountable. With the evolution of qualified immunity, the federal process is an abject failure. As Supreme Court Justice Byron White wrote in the 1986 case <em>Malley v. Briggs</em>, qualified immunity protects “all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.” <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-police-immunity-scotus-snapshot/six-takeaways-from-reuters-investigation-of-police-violence-and-qualified-immunity-idUSKBN22K1AM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Reuters</em> called it</a> “a highly effective shield in thousands of lawsuits seeking to hold cops accountable for using excessive force.”</p> <p>Attorney and activist Dave Roland called on Missouri to adopt a similar process in <a href="https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/dave-roland-no-more-excuses-hold-law-enforcement-officials-accountable/article_9d627981-1950-5858-abd9-d14cf587def6.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an op-ed published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>A consensus has developed — crossing all party and ideological lines — for the proposition that qualified immunity is an evil that should be undone. At the federal level either the Supreme Court or Congress could undo it, but thus far neither has seen fit to act. Justice in Missouri, however, does not need to wait on Washington — the Legislature can and should adopt a Missouri statute that allows citizens to sue government officials who have violated citizens’ constitutional rights.</p></blockquote> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>HB609 will most likely move to the House floor, although it could be referred to a second committee.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/louisiana-house-committee-passes-bill-to-create-state-process-to-end-police-qualified-immunity/">Louisiana House Committee Passes Bill to Create State Process to End Police Qualified Immunity</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Qualified Immunity State Bills HB206 Incorporation Doctrine Louisiana Police Mike Maharrey To the Governor: Idaho Passes Bill Taking Second Step Against Future Federal Gun Control https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-idaho-passes-bill-taking-second-step-against-future-federal-gun-control/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:fb700abf-062b-156f-ae6e-2d3ab85fe858 Tue, 04 May 2021 18:47:26 +0000 <p>The legislation would build upon a law enacted in 2014 that prohibits state enforcement of acts passed after that date relating to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-idaho-passes-bill-taking-second-step-against-future-federal-gun-control/">To the Governor: Idaho Passes Bill Taking Second Step Against Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BOISE</strong>, Idaho (May 4, 2021) &#8211; Today, the Idaho House gave final approval to a bill that would further restrict state enforcement of future federal gun control. Enactment as law would represent a second step toward neutering future federal gun laws in Idaho.<span id="more-37253"></span></p> <p>The Senate Affairs Committee introduced Senate Bill 1205 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/ID/bill/S1205/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">S1205</a>) on April 14. The legislation would build upon <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/03/new-idaho-law-effectively-nullifies-future-federal-gun-control/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a law enacted in 2014</a> that prohibits state enforcement of acts passed after that date relating to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.</p> <p>The <a href="https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title18/t18ch33/sect18-3315b/#:~:text=18%2D3315B.,OF%20REGULATION%20OF%20CERTAIN%20FIREARMS.&amp;text=(3)%20%22Enforcement%22%20shall,of%20firearms%20under%20federal%20law." target="_blank" rel="noopener">current law</a> prohibits officials, agents, or employees of the state or its political subdivisions from knowingly and willfully ordering any other official, agent, or employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state from enforcing a federal executive order, agency order, law, statute, rule or regulation if contrary to the provisions of section 11, Article I, of the Constitution of the state of Idaho.</p> <p>S1205 would expand the prohibition on enforcement, adding provisions prohibiting &#8220;all Idaho government entities&#8221; from &#8220;using any personnel, funds, or other resources to enforce, administer, or support the enforcement of any executive order, agency order, treaty, law, rule, or regulation of the United States government upon a firearm, firearm component, firearm accessory, or ammunition <strong>if contrary to the provisions of section 11, Article I of the Constitution of the state of Idaho</strong>.&#8221; [emphasis added]</p> <p>The proposed law would also authorize the state attorney general to enforce provisions of the law.</p> <p>On April 20, the Senate passed S1205 by a party-line <a href="https://legiscan.com/ID/rollcall/S1205/id/1056762" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 28-7</a>. Today, the House concurred with another party-line <a href="https://legiscan.com/ID/rollcall/S1205/id/1071313" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 55-11</a>.</p> <p><strong>In Practice</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idconst/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Idaho Constitution</a> provides strong protections for the right to keep and bear arms. It prohibits any laws that &#8220;impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.&#8221;</p> <p>Passage of S1205 would effectively bar the state from enforcing any future federal gun laws that do the same.</p> <p>How this plays out in practice remains to be seen. There is no mechanism in the bill to declare a specific federal act as &#8220;contrary&#8221; to the Idaho State Constitution. Although the types of laws prohibited by the state constitution are well-defined, law enforcement agents could still conceivably argue that &#8220;it&#8217;s not our job to decide if a federal act runs afoul of the state constitution.&#8221;</p> <p>In a <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-by-the-governor-arizona-law-bans-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recently-adopted law, Arizona</a> sidestepped the issue of officer discretion by banning enforcement of federal laws that don&#8217;t exist in state statute, a less ambiguous standard.</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Idaho can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>S1205 now moves to Gov. Brad Little&#8217;s desk for consideration.  He must sign or veto legislation within 5 days after transmittal (excluding Sunday), or the legislation becomes law without his signature.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-idaho-passes-bill-taking-second-step-against-future-federal-gun-control/">To the Governor: Idaho Passes Bill Taking Second Step Against Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment Federal Gun Control idaho S1205 Mike Maharrey To the Governor: Tennessee Passes Bill to Prohibit “No-Knock” Warrants https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-tennessee-passes-bill-to-prohibit-no-knock-warrants/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:522e159e-f530-d054-90e3-e59711b68fdf Tue, 04 May 2021 15:45:15 +0000 <p>The legislation would make several policing reforms, including a ban on so-called “no-knock” warrants. Under the proposed law, a magistrate would be prohibited from issuing a  search warrant, “which expressly authorizes a peace officer to dispense with the requirement to knock and announce the peace officer’s presence prior to execution of the warrant.”</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-tennessee-passes-bill-to-prohibit-no-knock-warrants/">To the Governor: Tennessee Passes Bill to Prohibit “No-Knock” Warrants</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>NASHVILLE</strong>, Tenn. (May 4, 2021) – On Monday, the Tennessee House gave final approval to a bill that would prohibit “no-knock” warrants and take a step toward nullifying several Supreme Court opinions in practice and effect.<span id="more-37250"></span><span id="more-37121"></span></p> <p>Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) introduced Senate Bill 1380 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/TN/bill/SB1380/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB1380</a>) on Feb. 11. The legislation would make several policing reforms, including a ban on so-called “no-knock” warrants. Under the proposed law, a magistrate would be prohibited from issuing a  search warrant, “which expressly authorizes a peace officer to dispense with the requirement to knock and announce the peace officer’s presence prior to execution of the warrant.”</p> <p>Last month, the full Senate <a href="https://legiscan.com/TN/rollcall/SB1380/id/1056584" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passed the bill by a vote of 33-0</a>. On Monday, the House substituted the Senate bill for the House version and then approved the measure 90-0. It now moves to Gov. Bill Lee&#8217;s desk for his consideration.</p> <p>The proposed law would also place limits on police use of choke-holds, require Tennessee law enforcement agencies to develop policies on de-escalation, institute reporting requirements relating to the use of force, and clarify policies on firing at fleeing vehicles.</p> <p><strong>Nullifying the Supreme Court</strong></p> <p>The enactment of SB1380 would take a big step toward effectively nullifying and making irrelevant several Supreme Court opinions that give police across the U.S. legal cover for conducting no-knock raids.</p> <p>In the 1995 case <em><a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15506865603077276139&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=6&amp;as_vis=1&amp;oi=scholarr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Wilson v. Arkansas</a></em>, the Supreme Court established that police must peacefully knock, announce their presence, and allow time for the occupants to open the door before entering a home to serve a warrant. But the Court allowed for “exigent circumstance” exceptions if police fear violence, if the suspect is a flight risk, or if officers fear the suspect will destroy evidence.</p> <p>As journalist <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/03/no-knock-warrant-breonna-taylor-was-illegal/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Radley Balko notes</a>, police utilized this exception to the fullest extent, “simply declaring in search warrant affidavits that <i>all</i> drug dealers are a threat to dispose of evidence, flee or assault the officers at the door.”</p> <p>The SCOTUS eliminated this blanket exception in <a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10920539616941250099&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=6&amp;as_vis=1&amp;oi=scholarr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><i>Richards v. Wisconsin</i></a>  (1997) requiring police to show why a specific individual is a threat to dispose of evidence, commit an act of violence or flee from police. But even with the opinion, the bar for obtaining a no-knock warrant remains low.</p> <blockquote><p>“In order to justify a ‘no-knock’ entry, the police must have a <strong>reasonable suspicion</strong> that knocking and announcing their presence, under the particular circumstances, would be dangerous or futile, or that it would inhibit the effective investigation of the crime by, for example, allowing the destruction of evidence.” [Emphasis added]</p></blockquote> <p>Reasonable suspicion is an extremely low legal bar to meet. Through this exception, police can justify no-knock entry on any warrant application. In effect, the parameters in the SCOTUS ruling make no-knock the norm instead of the exception.</p> <p>A third Supreme Court ruling effectively eliminated the consequences for violating the “knock and announce” requirement even without a no-knock warrant. In <em><a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/05pdf/04-1360.pdf">Hudson v. Michigan</a></em> (2006), the High Court held that evidence seized in violation of knock and announce was not subject to the exclusionary rule. In other words, police could still use the evidence in court even though they technically gathered it illegally.</p> <p>Significantly, were it not for the dubious “<a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/05/30/the-incorporation-doctrine-broke-the-constitutional-system/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">incorporation doctrine</a>” made up by the Supreme Court based on the 14th Amendment that purportedly empowers the federal government to apply the Bill of Rights to the states, these cases would have never gone to federal court and we wouldn’t have these blanket rules.</p> <p>Without specific restrictions from the state, police officers generally operate within the parameters set by the High Court. By passing restrictions on no-knock warrants, states set standards that go beyond the Supreme Court limits and in effect, nullify the SCOTUS opinion.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>Gov. Lee will have 10 days (excluding Sunday) from the date SB1380 is transmitted to his office to sign or veto the bill. If he takes no action, it will become law without his signature.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-tennessee-passes-bill-to-prohibit-no-knock-warrants/">To the Governor: Tennessee Passes Bill to Prohibit “No-Knock” Warrants</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Police State Bills No Knock Warrants Police-State SB1380 Tennessee Mike Maharrey Missouri Action Alert: 2nd Amendment Preservation Act Hits Roadblock in Senate https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/missouri-action-alert-2nd-amendment-preservation-act-hits-roadblock-in-senate/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:4e5abb0c-0786-aff3-3285-ed71f8e7762f Tue, 04 May 2021 15:39:34 +0000 <p>Sen. Lincoln Hough chairs the Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee, and he's holding the bill up by not scheduling it for a hearing. He was reportedly the senator most responsible for stalling SAPA in 2020.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/missouri-action-alert-2nd-amendment-preservation-act-hits-roadblock-in-senate/">Missouri Action Alert: 2nd Amendment Preservation Act Hits Roadblock in Senate</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>JEFFERSON CITY</strong>, Mo. (May 4, 2021) &#8211; A Missouri bill that would take on federal gun control; past, present and future is being held up by a Senate committee chairman.<span id="more-37249"></span></p> <p>Rep. Jered Taylor filed House Bill 85 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MO/bill/HB85/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">HB85</a>) on Dec 1. Titled the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” (SAPA), the legislation would ban any entity or person, including any public officer or employee of the state and its political subdivisions, from enforcing any past, present or future federal “acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances” that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. The bill includes a detailed definition of actions that qualify as “infringement.&#8221; You can read more details about the legislation <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/02/missouri-house-passes-bill-to-take-on-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HERE</a>.</p> <p>HB85 passed the House in February by <a href="https://legiscan.com/MO/rollcall/HB85/id/995893" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a 103-43 vote</a>. It now sits in the Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee where it still needs a public hearing and a vote before moving to the full Senate.</p> <p>The full Senate held a hearing on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/missouri-bill-to-ban-enforcement-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future-debated-on-senate-floor/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a Senate companion bill</a> (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MO/bill/SB39/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB39</a>) last week. But with less than two weeks left in the legislative session, the best chance to get SAPA to the governor is for the Senate to pass the House version &#8211; HB85.</p> <p>According to Ron Calzone at <a href="http://www.mofirst.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Missouri First</a>, it appears that&#8217;s what Senate leadership intends to do, but they cannot move the bill forward until it clears the committee. That&#8217;s where we have a big problem. <a href="https://www.senate.mo.gov/mem30/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sen. Lincoln Hough</a> chairs the Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee, and he was reportedly the senator most responsible for stalling SAPA in 2020.</p> <p>HB 85 was assigned to his committee a week ago, but as of Tuesday morning (May 4) he still hadn&#8217;t scheduled it for the hearing he plans to hold Wednesday, May 5. (You can check the latest hearing schedule <a href="https://www.senate.mo.gov/hearingsschedule/hrings.htm#4" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HERE</a>.)</p> <p>Calzone said he is convinced that Senate pro tem Dave Schatz wants to take up and pass HB 85 out of the Senate, but he can&#8217;t take action until Sen. Lincoln Hough lets the bill go through his committee.</p> <p><strong>WHAT&#8217;S NEXT</strong></p> <p>If you live in Missouri, call, email, or visit in person <a href="https://www.senate.mo.gov/mem30/">Senator Lincoln Hough</a>. Politely but firmly tell him <strong><em>to immediately vote HB 85 out of committee</em></strong>.  He has time, today (Tuesday, May 4) to schedule it for his regular hearing tomorrow (Wednesday, May 5).</p> <p>Sen. Lincoln Hough<br /> 201 W Capitol Ave., Rm. 419<br /> Jefferson City, Missouri 65101<br /> OFFICE: (573) 751-1311<br /> <a href="mailto:Lincoln.Hough@senate.mo.gov?subject=Schedule%20HB%2085%20for%20a%20hearing">Lincoln.Hough@senate.mo.gov</a></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/missouri-action-alert-2nd-amendment-preservation-act-hits-roadblock-in-senate/">Missouri Action Alert: 2nd Amendment Preservation Act Hits Roadblock in Senate</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment Preservation Act Federal Gun Control HB85 Missouri SB39 Mike Maharrey California Assembly Committee Passes Bill That Takes Step to Block Federal Militarization of Police https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/california-assembly-committee-passes-bill-that-takes-step-to-block-federal-militarization-of-police/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:c99c7b6a-f9ad-12e2-c97d-fecc4e291453 Mon, 03 May 2021 20:39:23 +0000 <p>The legislation would require law enforcement agencies to get local government approval before obtaining military equipment through federal programs.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/california-assembly-committee-passes-bill-that-takes-step-to-block-federal-militarization-of-police/">California Assembly Committee Passes Bill That Takes Step to Block Federal Militarization of Police</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>SACRAMENTO</strong>, Calif. (May 3, 2021) – Last week, a second California Assembly committee passed a bill that would take the first step toward limiting the impact of federal programs that militarize local police and expand the national surveillance state.<span id="more-37246"></span></p> <p>Asm. David Chiu (D), and a coalition of other democrats, introduced Assembly Bill 481 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/CA/bill/AB481/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">AB481</a>) on Feb. 8. The legislation would require law enforcement agencies to get local government approval before obtaining military equipment through federal programs.</p> <p>On March 25, <a href="https://legiscan.com/CA/rollcall/AB481/id/1036472" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the Assembly Committee on Local Government passed AB481 by a 5-2 vote</a>. On April 28, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety passed AB481 by a <a href="https://legiscan.com/CA/rollcall/AB481/id/1065158" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 6-2</a>.</p> <p>Under the law proposed law,  police departments would be required to adopt a military impact statement and a military equipment use policy to be presented in an open meeting prior to a vote for approval by the local governing body for such military equipment.</p> <p>The bill would mandate similar approval for military equipment already in use and would require an annual review. The impact statement and use policy would be made publicly available on the law enforcement agency&#8217;s website for as long as the military equipment is available for use. AB481 includes an extensive list of specific military equipment that would be subject to the law.</p> <p>The legislation applies both to the well-known 1033 program, along with any other military surplus program operated by the federal government.</p> <p>While passage of AB481 wouldn’t end the militarization, it would make it more difficult for police to obtain such weapons and equipment, and set the stage for further limits in the future.</p> <p>Police departments often obtain military and surveillance equipment from the federal government in complete secrecy. Requiring public disclosure of all requests for military gear would bring the process into the open and provide an opportunity for concerned residents to stop the acquisition through their local representatives.</p> <p><strong>FEDERAL SURPLUS AND GRANT MONEY</strong></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/05/war-on-liberty-an-overview-of-federal-programs-that-militarize-and-nationalize-local-police/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Police can get military-grade weapons through a number of federal programs</a>, including the 1033 program, and via the Department of Homeland Security through the (DHS) “Homeland Security Grant Program.” The DHS <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/04/12/dhs-announces-funding-opportunity-fiscal-year-2019-preparedness-grants#:~:text=Homeland%20Security%20Grant%20Program%20(HSGP,of%20terrorism%20and%20other%20threats." data-et-has-event-already="true">doles out over $1 billion in counterterrorism funds</a> to state and local police each year. According to a 2012 Senate report, this money has been used to purchase tactical vehicles, drones, and even tanks with little obvious benefit to public safety. And, according to ProPublica, “In 1994, the Justice Department and the Pentagon-funded a five-year program to adapt military security and surveillance technology for local police departments that they would otherwise not be able to afford.”</p> <p>In August 2017, President Trump issued an executive order that <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/08/28/executive-order-takes-window-dressing-off-police-militarization-program/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">gave a push to local police militarization</a>. Trump’s action rescinded an <a href="https://www.bja.gov/publications/LEEWG_Report_Final.pdf">Obama-era policy </a>meant to provide greater transparency and oversight around the Department of Defense 1033 program and other federal resources that provide military weapons to local police. Biden will reportedly reinstitute the Obama policy, but it was nothing more than window-dressing. In practice, the Obama EO did little to stem the flow of military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.</p> <p>Even with the Obama-era limits back in place, the 1033 program will remain essentially intact. Military gear will continue to pour into local police agencies, just as it did when Obama was in the White House.</p> <p>Even if you see the Obama/Biden limits as a positive, the multiple federal flip-flops underscore the importance of putting limits on police militarization at the state and local level. Federal policy tends to change depending on the party in power. Whatever limits Biden imposes through executive order can be undone with a stroke of the next president’s pen. The only way to effectively end police militarization for good is permanently withdrawing the state from these federal programs.</p> <p>While the passage of AB481  wouldn’t end police militarization or stop government surveillance, it would take the first step by creating a framework for accountability and transparency for programs in California. It would also create a foundation for the public to stop their local police from obtaining this type of gear.</p> <p><strong>COMMAND AND CONTROL</strong></p> <p>Arming ‘peace officers’ like they’re ready to occupy an enemy city is totally contrary to the society envisioned by the founders. They’ve turned ‘protect and serve’ into ‘command and control.’</p> <p>In the 1980s, the federal government began arming, funding and training local police forces, turning peace officers into soldiers to fight in its unconstitutional “War on Drugs.” The militarization went into hyper-drive after 9/11 when a second front opened up – the “War on Terror.”</p> <p>By making it more difficult for local police to get this military-grade gear and surveillance technology, and ensuring they can’t do it in secret, it makes them less likely to cooperate with the feds and removes incentives for partnerships. Passage of AB481 would take a first step toward limiting police militarization in California.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>AB481 moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/california-assembly-committee-passes-bill-that-takes-step-to-block-federal-militarization-of-police/">California Assembly Committee Passes Bill That Takes Step to Block Federal Militarization of Police</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Police State Bills AB481 California Federal Militarization of Police Militarization Amanda Bowers To the Governor: Colorado Bill Expands Legal Marijuana Despite Federal Prohibition https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-colorado-bill-expands-legal-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:067a8c75-89d9-01d6-af13-c3fe186e5cfb Mon, 03 May 2021 20:20:21 +0000 <p>the Colorado Senate gave final approval to a bill that would increase the amount of marijuana an individual can legally possess and streamline the process for sealing the records of past marijuana convictions, all despite ongoing federal cannabis prohibition.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-colorado-bill-expands-legal-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/">To the Governor: Colorado Bill Expands Legal Marijuana Despite Federal Prohibition</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>DENVER</strong>, Colo. (May 3, 2021) &#8211; Last Wednesday, the Colorado Senate gave final approval to a bill that would increase the amount of marijuana an individual can legally possess and streamline the process for sealing the records of past marijuana convictions, all despite ongoing federal cannabis prohibition.<span id="more-37240"></span></p> <p>Rep. Alex Valdez (D), along with 19 fellow Democrats, introduced House Bill 1090 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/CO/bill/HB1090/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB1090</a>) on Feb. 16. The proposed law would increase the amount of marijuana an adult over 21 can possess from 1 ounce to two ounces.</p> <p>Also under the law, courts would be required to approve requests to have prior criminal records relating to marijuana possession sealed without consulting with a district attorney.</p> <p>The House passed <a href="https://legiscan.com/CO/bill/HB1090/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB1090 by a 45-19 vote</a>. The Senate approved the measure <a href="https://legiscan.com/CO/rollcall/HB1090/id/1064520" target="_blank" rel="noopener">by a 23-11 vote</a>. It now goes to Gov. Jared Polis&#8217; desk for his consideration.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.marijuanamoment.net/colorado-governor-signs-marijuana-social-equity-bill-as-lawmakers-vote-to-increase-possession-limit/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Marijuana Moment</em></a>, the policy change for sealing records could have a significant impact on gubernatorial pardons.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;Polis signed an executive order in October that granted clemency to almost 3,000 people convicted of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana. And while the legislation that enabled him to do that in an expedited way applied to possession cases involving up to two ounces, his office declined to pardon those with more than one ounce on their records because that amount violated the existing state law.&#8221;</p></blockquote> <p>In effect, the passage of this measure will further expand cannabis markets in Colorado despite continued federal prohibition.</p> <p><b>EFFECT ON FEDERAL PROHIBITION</b></p> <p>Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) passed in 1970, the federal government maintains complete prohibition of marijuana. Of course, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to ban or regulate cannabis within the borders of a state, despite the opinion of the politically connected lawyers on the Supreme Court. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to institute federal alcohol prohibition.</p> <p>The legalization of cannabis in Colorado removed a huge layer of laws prohibiting the possession and use of marijuana, but federal prohibition remains in effect. This is significant because FBI statistics show that law enforcement makes approximately 99 of 100 marijuana arrests under state, not federal law. When states stop enforcing marijuana laws, they sweep away most of the basis for 99 percent of marijuana arrests.</p> <p>Furthermore, figures indicate it would take 40 percent of the DEA’s yearly budget just to investigate and raid all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles – a single city in a single state. That doesn’t include the cost of prosecution. The lesson? The feds lack the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state assistance.</p> <p><b>A GROWING MOVEMENT</b></p> <p>Along with Colorado, Washington state, Oregon and Alaska were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts joined them after ballot initiatives in favor of legalization passed in November 2016. Michigan followed suit when <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/11/michigan-votes-to-legalize-marijuana-nullify-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">voters legalized cannabis for general use</a> in 2018. Vermont <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/01/signed-as-law-vermont-legalizes-recreational-marijuana-foundation-to-nullify-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">became the first state</a> to legalize marijuana through a legislative act in 2018. <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/06/signed-by-the-governor-illinois-legalizes-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Illinois followed suit i</a>n 2019. New Jersey, Montana and Arizona all <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/11/04/thirty-six-and-counting-more-states-legalize-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">legalized recreational marijuana through ballot measures</a> in the 2020 election and Mississippi legalized medicinal cannabis. Earlier this year, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/03/to-the-governor-new-york-bill-legalizes-marijuana-for-adult-use-despite-federal-prohibition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York legalized marijuana through legislative action</a>.</p> <p>With 36 states now allowing cannabis for medical use, and 18 legalizing for recreational adult use, the feds find themselves in a position where they simply can’t enforce prohibition anymore.</p> <p>The lesson here is pretty straightforward. When enough people say, ‘No!’ to the federal government, and enough states pass laws backing those people up, there’s not much the feds can do to shove their so-called laws, regulations, or mandates down our throats.</p> <p>The passage of HB1090 demonstrates another important strategic reality. Once a state legalizes marijuana – even if only in a very limited way – the law tends to eventually expand. As the state tears down some barriers, markets develop and demand expands. That creates pressure to further relax state law. These new laws represent a further erosion of unconstitutional federal marijuana prohibition.</p> <p><strong>WHAT&#8217;S NEXT</strong></p> <p>Gov. Polis will have 10 days from the date HB1090 is transmitted to his office to sign or veto the bill. If he takes no action, it will become law without his signature.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/to-the-governor-colorado-bill-expands-legal-marijuana-despite-federal-prohibition/">To the Governor: Colorado Bill Expands Legal Marijuana Despite Federal Prohibition</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Drug War State Bills cannabis colorado HB1090 Marijuana Mike Maharrey The Thin Blue Line Between You and Your Guns https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/03/the-thin-blue-line-between-you-and-your-guns/ Tenth Amendment Center urn:uuid:aa66814d-cded-ef52-252f-764d03124fa0 Mon, 03 May 2021 20:13:48 +0000 <p>Police claim it's a matter of public safety. If they don't work with the feds, dangerous criminals will go free. This is B.S.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/03/the-thin-blue-line-between-you-and-your-guns/">The Thin Blue Line Between You and Your Guns</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> <p>People tell me all the time local cops would never enforce any kind of federal gun grab. I call B.S.</p> <p>I&#8217;m a little unclear as to what gives them this confidence. Local cops already enforce all kinds of unconstitutional gun control &#8212; every single day. And it&#8217;s not like they do it reluctantly. They enforce federal gun laws enthusiastically and oppose any efforts to stop them from doing it.</p> <p>This is a fact that seems to be lost on a lot of people &#8211; <strong><em>all</em></strong> federal gun control is unconstitutional.  All of it. Every federal gun control law, from the regulation of machine guns to federal background checks, is unconstitutional.</p> <ul> <li>The National Firearms Act of 1934? Unconstitutional.</li> <li>The Federal Firearms Act of 1938? Unconstitutional.</li> <li>The Gun Control Act of 1968? Unconstitutional.</li> <li>The Firearm Owners Protection Act (1986)? Unconstitutional.</li> </ul> <p>You get the idea.</p> <p>Even without the Second Amendment, the federal government would have very little authority to craft firearms regulations. It can only lawfully exercise its delegated powers, with all others reserved to the states and the people. There is no delegated power to regulate firearms. We find the only Congressional power relating to weaponry in Art. I Sec. 8 – “arming…the Militia.” The Constitution does not authorize any general federal firearms regulating power.</p> <p>At all.</p> <p>Even so, under the original Constitution, the federal government could arguably regulate firearms in the process of exercising another legitimate power – particularly regulating interstate commerce. The Second Amendment slams that door closed.</p> <p>…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.</p> <p><strong>Infringe</strong> – v: Act so as to limit or undermine (something)? encroach on.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government may not constitutionally act in <em>any way</em> that limits the right to keep and bear arms.</p> <p>So, while you could argue that under the original Constitution, the commerce clause empowers the feds to restrict and regulate the sale of guns, ammunition, and gun-related accessories across state lines, the Second Amendment supersedes the commerce clause whenever a given regulation encroaches or limits the right to keep and bear arms.</p> <p><strong>The Thin Blue Line</strong></p> <p>Today, your state and local police departments help enforce all of this and more. And as I&#8217;ve already mentioned, they don&#8217;t do it reluctantly. In fact, police lobby groups fiercely oppose any attempt to limit state and local enforcement of this unconstitutional gun control.</p> <p>This year, legislatures across the country have considered bills to stop enforcement of federal gun control. They can legally do so based on the <a href="https://michaelmaharrey.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4ac905c16aee40ee392f74a8f&amp;id=fd8ce6165b&amp;e=592d86703b">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>. The biggest opponents of these bills have been sheriffs&#8217; associations, police chief associations, and other groups representing cops. They have gotten these bills killed in some states and significantly watered down in others.</p> <p>Why?</p> <p>Because they don&#8217;t want to &#8220;jeopardize&#8221; their relationships with their &#8220;federal partners.&#8221; That is more important than the Constitution. After all, there is no money or power in standing up for the Second Amendment.</p> <p>Police claim it&#8217;s a matter of public safety. If they don&#8217;t work with the feds, dangerous criminals will go free. This is B.S.</p> <p>State and local cops can go after dangerous criminals under state laws. But they like using federal gun charges to ratchet up penalties and as a bargaining chip to force plea deals. They also like the money and toys that go along with working with the feds.</p> <p>And almost all of these &#8220;partnerships&#8221; revolve around the federal &#8220;war on drugs,&#8221; which, by the way, is also unconstitutional. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol nationally. Why is marijuana any different?</p> <p>The bottom line is if you oppose gun control but support the federal drug war, you&#8217;re a hypocrite.</p> <p>In fact, the whole notion of federal law enforcement is mostly unconstitutional. Police powers were specifically highlighted as authority that would remain exclusively with the state by supporters of the Constitution during ratification. Constitutionally, federal policing should be broadly limited to federal enclaves such as Washington D.C.</p> <p>But today, we basically have a national police force. It operates under euphemisms such as &#8220;joint task forces&#8221; and &#8220;state/federal partnerships.&#8221; The bottom line is you local cops work for the feds every single day. They like it that way. And they aren&#8217;t about to risk those partnerships so you can keep your AR-15. I see the evidence every single day as I watch these cop lobbies oppose every effort to stop enforcement of federal gun control and dumb Republicans bowing to the pressure.</p> <p>Like it or not &#8211; there is something between you and your guns &#8211; a think blue line.</p> <p><strong>Second Amendment Sanctuaries</strong></p> <p>States and even localities can create &#8220;Second Amendment Sanctuaries&#8221; in much the same way some have formed immigration sanctuaries. They simply have to stop participating in the enforcement of federal gun laws.</p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>As already mentioned, several states have considered legislation to stop enforcement of federal gun control. Unfortunately, many of these have been killed or significantly watered down due to intense law enforcement lobbying. In the process, some state legislators play fast and loose with the term &#8220;Second Amendment Sanctuary.&#8221;  They move forward bills that address future federal gun control only, and even make exceptions for &#8220;state/federal partnerships,&#8221; and then call them sanctuary bills.</p> <p>They are no such thing.</p> <p>A bill that leaves room for any state cooperation with the enforcement of federal gun control does not create a &#8220;Second Amendment Sanctuary.&#8221; It&#8217;s may be a good start. It may be strategically the best step forward we can take right now. But it&#8217;s not a sanctuary bill. Again, <strong>ALL</strong> federal gun control violates the Second Amendment.</p> <p>Don&#8217;t let cops and crafty politicians hoodwink you. If you care about the Constitution, you have to address all federal gun control &#8211; not just what might be coming down the pike,</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span><p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/03/the-thin-blue-line-between-you-and-your-guns/">The Thin Blue Line Between You and Your Guns</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> 2nd Amendment 2nd-amendment Firearms Police Right to Keep and Bear Arms Mike Maharrey Signed by the Governor: North Dakota Takes First Step Against Future Federal Gun Control https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-north-dakota-takes-first-step-against-future-federal-gun-control/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:9b250e03-ada0-7d4a-2069-190d699bfc79 Mon, 03 May 2021 20:04:33 +0000 <p>The law effectively bars state enforcement of future federal gun control that is more restrictive than state law, but there's a possible loophole that will need to be shut closed.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-north-dakota-takes-first-step-against-future-federal-gun-control/">Signed by the Governor: North Dakota Takes First Step Against Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BISMARCK</strong>, N.D. (May 3, 2021) &#8211; North Dakota Gov. Douglas Burgum has signed a bill into law that takes a first step toward thwarting some future federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.<span id="more-37238"></span></p> <p>A coalition of seven Republicans introduced House Bill 1383 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/ND/bill/1383/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB1383</a>) on Jan. 18. The law effectively bars state enforcement of future federal gun control that is more restrictive than state law, but there&#8217;s a possible loophole that will need to be shut closed.</p> <p>The law prohibits a state agency or political subdivision, along with law enforcement officers or individuals employed by a state agency or political subdivision, from providing assistance to a federal agency or official, or from acting independently with respect to the investigation, prosecution, or enforcement of a violation of a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation purporting to regulate a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition enacted after January 1, 2021, if the federal action more restrictive than state law.</p> <p>The House passed the final version of HB1383 by <a href="https://legiscan.com/ND/rollcall/1383/id/1056101" target="_blank" rel="noopener">an 80-12 vote</a>. The Senate <a href="https://legiscan.com/ND/rollcall/1383/id/1056103" target="_blank" rel="noopener">approved the measure 40-7</a>. With Gov. Burgum&#8217;s signature, the law went into immediate effect.</p> <p><strong>The law includes language that could be a pretty significant loophole.</strong> State or local agents can cooperate with the enforcement of banned future federal gun control if a federal court finds probable cause that &#8220;a national security threat exists.&#8221; It also gives law enforcement wiggle room to continue working on joint state/federal task forces when federal gun control is incidentally enforced.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;This section does not prohibit an agency or political subdivision of the state or a law enforcement officer or individual employed by an agency or political subdivision of the state from providing assistance to a federal agency or official for an offense not related to firearms or an offense to which firearms are incidental, including a drug offense, homicide, assault, kidnapping, sex offense, or human trafficking.&#8221;</p></blockquote> <p>With the exceptions and continued partnering with federal task forces, it&#8217;s hard to predict just how effective the ban on enforcement would play out in practice.</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>Ending state cooperation with federal gun control has the potential to stop it in its tracks. The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of North Dakota can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-by-the-governor-north-dakota-takes-first-step-against-future-federal-gun-control/">Signed by the Governor: North Dakota Takes First Step Against Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment firearms HB1383 North Dakota Mike Maharrey Signed as Law: Montana Legalizes Limited Raw Milk Sales https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-as-law-montana-legalizes-limited-raw-milk-sales/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:7a7c96d9-a5c9-9892-ab00-926e6205bdad Mon, 03 May 2021 19:21:40 +0000 <p>Titled The Montana Local Food Choice Act, the new law prohibits a state or local government agency from requiring licensure, permitting, certification, packaging, labeling, or inspection that pertains to the preparation, serving, use, consumption, delivery, or storage of homemade food or homemade food products.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-as-law-montana-legalizes-limited-raw-milk-sales/">Signed as Law: Montana Legalizes Limited Raw Milk Sales</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>HELENA</strong>, Mont. (May 3, 2021) – On Friday night, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a “food freedom” bill into law that legalizes the unregulated sale of home-produced foods from producers to informed end consumers, including raw milk and raw milk products. The enactment of this bill takes an important step toward rejecting a federal prohibition scheme in practice and effect and will undermine FDA control over food production.<span id="more-37232"></span></p> <p>Sen. Greg Hertz (R-Polson) introduced Senate Bill 199 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MT/bill/SB199/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB199</a>) on Feb. 8. Titled <em>The Montana Local Food Choice Act</em>, the new law prohibits a state or local government agency from requiring licensure, permitting, certification, packaging, labeling, or inspection that pertains to the preparation, serving, use, consumption, delivery, or storage of homemade food or homemade food products.</p> <p>Provisions in the new statute effectively legalize the sale of raw milk and raw milk products directly from the producer to a consumer if the producer keeps no more than five lactating cows, 10 lactating goats, or 10 lactating sheep on the farm for the production of milk. Sales will be allowed at a farm, ranch, home, office, or “traditional community social event,” including farmer’s markets, neighborhood gatherings and sporting events. The proposed law requires producers to test milk twice a year for somatic, coliform, bacteria and brucellosis. Records must be kept for two years.</p> <p>Up to this point, Montana law prohibited the sale of raw milk.</p> <p>On April 9, <a href="https://legiscan.com/MT/rollcall/SB199/id/1049816" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the House passed SB199 by a 70-26 vote</a>. The Senate concurred with House amendments by <a href="https://legiscan.com/MT/rollcall/SB199/id/1049816" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a 32-18 vote</a>. With Gov. Gianforte’s signature, the law went into immediate effect.</p> <p>Chris Rosenau and her organization Raw Milk Montana have been working for years to legalize unpasteurized milk in the state, going up against well-funded and powerful big-dairy interests. She called the passage of SB199 a &#8220;team effort.&#8221;</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;Thank yous to so many people who have been a big part of this effort for so many years!!  Especially thank you to Senator Hertz for his persistence in bringing this bill again to the legislature and getting it through the process!&#8221;</p></blockquote> <p>SB199 also allows the virtually unregulated sale of poultry if the producer slaughters and processes 1,000 birds or fewer during a calendar year, subject to state law. Producers must sell meat and meat products under the bill only if the slaughter and processing took place at a “state-licensed or federally approved meat establishment.”</p> <p>Food freedom laws not only open markets, expand consumer choice, and create opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs; they take a step toward restoring the United States’ original political structure. Instead of top-down, centralized regulatory schemes, these laws encourage local control, and they can effectively nullify federal regulatory schemes in effect by hindering enforcement of federal regulations.</p> <p>While state law does not bind the FDA, the passage of food freedom laws creates an environment hostile to federal food regulation in those states. And because the state does not interfere with local food producers, that means it will not enforce FDA mandates either. Should the feds want to enforce food laws in states with food freedom laws, they have to do so by themselves.</p> <p>As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”</p> <p>Less restrictive food laws almost certainly have a similar impact on FDA regulation. They make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce their will within the state.</p> <p><strong>Impact on Federal Raw Milk Prohibition</strong></p> <p>FDA officials insist that unpasteurized milk poses a health risk because of its susceptibility to contamination from cow manure, a source of E. coli.</p> <p>“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” agency spokeswoman Tamara N. Ward said in November 2011.</p> <p>The FDA’s position represents more than a matter of opinion. In 1987, the feds implemented 21 CFR 1240.61(a), providing that, <em>“no person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized.”</em></p> <p>Not only do the feds ban the transportation of raw milk across state lines; they also claim the authority to ban unpasteurized milk <em>within the borders of a state</em>.</p> <p>“It is within HHS’s authority…to institute an intrastate ban [on unpasteurized milk] as well,” FDA officials wrote in response to a <a href="http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund </a>lawsuit against the agency over the interstate ban.</p> <p>The FDA clearly wants complete prohibition of raw milk and some insiders say it’s only a matter of time before the feds try to institute an absolute ban. Armed raids by FDA agents on companies like Rawsome Foods back in 2011 and Amish farms over the last few years also indicate this scenario may not be too far off.</p> <p>When states allow the sale of raw milk within their borders, it takes an important step toward nullifying this federal prohibition scheme.</p> <p>As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, an intrastate ban becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages the market and nullifies federal prohibition in effect.</p> <p>We’ve seen this demonstrated dramatically in states that have legalized industrial hemp. When they authorized production, farmers began growing industrial hemp, even in the face of a federal ban. Despite facing the possibility of federal prosecution, some growers were still willing to step into the void and begin cultivating the plant once the state removed its barriers.</p> <p>In the same way, removing state barriers to raw milk consumption, sale and production would undoubtedly spur the creation of new markets for unpasteurized dairy products, no matter what the feds claim the power to do.</p> <p>It could ultimately nullify the interstate ban as well. If all 50 states allow raw milk, markets within the states could easily grow to the point that local sales would render the federal ban on interstate commerce pointless. And history indicates the feds do not have the resources to stop people from transporting raw milk across state lines – especially if multiple states start legalizing it. Growing markets will quickly overwhelm any federal enforcement attempts.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/signed-as-law-montana-legalizes-limited-raw-milk-sales/">Signed as Law: Montana Legalizes Limited Raw Milk Sales</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Raw Milk State Bills FDA food freedom Montana SB199 unpasteurized milk Mike Maharrey 2nd Amendment: What the Heck is Happening in Texas? https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/2nd-amendment-what-the-heck-is-happening-in-texas/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:5e9f92be-c85a-2f93-a22a-700ea65479cc Mon, 03 May 2021 18:06:43 +0000 <p>Some bad news, followed by more bad news, unfortunately. A “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” bill in Texas has a pretty major loophole - and another effort has an even bigger one. This could certainly happen in other states too - if no one’s paying attention.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/2nd-amendment-what-the-heck-is-happening-in-texas/">2nd Amendment: What the Heck is Happening in Texas?</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p>Some bad news, followed by more bad news, unfortunately. A “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” bill in Texas has a pretty major loophole &#8211; and another effort has an even bigger one. This could certainly happen in other states too &#8211; if no one’s paying attention.</p> <p>Path to Liberty: May 3, 2021 <span id="more-37239"></span></p> <p>Subscribe: <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/path-to-liberty/id1440549211?app=podcast&amp;mt=2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Apple</a> | <a href="https://open.spotify.com/show/7iRUIPjKQLyfKbunOuYIBq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Spotify</a> | <a href="https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/b4yrd-92c48/Path-to-Liberty-Podcast" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Podbean</a> | <a href="https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9ibG9nLnRlbnRoYW1lbmRtZW50Y2VudGVyLmNvbS9jYXRlZ29yeS92aWRlby9nb29kLW1vcm5pbmctbGliZXJ0eS9mZWVkLw?sa=X&amp;ved=0CAYQrrcFahcKEwigwITb6MrrAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google</a> | <a href="https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=340324&amp;refid=stpr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Stitcher</a> | <a href="https://tunein.com/podcasts/News--Politics-Podcasts/Path-to-Liberty-p1357275/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">TuneIn</a> | <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/category/video/good-morning-liberty/feed/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">RSS</a> | <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/pathtoliberty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">More Platforms Here</a></p> <p><iframe loading="lazy" title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/trTbpCUShXA?start=48" width="1280" height="720" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>SHOW LINKS:</strong><br /> <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/members/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">JOIN TAC</a></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/pathtoliberty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Show Archives</a></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2010/09/28/courage-liberty-guns-and-weed/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2010 SF &#8211; 25th Annual gun rights policy conference speech</a></p> <p><a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20121223115758/https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/2nd-amendment-preservation-act/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dec 2012 &#8211; Archive</a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/01/texas-legislator-to-file-firearms-protection-act/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">January 2013 &#8211; Rep. Steve Toth &#8211; working on a bill along these lines</a></p> <p>Texas bills from 2013</p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><a href="https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB553"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HB553 &#8211; Rep John Otto</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> &#8211; ban virtually all federal gun control</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><a href="https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB928"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HB928 &#8211; Rep Matt Krause</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> &#8211; used anti-commandeering to ban enforcement of all fed &#8211; some exceptions &#8211; </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><a href="https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB1076">HB1076 &#8211; Toth</a> &#8211; same bill &#8211; but Jan 2013 date &#8211; only new</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-by-the-governor-arizona-law-bans-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Arizona HB2111 2021 law</a></p> <p><a href="http://thomaspaine.org/essays/american-revolution/the-forester-s-letters.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Thomas Paine, The Forester III, Pennsylvania Journal (24 April 1776)</a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-senate-passes-bill-protecting-joe-bidens-gun-control-plans/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Texas SB513 Report</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.themarshallproject.org/2019/10/31/why-some-police-departments-are-leaving-federal-task-forces" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Marshall project on task forces</a></p> <p>IJ Asset forfeiture reports</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://ij.org/pfp-state-pages/pfp-california/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">California</a></li> <li><a href="https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/?state=NC" target="_blank" rel="noopener">North Carolina</a></li> <li><a href="https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/?state=MO" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Missouri</a></li> <li><a href="https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/?state=TX" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Texas</a></li> </ul> <p><a href="https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&amp;Bill=HB2622" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB2622</a></p> <p><a href="http://records.countyofupshur.com/countyclerk/minutes/LinkedDir/2019/Links%202019-02-15-Regular/1062-Memorandum%20with%20ATF.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ATF MOU Upshur County</a></p> <p><a href="https://publicdocuments.fortworthtexas.gov/CSODOCS/doc/22105/Page2.aspx?repo=City-Secretary&amp;dbid=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Contract 43739 Ft Worth Police and ATF</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/02/state-federal-task-forces-and-the-national-police-state/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Episode: Joint Task Forces</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.atf.gov/file/10941/download" rel="noopener" target="_blank">ATF Business Model</a></p> <p><a href="https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2703#Otis_1644_1094" rel="noopener" target="_blank">James Otis, Jr. Writing as “Freeborn American” (27 Apr 1767)</a> </p> <p><strong>MORE VIDEO SOURCES (links update by 12:30pm Pacific time today)</strong><br /> <a href="https://odysee.com/@TenthAmendmentCenter:6/path-043021:d" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Watch on Odysee</a></p> <p><a href="https://tv.gab.com/channel/tenthamendmentcenter/view/thomas-jefferson-and-the-louisiana-purchase-608c354bf898ba2974807ac1" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Watch on Gab TV</a></p> <p><a href="https://lbry.tv/@TenthAmendmentCenter:6/path-043021:d" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Watch on LBRY</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/1234905371319070720" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Watch on 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href="https://www.minds.com/TenthAmendmentCenter/?referrer=TenthAmendmentCenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Minds</a><br /> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tenthamendmentcenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Facebook</a><br /> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tenthamendmentcenter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Instagram</a><br /> <a href="https://gab.com/TenthAmendmentCenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gab</a><br /> <a href="https://mewe.com/p/tenthamendmentcenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">MeWe</a><br /> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/tenthamendmentcenter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">LinkedIn</a><br /> <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/tenthamendment/_created/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pinterest</a><br /> <a href="https://hyprr.com/profile/tenthamendmentcenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hyprr</a></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/2nd-amendment-what-the-heck-is-happening-in-texas/">2nd Amendment: What the Heck is Happening in Texas?</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Asset Forfeiture Audio/Video Path to Liberty Police Right to Keep and Bear Arms Strategy 2nd Amendment Equitable Sharing Federal Gun Control HB2622 Joint Task Forces SB513 Texas Michael Boldin Tenth Amendment Center 49:30 Some bad news, followed by more bad news, unfortunately. A “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” bill in Texas has a pretty major loophole - and another effort has an even bigger one. This could certainly happen in other states too - if no one’s paying attention. Some bad news, followed by more bad news, unfortunately. A “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” bill in Texas has a pretty major loophole - and another effort has an even bigger one. This could certainly happen in other states too - if no one’s paying attention.<br /> New Hampshire House Committee Passes Bill Banning State Enforcement of Federal Gun Control https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/new-hampshire-house-committee-passes-bill-banning-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:bc8fae54-0d1b-45af-fddc-73cf3f9e48aa Mon, 03 May 2021 15:15:06 +0000 <p>a New Hampshire House committee passed a bill that would ban state and local enforcement of federal gun control, setting the foundation to end such unconstitutional acts in practice and effect.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/new-hampshire-house-committee-passes-bill-banning-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control/">New Hampshire House Committee Passes Bill Banning State Enforcement of Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>CONCORD</strong>, N.H. (May 3, 2021) – Last week, a New Hampshire House committee passed a bill that would ban state and local enforcement of federal gun control, setting the foundation to end such unconstitutional acts in practice and effect.<span id="more-37234"></span></p> <p>A coalition of nine Republicans introduced Senate Bill 154 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/NH/bill/SB154/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB154</a>) on Feb. 4. On April 1, the Senate passed that version of the bill by a <a href="http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/Roll_calls/Billstatus_billrollcalls.aspx?lsr=1079&amp;sd=2021&amp;sy=2021&amp;txtsessionyear=2021&amp;txtbillnumber=SB154&amp;sortoption=" target="_blank" rel="noopener">14-10 vote</a>.  On April 28, the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee expanded the scope of the bill and passed it by an 11-10 vote according to sources in New Hampshire.</p> <p>As passed by the House committee (<a href="https://twitter.com/Reardon_Steel/status/1387577746000318464/photo/1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">based on an unofficial copy of the amendment language</a>), the proposed law would ban state and local agencies and their employees from using personnel or resources to enforce or cooperate in the enforcement of any act, rule, order, or regulation of the U.S. government including presidential executive orders that are &#8220;inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms, ammunition, magazines or ammunition feeding devices, firearm components, firearms supplies, or knives.&#8221; The proposed law stipulates that &#8220;silence in the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated pertaining to a matter regulated by federal law shall be construed as an inconsistency for the purpose of this statute.&#8221;</p> <p>As passed by the Senate last month, the legislation would prohibit any person acting under color of state law or as an agent of the state from taking any action, expending any funds, or exercising any powers of the state of New Hampshire “to enforce any <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/08/12/whats-the-deal-with-executive-orders/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">executive order</a> of the president of the United States, issued after January 20, 2021, that has the purpose or effect of restricting, limiting, encumbering, regulating, or placing conditions upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”</p> <p><strong>STRATEGY</strong></p> <p>While passage into law doesn’t end all gun control in New Hampshire today, it represents a  massive shift in strategy going forward.  Once in effect, SB154 would immediately do the following:</p> <ol> <li>Ban state and local enforcement of any federal gun control measures on the books that don’t have concurrent measures in law in the state of New Hampshire.</li> <li>Ban state and local enforcement of any new gun control measures that might come from Washington D.C. in the future that aren’t on the books in New Hampshire</li> <li>Shift the focus and attention to any remaining gun control measures on the books in state law</li> <li>Encourage gun rights activists to work in future legislative sessions to repeal those state-level gun control measures as a follow-up.</li> </ol> <p>Each state-level gun control repeal would then represent a one-two punch, not only ending state enforcement, but automatically ending support for any concurrent federal gun control measure as soon as the state law repeal went into effect.</p> <p><strong>NEW HAMPSHIRE LAWS</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-gun-laws/new-hampshire/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">According to NRA-ILA</a>, under New Hampshire law, there is no licensing requirement for ownership of rifles, shotguns, or handguns. And no permit to carry or registration of firearms is on the books either.</p> <p>The ATF has a pdf document that lists and details all state-level gun control measures in New Hampshire and would <a href="https://www.atf.gov/file/117296/download">act as a handy guide for what could be repealed in the future</a>.</p> <p>The right to keep and bear arms in the state constitution is listed in <span class="overlaySource">Part 1, Article 2-a</span></p> <p><em><span class="overlayText">“All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property, and the state.”</span></em></p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of New Hampshire can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>SB154 will no go to the full House for consideration. If it passes the House, it will have to go back to the Senate for concurrence with the broader House version.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/05/new-hampshire-house-committee-passes-bill-banning-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control/">New Hampshire House Committee Passes Bill Banning State Enforcement of Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills Executive Orders firearms Gun Control New Hampshire SB154 second amendment Mike Maharrey California Assembly Committee Passes Bill to Allow CBD in Food Despite FDA Prohibition https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/california-assembly-committee-passes-bill-to-allow-cbd-in-food-despite-fda-prohibition/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:e2a50fe3-d777-1b93-acd5-454e92f3fea0 Fri, 30 Apr 2021 23:03:52 +0000 <p>The legislation would allow cannabinoids and other hemp extracts to be added to dietary supplements, food, beverages, cosmetics and pet food, despite FDA prohibition on the same. The bill declares that a dietary supplement, food, beverage, cosmetic, or pet food is not adulterated by the inclusion of industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp as long as it meets state specifications.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/california-assembly-committee-passes-bill-to-allow-cbd-in-food-despite-fda-prohibition/">California Assembly Committee Passes Bill to Allow CBD in Food Despite FDA Prohibition</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>SACRAMENTO</strong>, Calif. (April 30, 2021) – On Tuesday, a California Assembly committee passed a bill that would authorize the legal sale of food and food additives containing CBD within the state, despite an ongoing FDA prohibition on the same. <span id="more-37229"></span><span id="more-36748"></span></p> <p>Assm. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) filed Assembly Bill 45 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/CA/bill/AB45/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">AB45</a>) last December. The legislation would allow cannabinoids and other hemp extracts to be added to dietary supplements, food, beverages, cosmetics and pet food, despite FDA prohibition on the same. The bill declares that a dietary supplement, food, beverage, cosmetic, or pet food is not adulterated by the inclusion of industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp as long as it meets state specifications.</p> <p>The enactment of this proposed law would end state prohibition on the sale of CBD and CBD products based on federal law. This is crucial because despite removing the plant from the list of controlled substances late last year, the federal government still prohibits the sale of CBD products in food under FDA rules.</p> <p>On April 27, the Assembly Committee on Health <a href="https://legiscan.com/CA/rollcall/AB45/id/1064152">passed the bill by a 14-1 vote</a>.</p> <p><strong>FOLLOWING THE FEDS</strong></p> <p>In 2018, the <a href="https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CEH/DFDCS/CDPH%20Document%20Library/FDB/FoodSafetyProgram/HEMP/Web%20template%20for%20FSS%20Rounded%20-%20Final.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">California Department of Health declared</a> that CBD-infused food, drink and dietary supplements is illegal, despite years of cannabis legalization within the state. According to the department, the state must follow federal law on CBD in food.</p> <blockquote><p>“Although California currently allows the manufacturing and sales of cannabis products (including edibles), the use of industrial hemp as the source of CBD to be added to food products is prohibited. Until the FDA rules that industrial hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD products can be used as a food <strong>or California makes a determination that they are safe to use for human and animal consumption</strong>, CBD products are not an approved food, food ingredient, food additive, or dietary supplement.” [Emphasis added]</p></blockquote> <p>Although CBD-infused food and drink remain widely available in California the state has attempted to enforce this ban. The <a href="https://abc7news.com/politics/states-move-to-legalize-cbd-to-end-confusion-over-us-rules/5235473/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Associated Press reported</a> that California health inspectors raided Johnathan Eppers’ Los Angeles warehouse and impounded about $100,000 worth of Vybes, a popular CBD oil-infused beverage. Eppers told the AP that about 50 California retailers dropped the product and he moved his production facilities to Texas.</p> <p>Enactment of this legislation would end state enforcement completely by deeming CBD safe for human and animal consumption, and ending state prohibition of CBD products.</p> <p><strong>2018 Farm Bill and CBD</strong></p> <p>With the passage of the farm bill, the federal government now treats industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity instead of a controlled substance. While the DEA will no longer have the authority to regulate hemp, the provisions of the farm bill have no bearing on FDA rules and regulations regarding CBD. In fact, a section in the farm bill makes this explicit.</p> <blockquote><p>Section 297D, paragraph (c)(1) “Regulations and Guidelines; Effect on Other Law” states “nothing in this subtitle shall affect or modify the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”</p></blockquote> <p>Practically speaking, the passage of the farm bill does not mean CBD is now federally-legal in all 50 states, as some hemp supporters claim. In fact, the FDA still maintains a strict prohibition on the sale of CBD in the U.S.</p> <p>To date, the FDA has only approved one medication with cannabidiol as an active ingredient – <a href="https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm611046.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Epidiolex</a> for the treatment of seizures. But the FDA classifies CBD as “a drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted.” Under federal law, that designation means <a href="https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the FDA maintains full control over the substance</a> and it cannot be marketed as a “dietary supplement.” The <a href="https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">agency also maintains</a> that the sale of CBD or any food products containing the substance is illegal.</p> <blockquote><p>“It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.”</p></blockquote> <p>The FDA further declares, “It is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food (including any animal food or feed) to which THC or CBD has been added.” Under the federal definition of “interstate commerce,” this includes virtually all CBD products.</p> <p>The FDA <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/06/13/questions-remain-after-fda-hearing-will-the-feds-release-their-grip-on-cbd/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">held its first public meeting relating to CBD</a> in May 2019. FDA principal deputy commissioner <a href="https://www.marijuanamoment.net/key-takeaways-from-fdas-historic-cbd-regulations-meeting/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Amy Abernethy said</a> there is a need to “further clarify the regulatory framework to reduce confusion in the market,” and “Key questions about product safety need to be addressed. Data are needed to determine safety thresholds for CBD.”</p> <p>The FDA evaluation process is ongoing. In March 2020, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn <a href="https://www.marijuanamoment.net/fda-finally-sends-overdue-cbd-enforcement-update-to-congress/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">delivered a report to Congress on CBD</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>“FDA is currently evaluating issuance of a risk-based enforcement policy that would provide greater transparency and clarity regarding factors FDA intends to take into account in prioritizing enforcement decisions. Any enforcement policy would need to balance the goals of protecting the public and providing more clarity to industry and the public regarding FDA’s enforcement priorities while FDA takes potential steps to establish a clear regulatory pathway.”</p></blockquote> <p>According to <a href="https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2020/03/06/FDA-report-on-CBD-seen-as-disappointing-recap-of-status-quo#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-et-has-event-already="true">NutraIngrediants.com</a>, food and dietary supplement industry stakeholders said the report offers “little hope of a timely regulatory solution.”</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-voices/better-data-better-understanding-use-and-safety-profile-cannabidiol-cbd-products?" target="_blank" rel="noopener">January 2021 FDA report</a> shows the FDA has indeed made little headway in promulgating a new policy.</p> <p>In effect, the agency can continue to prohibit the sale of CBD and its addition to food and beverages even with the passage of the 2018 farm bill. While farmers can now legally grow hemp for commercial purposes, including the production of fiber, biofuel, building products, paper, clothes and even food products that don’t contain CBD, the sale of cannabinol or food products containing CBD remain federally-illegal, as it has been all along unless the FDA changes its policy or Congress passes legislation specifically legalizing CBD.</p> <p>The enactment of AB45 would further open the door to the production and sale of CBD products produced in the state regardless of continued federal prohibition.</p> <p>Without state cooperation, the FDA will likely have trouble regulating it in California.</p> <p>Despite past and ongoing federal prohibition,<a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/11/30/cbd-is-illegal-everywhere/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> CBD is everywhere</a>. A <i>New York Times</i> article asserted that “with CBD popping up in nearly everything — bath bombs, ice cream, dog treats — it is hard to overstate the speed at which CBD has moved from the Burning Man margins to the cultural center.”</p> <p>This was happening when both the DEA and FDA prohibited CBD. It will undoubtedly continue as long as market demand remains and states don’t interfere. The FDA can’t effectively enforce prohibition without the assistance of state and local officials.</p> <p><a href="https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm421168.htm#legal" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-et-has-event-already="true">According to the FDA</a>, the agency prioritizes enforcement based on a number of factors, including “agency resources and the threat to public health. FDA also may consult with its federal and <b>state partners</b> in making decisions about whether to initiate a federal enforcement action.”</p> <p>Even with both the FDA and DEA theoretically enforcing federal laws and regulations banning CBD, state and local action have already nullified federal prohibition in practice and effect. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue as long as states maintain the same stance on CBD as they did under the 2014 farm bill. Simply put, the federal government lacks the personnel and resources to crack down on CBD – even if the FDA wants to.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>AB45 now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/california-assembly-committee-passes-bill-to-allow-cbd-in-food-despite-fda-prohibition/">California Assembly Committee Passes Bill to Allow CBD in Food Despite FDA Prohibition</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Drug War FDA State Bills California CBD food freedom Mike Maharrey Federalism Is the Best Step https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/30/federalism-is-the-best-step/ Tenth Amendment Center urn:uuid:005b2bfd-68a5-255b-be19-84fc8550e96e Fri, 30 Apr 2021 22:27:34 +0000 <p>Although the state governments have their problems, a strict adherence to federalism is the best step to reining in the out-of-control federal government and restoring the liberties of the American people.</p> <p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/30/federalism-is-the-best-step/">Federalism Is the Best Step</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> <p>Although the word <em>federalism</em> does not appear in the Constitution, it is one of the most important and innovative concepts in it.</p> <p>When the Constitution was adopted in 1789, a federal republic, <em>not</em> a democracy, was established. As future president James Madison wrote in <em>The Federalist</em>, No. 10: “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”</p> <p>Federalism is the division of power between the national and state governments. Articles I through III of the Constitution delegate certain powers to the three branches of the national government. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments make it clear that all rights and powers not delegated to the federal government are retained by the people and the states.</p> <p>The states of the United States of America created the national government — not the other way around. The states had been in existence as independent, sovereign colonies for many, many years. Only Georgia (1732) among the original 13 colonies was not established in the 1600s.</p> <p>The Declaration of Independence (1776) states:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.</p></blockquote> <p>This status continued when the states adopted the Articles of Confederation (1781): “Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.” And most importantly, this status persisted after the Constitution was adopted. The Constitution refers to the United States in the plural in Article III, Section 3, Paragraph 1: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”</p> <p>The best explanation of American-style federalism is that given by Madison in <em>The Federalist</em>, No. 45:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.</p></blockquote> <p>Since as far back as the New Deal, liberals and progressives have been derisive of federalism and supportive of increasing the spending, size, and scope of the federal government.</p> <p><strong>Spending</strong></p> <p>The U.S. federal government has become a monstrosity. With an annual budget of over $5 trillion and a national debt of over $28 trillion, federal spending is out of control. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), federal debt now exceeds GDP. Even before the COVID-19 “pandemic” relief efforts, the federal government was spending over $11 billion per day, $468 million per hour, $7.8 million per minute, or $130,000 per second.</p> <p>There are two types of spending by the federal government: mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the federal budget, refers to the portion of the budget that Congress legislates outside of the annual appropriations process: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare and subsidies, food stamps, unemployment benefits, and refundable tax credits. Discretionary spending, which accounts for about one-third of the federal budget, refers to the portion of the budget that is decided by Congress through the annual appropriations process: military spending, education, NASA, foreign aid, job training, Head Start, and research grants.</p> <p>But it’s not just the <em>spending</em> of the federal government that is the problem, it is also the <em>size</em> and <em>scope</em> of the federal government.</p> <p><strong>Size</strong></p> <p>The federal government contains a multitude of agencies, bureaus, corporations, commissions, administrations, authorities, and boards organized under 15 departments. The following is a list of the Cabinet-level, executive-branch departments, along with the dates of their creation: Agriculture (1862), Commerce (1913), Defense (1947), Education (1979), Energy (1977), Health and Human Services (1979), Homeland Security (2002), Housing and Urban Development (1965), Interior (1849), Justice (1870), Labor (1913), State (1789), Transportation (1966), Treasury (1789), and Veterans Affairs (1989). (Some of the departments existed earlier under other names.) The Department of Agriculture includes the food stamp program. The Department of Energy operates national laboratories and maintains the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Department of Health and Human Services includes Medicare, Medicaid, and myriad other welfare programs. The Department of Homeland Security includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The Department of Housing and Urban Development administers Section 8 housing vouchers. The Department of the Interior includes the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Department of Justice includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The Department of State funds the United Nations and foreign aid. The Department of the Treasury includes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Mint.</p> <p>There is also the alphabet soup of independent agencies of the federal government, each of which has its own budget. The most well-known ones are the Federal Reserve, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Social Security Administration (SSA)</p> <p>And then there are the federal corporations, many of which Americans have never heard: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Corporation for National and Community Service (Ameri-Corps), the Legal Services Corporation, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), and, of course, the United States Postal Service (USPS).</p> <p>According to the latest report on the federal workforce by the Congressional Research Service, over 2.1 million federal civilian employees work at these departments, independent agencies, and corporations, not counting the post office, which employs about 580,000 people, and not counting the legislative and judicial branches, which employ another 64,000 people. And then there are the 1.4 million active-duty uniformed military personnel — most of whom are not actively engaged in defending the United States by securing U.S. borders, protecting U.S. soil, guarding U.S. shores, patrolling U.S. coasts, and enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies. They are too busy doing these things in other countries, and being the world’s policemen, firemen, and social workers.</p> <p>Although it makes sense that tax evasion, mail fraud, and counterfeiting are federal crimes, the federal government has categorized over 4,000 actions as federal crimes, including things such as domestic assault by a habitual offender, drug possession, carjacking, obscenity, animal cruelty, and art theft from a museum. The exact number of federal crimes is unknown. As the American Bar Association’s Task Force on the Federalization of Crime concluded a few years ago: “So large is the present body of federal criminal law that there is no conveniently accessible, complete list of federal crimes.”</p> <p>Does the Constitution authorize all of these federal departments, agencies, corporations, employees, and crimes? Does the Constitution authorize any of them? (Please, go and look for such authorization.)</p> <p><strong>Scope</strong></p> <p>The scope of the federal government is without limit. There is no area of American life that the federal government does not have an impact on. The federal government reads our e-mails, listens to our phone conversations, tracks our bank deposits and withdrawals, regulates the size of the holes in our Swiss cheese, gropes us and forces us to throw away tubes of toothpaste over 3.4 ounces before we can board airplanes, regulates the amount of water that toilets are allowed to flush, and owns more than 40 percent of the land in nine states. As Charlotte Twight wrote almost 20 years ago in <em>Dependent on DC: The Rise of Federal Control Over the Lives of Ordinary Americans</em>:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Growing federal power-driven by legislation, validated by Supreme Court decisions, and accelerated by presidential ambition — has eroded the rule of law in our nation, leaving almost no activity that the central government cannot at its discretion regulate, manipulate, or prohibit. A constitutional counterrevolution has occurred in America — one so profound that few today can imagine Americans free of dependence on government.</p></blockquote> <p>And this was all before the “pandemic.”</p> <p>During the holiday season last year, the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued “guidelines” for holiday celebrations and gatherings. Americans were told not to travel, not to get within six feet of anyone who didn’t live with them, not to go out in public or be around people who didn’t live with them without wearing a mask, not to have indoor gatherings, not to have long gatherings, not to have crowded gatherings, not to hug, not to shake hands, not to take off their face mask unless eating or drinking, not to shout, not to sing, not to play loud music, not to drink alcohol, not to let pets interact with anyone from outside of the household, not to have potluck-style gatherings, not to have more than one person serve food, not to have sharable items such as salad dressings and condiments, and not to touch their mask, eyes, nose, or mouth.</p> <p>Earlier this year, the CDC even sought to control how Americans watched the Super Bowl. Sports junkies were reminded to wear masks, maintain social distancing, wash their hands often, only have small gatherings, and bring their own “food, drinks, plates, cups, utensils, and condiment packets” to parties, if they dare go to one. The CDC even warned Americans against “shouting, cheering loudly, or singing” while they watched they game.</p> <p><strong>States</strong></p> <p>The United States is far removed from the limited government of the Founders, and has been for some time. The liberties of the American people are in peril as never before. But this is not just because of the spending, size, and scope of the federal government. As we especially saw last year throughout the COVID-19 “pandemic,” the state governments — mainly the ones headed by Democratic governors, but not exclusively — can be authoritarian, tyrannical, and even totalitarian.</p> <p>Many Americans took the CDC’s paternalistic and draconian “guidelines” as law. But in some states, government officials turned the guidelines into de facto laws. Holiday gatherings in California were restricted to no more than three households, had to be outside, had to have enough space so that everyone could stay six feet apart, had to use single-serve disposable containers, and were restricted to two hours.</p> <p>In Oregon, no more than six people could gather in one home, and they could not represent more than two households. Church funeral services were limited to 25 people. Restaurants could only offer take-out.</p> <p>The city of Philadelphia banned all indoor dining at restaurants and indoor gatherings of any size, public or private, of people from different households.</p> <p>The mayor of Tampa, Florida, was furious that thousands of people ignored the city’s mask and social-distancing mandates while celebrating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers&#8217; Super Bowl win. Some cities shut down all indoor dining for many months in 2020.</p> <p>According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 110,000 restaurants have permanently closed in the United States because of state government restrictions due to the “pandemic.”</p> <p><strong>Steps</strong></p> <p>There are a number of steps that have been proposed to help restore the constitutional federal republic of the Founders in which liberty was proclaimed throughout the land. Since the advent of the Biden administration, the nullification of unconstitutional federal actions by the states has been increasingly mentioned. Term limits for members of Congress are a perennial step that some have proposed, even though voters can remove anyone from Congress at any election. Some have called for a new constitutional convention to propose additional amendments to the Constitution, as if Congress actually follows the Constitution in the first place. Others say that we just need to elect more Republicans to Congress, even though congressional Republicans rarely reverse the bad policies enacted by Democrats and often enact bad policies of their own. But in spite of the problems with the governments of the several states, federalism is still the best step to reining in the out-of-control federal government and restoring the liberties of the American people. And what a big step it is. Let’s look at some key issues through the lens of federalism.</p> <p><em>The Drug War: </em>Not only does the Constitution not mention drugs of any kind, it nowhere authorizes the federal government to regulate, monitor, or restrict the medical, recreational, or consumption habits of Americans. The federal government has no authority under the Constitution to prohibit or otherwise criminalize the manufacture, sale, possession, or use of any drug; no authority under the Constitution to interfere with what Americans put in their mouths, noses, veins, or lungs; no authority under the Constitution to intrude itself into the personal eating, drinking, or smoking habits of Americans; no authority under the Constitution to have an Office of National Drug Control Policy, a Drug Enforcement Administration, a Controlled Substances Act, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a National Drug Control Strategy, a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, or a drug czar. Under our federal system of government, any laws banning drugs would have to exist only at the state level.</p> <p><em>Education: </em>The Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to have anything to do with education or to pay for anyone’s education. This means not only no Department of Education, but no Higher Education Act, no Elementary and Secondary Education Act, no bilingual-education or special-education mandates, no math and science initiatives, no desegregation orders, no Pell Grants, no student loans, no research grants to colleges, no scholarships, no school accreditation, no anti-discrimination policies, no standardized-testing requirements, no Common Core standards, no Race to the Top funds, no No Child Left Behind Act, and no Head Start funding. If there is to be any government involvement in education, it must be limited to the state level.</p> <p><em>Welfare: </em>The Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to provide welfare in cash or in kind, feed anyone, have a safety net, fight poverty, or help the sick, aged, disadvantaged, underprivileged, or disabled. This means no Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), no Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), no Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), no Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), no Special Milk Program (SMP), no refugee assistance programs, no job training programs, no Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), no Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), no housing-assistance programs, no homeless-assistance grants, no family-planning programs, no adult basic-education grants, no legal-services block grants, no Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) initiative, and no refundable tax credits. If there are to be government welfare programs, they must be provided only on the state level.</p> <p><em>Subsidies: </em>The Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to provide subsidies for art, culture, science, housing, agriculture, the humanities, or any particular segment of the economy or society. This means that there is no justification for the existence of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEA), section 8 housing vouchers, farm bills, or the National Science Foundation (NSF). If there are to be government subsidies for these things, they must be provided only on the state level.</p> <p><em>Healthcare: </em>The Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to have anything to do with healthcare or health insurance. This means no laws, mandates, regulations, requirements, licensing, standards, programs, agencies, funding, guidelines, oversight, restrictions — absolutely nothing of any kind on the federal level. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, or ObamaCare. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or the Department of Health and Human Services. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to fund clinical trials, laboratories, community health centers, medical research, HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives, or family planning. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have nutrition guidelines, vaccination mandates, drug schedules, or prescription drug plans. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to mandate the reduction of co-payments and deductibles, the elimination of annual and lifetime caps on benefits, or the issuance of insurance policies without regard to pre-existing conditions. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize the federal government to provide a healthcare safety net or ensure that anyone has affordable healthcare and health insurance. If there is to be any government involvement in healthcare or health insurance, it must be limited to the state level.</p> <p>Now, none of this means that the states <em>should</em> have a drug war, <em>should</em> provide or pay for education, <em>should</em> provide welfare, <em>should</em> subsidize anything, or <em>should</em> provide or pay for healthcare. It simply means that the federal government <em>should have nothing to do</em> with any of these things, since they are not among the enumerated powers of the national government and, under our federal system, are retained by the states or the people. Federalism is not some policy proposal issued by a Republican politician or conservative think tank. It is part and parcel of the very fabric of the Constitution and the limited government established by the Founders.</p> <p>Although the state governments have their problems, a strict adherence to federalism is the best step to reining in the out-of-control federal government and restoring the liberties of the American people.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span><p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/30/federalism-is-the-best-step/">Federalism Is the Best Step</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> Federalism Founding Principles Constitution decentralization government power Laurence M. Vance Missouri Bill to Ban Enforcement Federal Gun Control: Past, Present and Future Debated on Senate Floor https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/missouri-bill-to-ban-enforcement-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future-debated-on-senate-floor/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:4653ff6a-2bdf-3c59-088b-7e62a1e1603b Fri, 30 Apr 2021 17:33:30 +0000 <p>On Tuesday, the full Missouri Senate debated a bill that would take on federal gun control; past, present and future. Passage into law would represent a major step toward ending federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/missouri-bill-to-ban-enforcement-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future-debated-on-senate-floor/">Missouri Bill to Ban Enforcement Federal Gun Control: Past, Present and Future Debated on Senate Floor</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>JEFFERSON CITY</strong>, Mo. (April 30, 2021) &#8211; On Tuesday, the full Missouri Senate debated a bill that would take on federal gun control; past, present and future. Passage into law would represent a major step toward ending federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.<span id="more-37220"></span></p> <p>Sen. Eric Burlison (R-Battlefield) filed Senate Bill 39 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MO/bill/SB39/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">SB39</a>) on Dec. 1. Titled the “Second Amendment Preservation Act&#8221; (SAPA), the legislation would ban any entity or person, including any public officer or employee of the state and its political subdivisions, from enforcing any past, present or future federal “acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances” that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. The bill includes a detailed definition of actions that qualify as “infringement.”</p> <p>The <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/02/missouri-house-passes-bill-to-take-on-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Missouri House has already passed a similar bill</a>.</p> <p>During the floor debate, substitute language was introduced to bring SB39 into conformity with the House version recently passed by the Senate General Laws Committee. According to Ron Calzone with <a href="http://www.mofirst.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Missouri First</a>, &#8220;It retains all the accountability provisions, or &#8216;teeth.'&#8221;</p> <p>Calzone said the floor session went &#8220;very well.&#8221; You can listen to the floor debate <a href="https://media.senate.mo.gov/DebateArchive/2021/042721/042721II.mp3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HERE</a> starting around the 53-minute mark.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s typical for bills dealing with hot issues to spend multiple sessions in Senate floor debate before passage, and SAPA is no different,&#8221; Calzone said.</p> <p>There were no credible arguments presented against SB39. Calzone called the debate presented by a few Democrats &#8220;such an embarrassment that other Democrats may want to distance themselves from that effort.&#8221;</p> <p>Calzone explained one of the technical moves attempted by Democratic opposition.</p> <blockquote><p>Near the end of the audio you will notice that an amendment is offered that would make it illegal for anyone on the &#8220;No Fly List&#8221; to buy a firearm. Sen. Burlison then offers a &#8220;Point of Order&#8221; in objection.  The audio goes silent while the Senate Rules Committee considers the Point of Order.</p> <p>The intent of the amendment offered by Senator Beck was to embarrass SAPA supporters who vote against the amendment. They would be accused of wanting terrorists to have guns.</p> <p>Rep. Jered Taylor and Sen. Eric Burlison, the sponsors of SAPA, anticipated these sorts of attacks and build a defense against them into the bill&#8217;s title, which says the bill they filed is for &#8220;the sole purpose of adding additional protections to the right to bear arms.&#8221;</p> <p>That bill title invokes a little known legal doctrine brought to the forefront in a recent Missouri Supreme Court case called <em>Calzone v. DESE</em>, in which the Supreme Court said that when a bill&#8217;s title includes a statement that the bill is for the &#8220;sole purpose&#8221; of some particular or detail, those particulars or details define the purpose of the bill and that purpose can not be expanded.</p> <p>In the case of SAPA, the purpose is to protect gun rights. Since Beck&#8217;s amendment was outside that purpose, it was going to be ruled out of order.  He withdrew his amendment.</p></blockquote> <p>Calzone praised Republican leadership in the Senate.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;It was made very clear to all that they intend to do whatever it takes to pass SAPA. As one friend put it, they sent the message, &#8216;Resistance is futile.&#8217;  It&#8217;s clear to me that the prospects of the Senate passing SAPA next week are VERY GOOD.&#8221;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>Passage of SAPA in Missouri would take a major step toward ending the enforcement of federal gun control in the Show-Me State. The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Missouri can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>SB39 needs to be brought up for a vote in the Senate as soon as possible. If you live in Missouri, contact your state Senator and politely but firmly urge them to vote yes. You can find your Senator&#8217;s contact information <a href="https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HERE</a>.</p> <p>Calzone also recommends contacting <a href="https://www.senate.mo.gov/mem26/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sen. Dave Schatz</a> and <a href="https://www.senate.mo.gov/mem19/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sen. Caleb Rowden</a> to thank them for bringing SAPA to the floor and for their commitment to passing it.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/missouri-bill-to-ban-enforcement-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future-debated-on-senate-floor/">Missouri Bill to Ban Enforcement Federal Gun Control: Past, Present and Future Debated on Senate Floor</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment Preservation Act Federal Gun Control HB85 Missouri SB39 Mike Maharrey Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/thomas-jefferson-and-the-louisiana-purchase/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:f49586a4-e944-0d3d-9b32-5f0895b5d21f Fri, 30 Apr 2021 16:54:31 +0000 <p>We've all heard the story about Thomas Jefferson going forward with the Louisiana Purchase even though he thought it was a violation of the Constitution. But there’s much more history to it, and that includes a proposed amendment, James Madison, Albert Gallatin, John Dickinson and even Thomas Paine.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/thomas-jefferson-and-the-louisiana-purchase/">Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p>We&#8217;ve all heard the story about Thomas Jefferson going forward with the Louisiana Purchase even though he thought it was a violation of the Constitution. But there’s much more history to it, and that includes a proposed amendment, James Madison, Albert Gallatin, John Dickinson and even Thomas Paine.</p> <p>Path to Liberty, Fast Friday Edition: April 30, 2021 <span id="more-37225"></span></p> <p>Subscribe: <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/path-to-liberty/id1440549211?app=podcast&amp;mt=2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Apple</a> | <a href="https://open.spotify.com/show/7iRUIPjKQLyfKbunOuYIBq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Spotify</a> | <a href="https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/b4yrd-92c48/Path-to-Liberty-Podcast" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Podbean</a> | <a href="https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9ibG9nLnRlbnRoYW1lbmRtZW50Y2VudGVyLmNvbS9jYXRlZ29yeS92aWRlby9nb29kLW1vcm5pbmctbGliZXJ0eS9mZWVkLw?sa=X&amp;ved=0CAYQrrcFahcKEwigwITb6MrrAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google</a> | <a href="https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=340324&amp;refid=stpr" 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noreferrer">Show Archives</a></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/09/01/thomas-jefferson-and-the-louisiana-purchase/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Benner: Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase</a></p> <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Wiki: Louisiana Purchase</a></p> <p><a href="https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-40-02-0524" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Jefferson to Albert Gallatin (9 July 1803)</a></p> <p><a href="https://founders.archives.gov/?q=Ancestor%3ATSJN-01-40-02-0523&#038;s=1511311111&#038;r=1" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Founders Archives on Amendment Proposals</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.loc.gov/resource/mtj1.003_0042_0043/?sp=1" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Image of draft amendment</a></p> <p><a href="https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-41-02-0127" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Jefferson to John Dickinson (9 Aug 1803)</a></p> <p><a 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rel="noopener">Facebook</a><br /> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tenthamendmentcenter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Instagram</a><br /> <a href="https://gab.com/TenthAmendmentCenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gab</a><br /> <a href="https://mewe.com/p/tenthamendmentcenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">MeWe</a><br /> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/tenthamendmentcenter/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">LinkedIn</a><br /> <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/tenthamendment/_created/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pinterest</a><br /> <a href="https://hyprr.com/profile/tenthamendmentcenter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hyprr</a></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/thomas-jefferson-and-the-louisiana-purchase/">Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Audio/Video History Path to Liberty Thomas Jefferson Treaty Power Albert Gallatin France James Madison Louisiana Purchase Napoleon thomas jefferson Michael Boldin Tenth Amendment Center 14:49 We've all heard the story about Thomas Jefferson going forward with the Louisiana Purchase even though he thought it was a violation of the Constitution. But there’s much more history to it, and that includes a proposed amendment, James Madison, We've all heard the story about Thomas Jefferson going forward with the Louisiana Purchase even though he thought it was a violation of the Constitution. But there’s much more history to it, and that includes a proposed amendment, James Madison, Albert Gallatin, John Dickinson and even Thomas Paine. Louisiana House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of Some Future Federal Gun Control https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/louisiana-house-committee-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-some-future-federal-gun-control/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:f125bc32-8839-bc9e-5ea3-6c6e2586f34a Fri, 30 Apr 2021 05:29:27 +0000 <p>Titled the “Louisiana Firearm Protection Act,” the legislation would bar state enforcement of certain future federal gun that infringes on a citizen's right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Louisiana.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/louisiana-house-committee-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-some-future-federal-gun-control/">Louisiana House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of Some Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BATON ROUGE</strong>, La. (April 29, 2021) – On Thursday, a Louisiana House committee passed a bill to prohibit state and local enforcement of some future federal gun control. Passage into law would represent a step toward stopping certain future federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.<span id="more-37222"></span></p> <p>Rep. Larry Frieman (R-Abita Springs) filed House Bill 118 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/LA/bill/HB118/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB118</a>) on March 15. Titled the “Louisiana Firearm Protection Act,” the legislation would bar state enforcement of certain future federal gun that infringes on a citizen&#8217;s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Louisiana.</p> <p>As introduced, the prohibition on state enforcement would have applied to all federal gun control not duplicated by state law &#8212; past, present and future. The House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice amended the bill to apply only to federal acts &#8220;enacted after Jan. 1, 2021,&#8221; and passed it by an 8-4 vote.</p> <p>The bill defines specific acts that would be considered infringements, including but not limited to:</p> <ul> <li>taxes and fees on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services that would have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;</li> <li>registration and tracking schemes applied to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition;</li> <li>any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens;</li> <li>any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.</li> </ul> <p>A law-abiding citizen is defined as &#8221; a person who is not otherwise precluded under state law from possessing a firearm.&#8221;</p> <p>The proposed law would prohibit the state, its agencies, and its political subdivision from “adopting a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity explicitly or through consistent overt action enforces a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation enacted that purports to regulate a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition&#8221; if it infringes on the right to keep and bear arms.</p> <p>It would also prohibit the use of state assets, state funds, or funds allocated by the state to local entities “in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent, or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement of or any investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation regarding a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition&#8221; that infringes on the right to keep and bear arms.</p> <p>The proposed law would create a cause of action to sue any person that violates the law in state court without the possibility &#8220;sovereign, official, or qualified immunity&#8221; as an affirmative defense. Any state agency or political subdivision in violation of the law would be subject to losing state grant funds the following year.</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Louisiana can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>HB118 will likely go to the full House for further consideration, although it could be referred to a second committee.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/louisiana-house-committee-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-some-future-federal-gun-control/">Louisiana House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of Some Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment Preservation Federal Gun Control firearms HB118 Louisiana second amendment Mike Maharrey Massachusetts Bill Would Create State Process to End Police Qualified Immunity https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/massachusetts-bill-would-create-state-process-to-end-police-qualified-immunity/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:84796909-1ccd-e513-725a-5e915217d7c5 Thu, 29 Apr 2021 20:58:02 +0000 <p>Massachusetts already allows people to sue law enforcement officers under state law for "an alleged act or failure to act which constitutes a violation of the civil rights of any person under federal or state law." H1479 would eliminate qualified immunity as a defense to liability for claims brought under state law</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/massachusetts-bill-would-create-state-process-to-end-police-qualified-immunity/">Massachusetts Bill Would Create State Process to End Police Qualified Immunity</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BOSTON</strong>, MA (April 29, 2021) &#8211; A bill introduced in the Massachusetts House would eliminate qualified immunity as a defense for police officers sued in state court for using excessive force or taking other actions that violate individual rights.<span id="more-37181"></span></p> <p>Rep Antonio Cabral (D) introduced House Bill 1479 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MA/bill/H1479/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">H1479</a>) on March 29. Massachusetts already allows people to sue law enforcement officers under state law for &#8220;an alleged act or failure to act which constitutes a violation of the civil rights of any person under federal or state law.&#8221; H1479 would eliminate qualified immunity as a defense to liability for claims brought under state law with the following language:</p> <blockquote><p>“It shall not be a defense or immunity to any action brought under this section that the defendant was acting in good faith, or that the defendant believed, reasonably or otherwise, that his or her conduct was lawful at the time when it was committed. Nor shall it be a defense or immunity that the rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the constitution or laws of the United States or the constitution or laws of the commonwealth were not clearly established at the time of their deprivation by the defendant, or that the state of the law was otherwise such that the defendant could not reasonably have been expected to know whether his or her conduct was lawful.&#8221;</p></blockquote> <p><strong>The Process </strong></p> <p>Typically, people sue police for using excessive force or other types of misconduct through the federal court system under the U.S. Bill of Rights. But <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/06/13/how-federal-courts-gave-us-qualified-immunity/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">federal courts created a qualified immunity defense out of thin air</a>, making it nearly impossible to hold law enforcement officers responsible for actions taken in the line of duty. In order to move ahead with a suit, the plaintiff must establish that it was “clearly established” that the officer’s action was unconstitutional. The “clearly established” test erects an almost insurmountable hurdle to those trying to prove excessive force or a violation of their rights.</p> <p>Massachusetts law creates an alternative path in state court, The passage of H1479 would remove the qualified immunity hurdle.</p> <p><strong>In Practice</strong></p> <p>It remains unclear how the state legal process will play out in practice.</p> <p>The first question is whether people will actually utilize the state courts instead of the federal process. Under the original constitutional system, it would have never been a federal issue to begin with. Regulation of police powers was clearly delegated to the states, not the federal government. But with the advent of the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/05/30/the-incorporation-doctrine-broke-the-constitutional-system/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">incorporation doctrine</a>, people reflexively run to federal courts. But by removing the qualified immunity hurdle, it should incentivize people to take advantage of the state system.</p> <p>The second question is if police officers will be able to have cases removed to federal jurisdiction in order to take advantage of qualified immunity.</p> <p>Language in Massachusetts&#8217; law opens that door. People can sue in state court for violations of the U.S. Constitution or laws of the United States, as well as the Massachusetts state constitution. All matters regarding the U.S. Constitution or federal law will be remanded to federal courts. To avoid this, plaintiffs would have to sue based solely on the Louisiana Constitution and its bill of rights. The only way to avoid federal jurisdiction and ensure federal qualified immunity doesn’t come into play would be to limit the suit to <strong>state</strong> constitutional issues.</p> <p>Even if the suit is focused on state law and the Massachusetts constitution, state and local law enforcement officers working <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/04/16/joint-law-enforcement-task-forces-are-creating-a-national-police-state/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">on joint state/federal task forces</a> would almost certainly be able to move the case to federal court. They are effectively treated as federal agents.</p> <p>One attorney told the Tenth Amendment Center that it might be possible for officers to have their case removed to federal court to consider U.S. constitutional ramifications. But he said even then, he thinks federal courts would have to respect the state law prohibiting qualified immunity as a defense. The federal court would likely have to apply the state law as the state intended, even though the federal court might well be able to decide whether or not a U.S. constitutional violation had taken place.</p> <p>Other lawyers we talked to said it wasn’t clear to them that the federal courts would have to honor the state statute. It is possible that the federal court could simply decide its jurisdiction supersedes state law and hear the case under the federal process, including the application of qualified immunity. Only time will tell how the process will play out in practice. Regardless, the state process will make it more difficult for police to simply side-step civil suits by declaring sovereign immunity upfront.</p> <p><strong>Moving Forward </strong></p> <p>The Supreme Court shows no interest in rolling back its qualified immunity doctrine. In fact, the High Court recently rejected several cases that would have allowed it to revisit the issue. For instance, the SCOTUS let stand an <a href="http://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/201715566.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Eleventh Circuit decision</a> granting immunity to a police officer who shot a ten-year-old child in the back of the knee, while repeatedly attempting to shoot a pet dog that wasn’t threatening anyone.</p> <p>Congress could prohibit qualified immunity. <a href="https://amash.house.gov/media/press-releases/amash-pressley-introduce-bipartisan-legislation-end-qualified-immunity" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A bill</a> sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.) and  Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) during the last Congress would have done just that, but it was never taken up. Congress does not have a good track record on reining in government power.</p> <p>The best path forward is to bypass the federal system completely.</p> <p>Other states should follow their lead and create state processes to hold their police officers accountable. With the evolution of qualified immunity, the federal process is an abject failure. As Supreme Court Justice Byron White wrote in the 1986 case <em>Malley v. Briggs</em>, qualified immunity protects “all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.” <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-police-immunity-scotus-snapshot/six-takeaways-from-reuters-investigation-of-police-violence-and-qualified-immunity-idUSKBN22K1AM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>Reuters</em> called it</a> “a highly effective shield in thousands of lawsuits seeking to hold cops accountable for using excessive force.”</p> <p>Attorney and activist Dave Roland called on Missouri to adopt a similar process in <a href="https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/dave-roland-no-more-excuses-hold-law-enforcement-officials-accountable/article_9d627981-1950-5858-abd9-d14cf587def6.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an op-ed published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>A consensus has developed — crossing all party and ideological lines — for the proposition that qualified immunity is an evil that should be undone. At the federal level either the Supreme Court or Congress could undo it, but thus far neither has seen fit to act. Justice in Missouri, however, does not need to wait on Washington — the Legislature can and should adopt a Missouri statute that allows citizens to sue government officials who have violated citizens’ constitutional rights.</p></blockquote> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>H1479 has been referred to the <a href="https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Joint/J19" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Joint Judiciary Committee</a> where it awaits a hearing. It must pass out of committee with a majority vote in order to continue on in the legislative process.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/massachusetts-bill-would-create-state-process-to-end-police-qualified-immunity/">Massachusetts Bill Would Create State Process to End Police Qualified Immunity</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Qualified Immunity State Bills H1479 Incorporation Doctrine Massachusetts Police Amanda Bowers Texas “2nd Amendment Sanctuary Bill” is No Such Thing https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-2nd-amendment-sanctuary-bill-is-no-such-thing/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:b12f13d9-39d7-5a6f-6ea8-87839772aad3 Thu, 29 Apr 2021 20:49:59 +0000 <p>Banning enforcement of just future federal gun control can be a good start, but it's a gross misrepresentation to tell the people of Texas that doing so will make it a "2nd Amendment Sanctuary" state.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-2nd-amendment-sanctuary-bill-is-no-such-thing/">Texas “2nd Amendment Sanctuary Bill” is No Such Thing</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>AUSTIN</strong>, Texas (April 29, 2021) &#8211; The sponsor of a Texas bill that takes some steps toward ending enforcement of future federal gun control claims his bill makes Texas a &#8220;2nd Amendment Sanctuary&#8221; State. It does no such thing.<span id="more-37216"></span></p> <p>Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) introduced Senate Bill 513 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB513/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB513</a>) on Jan 28. The proposed law would prohibit any Texas governmental agency, including state and local police departments, from adopting a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity enforces, or by consistent action allows the enforcement of, a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation enacted on or after January 1, 2021, that purports to regulate a firearm, a firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule, or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation, such as a capacity or size limitation, a registration requirement, or a background check, that does not exist under the laws of this state.</p> <p>The bill includes penalties that would apply to persons who enforce such federal acts. But Hall proposed an amendment that neutered the intent of the bill. It exempts law enforcement officers from penalties if they are participating in a federal task force or of a joint task force with federal law enforcement.</p> <p>As soon as you include some penalties for enforcement, but make exceptions for working with the feds as part of federal task forces, you can be sure you&#8217;ve created a loophole so big you can drive a truck through it. Virtually all enforcement of federal gun control happens through these task forces. By creating this exception, Hall effectively green lights participation with federal enforcement in practice.</p> <p>Sen. Hall took issue with the <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-senate-passes-bill-protecting-joe-bidens-gun-control-plans/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TAC&#8217;s reporting on the bill</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;A California-based organization without contacting our office to clarify their beliefs has attempted to start a firestorm over this legislation by falsely stating it helps Biden&#8217;s gun grab by presenting a gross misrepresentation of what the amended bill actually does. While, they are welcome to their opinion, it is an inaccurate interpretation.&#8221;</p></blockquote> <p>There was no reason to contact the senator. The text of the legislation speaks for itself and it absolutely does not create a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary.</p> <p>Here are some key points backing our contention.</p> <p><strong>1. SB513 does not prohibit enforcement of any federal gun control on the books from 1934-2021.</strong><br /> Not at all. None. Zero. Full enforcement support for all federal gun control continues under this new &#8220;sanctuary&#8221; bill in Texas. And all of it violates the 2nd Amendment.</p> <p>If you call it a &#8220;2nd Amendment Sanctuary&#8221; for Texas &#8211; but have <strong>not</strong> banned the state from enforcing any federal gun measure on the books today, you&#8217;re definitely protecting Biden&#8217;s gun control plans that include enforcement of all those current &#8220;laws.&#8221;</p> <p>Surely Hall doesn&#8217;t take the position that all the federal gun control on the books today is authorized by the Constitution. But it&#8217;s difficult to find any other way to view continued enforcement of all present gun control as creating a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>2. The bill does prohibit enforcement of any new federal gun control after Jan. 1, 2021</strong>, that doesn&#8217;t exist under the laws of the state of Texas.</p> <p>We consider that a good start in most states. But Texas? Weak. Really, really weak, especially since a stronger bill (<a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB635/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB635</a>) has been totally ignored, and Hall himself sponsored a much better bill in 2019 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB378/2019" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB378</a>).</p> <p><strong>3. The bill does create a mechanism for an entity to lose state funding</strong></p> <p>This defunding &#8220;may&#8221; happen if a local entity adopts &#8220;a rule, order, ordinance, or policy&#8221; to enforce federal gun control. This rarely happens. You&#8217;ll likely never see a written policy authorizing enforcement of federal gun controls, even if you research MOAs and MOUs between local governments and the ATF.</p> <p>Entities can also lose funding for &#8220;consistent action&#8221; to enforce federal gun control; This is a better standard but leaves some wiggle room for the occasional enforcement actions.</p> <p><strong>4. As already noted, the bill does include Class A misdemeanor charges for state and local agents who violate the law</strong></p> <p><strong>However, Hall&#8217;s amendment ensures that those penalties won&#8217;t exist</strong> when they&#8217;re engaging in federal gun control enforcement as part of a state/federal joint task force. Again, <strong>most</strong> (if not all) local support for federal gun control enforcement happens through these joint task forces.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.themarshallproject.org/2019/10/31/why-some-police-departments-are-leaving-federal-task-forces" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Marshall Project points out</a>,</p> <blockquote><p><em>Washington provides money, expertise and weaponry. Local law enforcement agencies provide much of the manpower. Their officers are deputized as federal agents, which among other things means that the Justice Department can shield them from litigation and local oversight.</em></p></blockquote> <p>Exempting law enforcement officers working on joint task forces from the penalties allows this to continue unabated.</p> <p><strong>GROSS MISREPRESENTATIONS</strong></p> <p>Sen. Hall claims his amendment &#8220;merely states that a law enforcement officer on a federal or joint task force will not be prosecuted for doing his job.&#8221;</p> <p>But this is a gross misrepresentation of &#8220;their job.&#8221;</p> <p>Their &#8220;job&#8221; is to follow their oath to the Constitution whether they&#8217;re part of a federal task force or not. Participation in task forces with the feds enforcing federal gun control makes a farce out of the &#8220;2nd Amendment Sanctuary&#8221; claim.</p> <p>Hall&#8217;s main problem is he claims his bill does far more than it really does.</p> <p>There isn&#8217;t a single immigration &#8220;sanctuary&#8221; in the country that gets that label for passing a bill that says &#8220;we&#8217;re not going to enforce FUTURE immigration laws.&#8221; Not one. Even the most narrow ones address federal acts already on the books.</p> <p>Hall almost certainly understands the difference, since he introduced a far broader version of this same bill in 2019 &#8211; addressing not just potential future federal gun control, but much of what was already on the books at the time too. Even then, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/03/texas-senate-bill-would-set-foundation-to-create-gun-rights-sanctuary-state/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">we reported it as a &#8220;foundation&#8221; to create a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary</a>, so the people would understand the truth of what could happen with passage.</p> <p>Banning enforcement of just future federal gun control can be a good start, but it&#8217;s a gross misrepresentation to tell the people of Texas that doing so will make it a &#8220;2nd Amendment Sanctuary&#8221; state.</p> <p>Texans deserve better. And that means if you can&#8217;t get more done than that right now, tell them the truth.</p> <p><strong>Note</strong>: <em>Mike Maharrey edited and contributed to this report.</em></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-2nd-amendment-sanctuary-bill-is-no-such-thing/">Texas “2nd Amendment Sanctuary Bill” is No Such Thing</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills firearms HB919 second amendment Texas Michael Boldin To the Governor: Arkansas Bill Might End State Enforcement of Some Future Federal Gun Control https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arkansas-bill-might-end-state-enforcement-of-some-future-federal-gun-control/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:6a18d33d-d074-99aa-3632-53976fb02c7e Thu, 29 Apr 2021 20:05:06 +0000 <p>the Arkansas legislature sent a bill to the governor that could prohibit enforcement of some future federal gun control, but some convoluted language in the bill makes it uncertain if it will actually play out that way in practice.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arkansas-bill-might-end-state-enforcement-of-some-future-federal-gun-control/">To the Governor: Arkansas Bill Might End State Enforcement of Some Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>LITTLE ROCK</strong>, Ark. (April 29, 2021) &#8211; After a flurry of activity this week, the Arkansas legislature sent a bill to the governor that <strong>could</strong> prohibit enforcement of some future federal gun control, but some convoluted language in the bill makes it uncertain if it will actually play out that way in practice.<span id="more-37213"></span></p> <p>Last week, Gov. Asa Hutchinson <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/26/arkansas-governor-vetoes-bill-to-end-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control-override-effort-underway/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vetoed a bill</a> that would have banned the state from participating in the enforcement of a wide range of federal gun control acts dating back to 1934. Hutchinson bowed to intense law enforcement opposition to Senate Bill 298.</p> <p>They argue that banning participation in federal gun control enforcement threatens &#8220;public safety.&#8221; Generally, they mean it makes it harder to cooperate with federal task forces and the unconstitutional federal war on drugs. In his <a href="https://wehco.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/news/documents/2021/04/23/SB298_Letter.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">veto letter</a>, Hutchinson called the partnership between state and federal law enforcement “crucial.” You can get more details on the legislation Hutchinson vetoed <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arkansas-passes-bill-to-end-state-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HERE</a>.</p> <p>The Senate overrode Hutchinson&#8217;s veto by <a href="https://legiscan.com/AR/rollcall/SB298/id/1062387" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a 21-12 vote</a>. But the House passed a motion by a voice vote to postpone the override, in effect allowing the veto to stand. The House then considered several alternative bills. Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center said there were just 25 representatives out of 100 who wanted to vote on the veto override.</p> <p>Ultimately, the House settled on House Bill 1957 (<a href="https://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Detail?id=HB1957&amp;chamber=House&amp;ddBienniumSession=2021%2F2021R" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB1957</a>) sponsored by Rep. Jeff Wardlaw and Sen. Missy Irvin (R). The intent of the legislation is to ban state enforcement of some future federal gun control. HB1957 would prohibit public officers and employees of the state and its political subdivisions from &#8220;enforcing or assisting federal agencies or officers in the enforcement of any federal statute, executive order, or federal agency directive that conflicts with Arkansas Constitution, Article 2, § 5, or any Arkansas law.&#8221;</p> <p>The bill also declares a &#8220;federal ban&#8221; null and void in the state of Arkansas. A federal ban is broadly defined as &#8220;a federal law, executive order, rule, or regulation that is enacted, adopted, or becomes effective on or after January 1, 2021, that infringes upon, calls into question, or prohibits, restricts, or requires individual licensure for or registration of the purchase, ownership, possession, transfer, or use of any firearm, any magazine or other ammunition feeding device, or other firearm accessory.&#8221;</p> <p>The bill also includes a list of federal actions that would qualify as &#8220;a federal ban.&#8221;</p> <ul> <li>taxes and fees on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services that would have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;</li> <li>registration and tracking schemes applied to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition;</li> <li>any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens;</li> <li>any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.</li> </ul> <p>However, much of the language of the bill is extremely convoluted and could leave a loophole for law enforcement officers to continue enforcing federal gun control. It specifically bars state and local agents from enforcing acts that &#8220;conflict with Arkansas Constitution, Article 2, § 5, or any Arkansas law.&#8221;</p> <p>Law enforcement lobby groups are likely to promote the view that &#8220;it&#8217;s not the job of a law enforcement officer to determine what&#8217;s constitutional or not.&#8221; And in practice, that means law enforcement agents could plausibly continue helping in the enforcement of all federal gun control in Arkansas until a court tells them to do otherwise.</p> <p>It appears that the bill intends to link the definition of a &#8220;federal ban&#8221; with acts state and local agents would be prohibited from enforcing. But the term &#8220;federal ban&#8221; does not appear in the clause prohibiting enforcement. The most generous reading of the bill would prohibit state and local officials from enforcing any federal action included in the definition of a federal ban. But the tangled language makes it difficult to determine how the law would be interpreted in practice.</p> <p>A leading grassroots activist in Arkansas called the bill &#8220;smoke and mirrors.&#8221;</p> <p>The House passed HB197 by <a href="https://legiscan.com/AR/rollcall/HB1957/id/1063465" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a 75-19 vote</a>. The Senate <a href="https://legiscan.com/AR/rollcall/HB1957/id/1064364" target="_blank" rel="noopener">approved the measure 26-6</a>. It will now go to Gov. Hutchinson for his consideration.</p> <p><strong>POTENTIALLY EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p><strong>If the bill results in non-enforcement of some federal action</strong>, it would be an effective way to stop some future federal gun control in Arkansas. The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Arkansas can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>Gov. Hutchinson will have 20 days (excluding Sundays) from the date HB1957 is transmitted to his office to sign or veto the bill. If he takes no action, it will become law without his signature.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arkansas-bill-might-end-state-enforcement-of-some-future-federal-gun-control/">To the Governor: Arkansas Bill Might End State Enforcement of Some Future Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills Arkansas Federal Gun Control HB1957 SB298 Mike Maharrey To the Governor: Arizona Passes Bill to Require a Criminal Conviction for Asset Forfeiture https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arizona-passes-bill-to-require-a-criminal-conviction-for-asset-forfeiture/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:8ac361ee-3082-b570-4514-1f4d56c45275 Thu, 29 Apr 2021 17:45:36 +0000 <p>The legislation would require a criminal conviction before the prosecutors could begin forfeiture proceedings in most cases. The bill also includes provisions that would increase protections for property owners involved in the forfeiture process, including requiring an arrest before property could be received and prompt return of property if no criminal case exists.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arizona-passes-bill-to-require-a-criminal-conviction-for-asset-forfeiture/">To the Governor: Arizona Passes Bill to Require a Criminal Conviction for Asset Forfeiture</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>PHOENIX</strong>, Ariz. (Apr. 29, 2021) – Yesterday, the Arizona Senate gave final approval to a bill that would reform the state’s asset forfeiture laws and prohibit the state from taking a person’s property without a criminal conviction in most cases. The proposed legislation would build on important reforms signed into law in 2017 that opted Arizona out of a federal forfeiture program.<span id="more-37215"></span></p> <p>A coalition of 12 Republicans introduced House Bill 2810 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/AZ/bill/HB2810/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB2810</a>) on Feb. 8. The legislation would require a criminal conviction before the prosecutors could begin forfeiture proceedings in most cases. The bill also includes provisions that would increase protections for property owners involved in the forfeiture process, including requiring an arrest before property could be received and prompt return of property if no criminal case exists.</p> <p>In February, the House<a href="https://legiscan.com/AZ/rollcall/HB2810/id/1014445" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> passed the measure by a vote of 57-2</a>. On Wednesday, the Senate concurred with a <a href="https://legiscan.com/AZ/rollcall/HB2810/id/1064544">vote of 29-1</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/05/arizona-house-kills-bill-to-end-civil-asset-forfeiture/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Arizona House killed a similar reform bill</a> last year.</p> <p>Arizona currently has some of the most onerous civil asset forfeiture laws in the country. Although prosecutors claim that drug kingpins and white-collar criminals are their primary targets, three-quarters of forfeiture cases involve property valued at less than $10,000.</p> <p>“The median cash forfeiture in Arizona was $1,000,” said Paul Avelar, managing attorney for the <a href="https://ij.org/">Institute for Justice’s Arizona office</a>. “When half of your cash forfeitures are less than $1,000, it is not a tool that is ‘targeting’ cartels. And this is such a low figure that most people will, rightly, realize the costs of fighting back are prohibitive. But lots of small forfeitures can mean big money: Agencies took in $24 million in fiscal year 2019 alone.”</p> <p>Originally intended to counter organized racketeering, the process of bringing civil charges against property rather than criminal charges against humans has proven very lucrative for law enforcement. This is largely due to the ease with which seizures can be carried out since property has no civil rights and the standards for evidence are much lower in non-criminal actions. Accuse a piece of property of involvement in a crime and it can be taken, sold, and the money used for just about any purpose. Property owners are often unwilling or unable to petition for its return due to the expense and effort involved.</p> <p>For years, various groups have worked to add protections against unreasonable seizures, political corruption, and prosecutorial indiscretion but have faced strong opposition from prosecutors and other law-enforcement officials. The most significant progress towards reforming forfeiture laws in the state was made in 2017 <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/08/now-in-effect-new-arizona-law-takes-on-state-federal-asset-forfeiture/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">when house bill 2477 was enacted into law</a>.</p> <p>Introduced by then-representative Eddie Farnsworth, HB 2477 required detailed reporting of collections, allocations, and the purpose for each use of funds taken, and placed oversight of each county’s forfeiture operations with the board of supervisors rather than prosecutors. The idea was to shed some light on the massive scale of assets being seized in the state and to remove the conflict of interest prosecutors had to enhance their budgets at the expense of private citizens. Its biggest weakness, supporters say, was that there was still no requirement for a conviction in order to seize property, so forfeitures could be processed even when the state could not prove a crime had been committed by the property owner.</p> <p>Enactment of HB2810 would build on previous reforms and address that weakness.</p> <p><strong>NECESSARY</strong></p> <p>While some people believe the Supreme Court “ended asset forfeiture, its opinion in <i>Timbs v. Indiana</i> <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/02/asset-forfeiture-was-not-ended-by-the-supreme-court-good-morning-liberty-02-25-19/">ended nothing</a>. Without further action, civil asset forfeiture remains. Additionally, as law professor <a href="https://reason.com/volokh/2019/02/20/supreme-court-rules-that-excessive-fines">Ilya Somin noted</a>, the Court left an important issue unresolved. What exactly counts as “excessive” in the civil forfeiture context?</p> <blockquote><p>“That is likely to be a hotly contested issue in the lower federal courts over the next few years. The ultimate effect of today’s decision depends in large part on how that question is resolved. If courts rule that only a few unusually extreme cases qualify as excessive, the impact of Timbs might be relatively marginal.”</p></blockquote> <p>Going forward, opponents of civil asset forfeiture could wait and see how lower federal courts will address this “over the next few years,” or they can do what a number of states have already taken steps to do, end the practice on a state level, and opt out of the federal equitable sharing program as well.</p> <p><strong>FEDERAL LOOPHOLE</strong></p> <p>The news isn’t all bad in Arizona. The 2017 reforms took a big step toward closing a loophole that allows state and local police to get around more strict state asset forfeiture laws in a vast majority of situations. This is particularly important in light of a <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/07/30/states-can-thwart-new-doj-asset-forfeiture-policy/">policy directive issued in July 2017 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions</a> for the Department of Justice (DOJ) that remains in effect today.</p> <p>A federal program known as “<a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/12/federal-asset-forfeiture-program-helps-local-police-steal/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Equitable Sharing</a>” allows prosecutors to bypass more stringent state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the federal government through a process known as adoption. The DOJ directive reiterates full support for the equitable sharing program, directs federal law enforcement agencies to aggressively utilize it, and sets the stage to expand it in the future.</p> <p>Law enforcement agencies can circumvent more strict state forfeiture laws by claiming cases are federal in nature. Under these arrangements, state officials simply hand cases over to a federal agency, participate in the case, and then receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds. However, when states merely withdraw from participation, the federal directive loses its impact.</p> <p>Until recently, California faced this situation. The state has some of the strongest state-level restrictions on civil asset forfeiture in the country, but state and local police were circumventing the state process by passing cases to the feds. According to a report by the Institute for Justice, <em>Policing for Profit</em>, California ranked as the worst offender of all states in the country between 2000 and 2013. In other words, California law enforcement was passing off a lot of cases to the feds and collecting the loot. The <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/09/signed-as-law-california-reins-in-asset-forfeiture-takes-on-federal-equitable-sharing-program/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">state closed the loophole</a> in 2016.</p> <p>According to an <a href="http://ij.org/pfp-state-pages/pfp-Arizona/">Institute for Justice report</a>, Arizona has been one of the worst offenders of this program:</p> <blockquote><p><em>Arizona law enforcement’s use of the Department of Justice’s equitable sharing program results in a ranking of 32<sup>nd</sup> nationally. In calendar years 2000 to 2013, Arizona law enforcement agencies received nearly $70 million in DOJ equitable sharing proceeds, averaging just under $5 million per year.</em></p></blockquote> <p>The 2017 reforms effectively closed this loophole. The law reads in part:</p> <blockquote><p>The seizing agency or the attorney for the state may not enter into any agreement to transfer or refer seized property to a federal agency for the purpose of forfeiture if the property was seized pursuant to an investigation that either:</p> <p>1.  Did not involve a federal agency.</p> <p>2.  Involves a violation of a state law and no violation of a federal law is alleged.</p> <p>Property that is seized in a joint investigation may not be transferred or referred to a federal agency for the purpose of forfeiture unless the gross estimated value of the seized property is more than seventy‑five thousand dollars.</p></blockquote> <p>Reporting in some areas has revealed that 85 percent of seizures received by law enforcement agencies through the federal equitable sharing program did not meet a $50,000 threshold. Supporters view the law’s higher requirement as significant.</p> <p>“While we’d like to see Arizona and every other state completely opt-out of this federal program, an 80-85 percent reduction in seizures through this federal scheme is a huge step forward to nullify it in practice and effect,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said.</p> <p>Requiring a criminal conviction is the next logical step. With the federal loophole closed, the passage of HB2810  would make it virtually impossible for police to take a person’s assets without first establishing their guilt.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>HB2810 now moves to Governor Doug Ducey&#8217;s desk. He must sign or veto legislation within 5 days of the day after transmittal (excluding Sunday), or it becomes law without his signature.  If the bill is transmitted after the session adjourns, the governor must act within 10 days of adjournment (excluding Sunday), or the legislation becomes law without being signed.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arizona-passes-bill-to-require-a-criminal-conviction-for-asset-forfeiture/">To the Governor: Arizona Passes Bill to Require a Criminal Conviction for Asset Forfeiture</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Asset Forfeiture State Bills Arizona Equitable Sharing HB2810 Mike Maharrey To the Governor: Vermont Bill to Expand Raw Milk Sales; Foundation to Nullify Federal Prohibition Scheme https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-vermont-bill-to-expand-raw-milk-sales-foundation-to-nullify-federal-prohibition-scheme/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:2f713555-5973-19ed-b5f7-eb5c29d8525b Wed, 28 Apr 2021 23:12:06 +0000 <p>he legislation would expand current raw milk sales by amending the law to allow for sale by farm stands and community-supported agricultural organizations (CSA’s).  This would build on the expansion of raw milk sales passed in 2019.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-vermont-bill-to-expand-raw-milk-sales-foundation-to-nullify-federal-prohibition-scheme/">To the Governor: Vermont Bill to Expand Raw Milk Sales; Foundation to Nullify Federal Prohibition Scheme</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>MONTPELIER,</strong> Vt. (April 28, 2021)  – On Wednesday, the Vermont House gave final approval to a bill that would expand raw milk sales through community-supported agricultural organizations (CSA’s) and farm stands. Passage into law would take an additional step toward rejecting a federal prohibition scheme in practice and effect.<span id="more-37211"></span></p> <p>Rep. Heather Suprenant (D) and a coalition of Democrats, introduced House Bill 218 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/VT/bill/H0218/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">H218</a>), on Feb. 9. The legislation would expand current raw milk sales by amending the law to allow for sale by farm stands and community-supported agricultural organizations (CSA’s).  This would build on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/06/signed-by-the-governor-vermont-law-expands-raw-milk-sales-foundation-to-nullify-federal-prohibition-scheme/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the expansion of raw milk sales passed in 2019</a>.</p> <p>On April 21, the Senate approved the measure with a technical amendment. On Wednesday, the House concurred with the amendment, sending H218 to Gov. Phil Scott&#8217;s desk for his consideration.</p> <p><strong>Impact on Federal Prohibition</strong></p> <p>FDA officials insist that unpasteurized milk poses a health risk because of its susceptibility to contamination from cow manure, a source of E. coli.</p> <p>“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” agency spokeswoman Tamara N. Ward said in November 2011.</p> <p>The FDA’s position represents more than a matter of opinion. In 1987, the feds implemented 21 CFR 1240.61(a), providing that, <em>“no person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized.”</em></p> <p>Not only do the feds ban the transportation of raw milk a cross state lines; they also claim the authority to ban unpasteurized milk <em>within the borders of a state</em>.</p> <p>“It is within HHS’s authority…to institute an intrastate ban [on unpasteurized milk] as well,” FDA officials wrote in response to a <a href="http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund </a>lawsuit against the agency over the interstate ban.</p> <p>The FDA clearly wants complete prohibition of raw milk and some insiders say it’s only a matter of time before the feds try to institute an absolute ban. Armed raids by FDA agents on companies like Rawsome Foods back in 2011 and Amish farms over the last few years also indicate this scenario may not be too far off.</p> <p>When states allow the sale of raw milk within their borders, it takes an important step toward nullifying this federal prohibition scheme.</p> <p>As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, an intrastate ban becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages the market and nullifies federal prohibition in effect.</p> <p>We’ve seen this demonstrated dramatically in states that have legalized industrial hemp. When they authorized production, farmers began growing industrial hemp, even in the face of a federal ban. Despite facing the possibility of federal prosecution, some growers were still willing to step into the void and begin cultivating the plant once the state removed its barriers.</p> <p>In the same way, removing state barriers to raw milk consumption, sale and production would undoubtedly spur the creation of new markets for unpasteurized dairy products, no matter what the feds claim the power to do.</p> <p>It could ultimately nullify the interstate ban as well. If all 50 states allow raw milk, markets within the states could easily grow to the point that local sales would render the federal ban on interstate commerce pointless. And history indicates the feds do not have the resources to stop people from transporting raw milk across state lines – especially if multiple states start legalizing it. Growing markets will quickly overwhelm any federal enforcement attempts.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>Gov. Scott will have five days (excluding Sundays) from the date H218 is transmitted to his office to sign or veto the bill. If he takes no action, it will become law without his signature.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-vermont-bill-to-expand-raw-milk-sales-foundation-to-nullify-federal-prohibition-scheme/">To the Governor: Vermont Bill to Expand Raw Milk Sales; Foundation to Nullify Federal Prohibition Scheme</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Raw Milk State Bills FDA food freedom H218 Health Freedom Vermont Mike Maharrey Unconstitutional Debt and Future Generations https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/28/unconstitutional-debt-and-future-generations/ Tenth Amendment Center urn:uuid:8c56dac4-fc0e-03cb-8b77-f29cf5f9b3e5 Wed, 28 Apr 2021 20:54:00 +0000 <p>here we are paying debts that are more than 100 years old and borrowing money as if there were no consequences. How much longer can a society last with a central government that does not pay its bills?</p> <p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/28/unconstitutional-debt-and-future-generations/">Unconstitutional Debt and Future Generations</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> <p>These are serious numbers of dollars, the repayment of which will have seriously unpleasant consequences for future generations of Americans. Indeed, under Biden&#8217;s administration, the feds will borrow three times what they collect in taxes. This is not a new phenomenon, but it exacerbates the modern trend of spend now and pay later.</p> <p>Under the Constitution, can the feds borrow as much as they want and can they spend it on anything they want? Here is the backstory.</p> <p>When James Madison and his colleagues wrote the Constitution, they addressed the problem of debt. They knew governments borrow vast amounts of money to address emergencies, usually wars — as the 13 colonies had just done. When Madison and his colleagues were deciding upon the powers of the new federal government, they included the power to borrow money but excluded the power to create and operate a bank.</p> <p>Madison understood that the Constitution limited the power of Congress to spend monies — whether obtained by taxes or debt — to the 17 discrete areas of governance delegated to the federal government in the Constitution.</p> <p data-slot-rendered-dynamic="true">Thus, when Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton proposed a national bank, Madison, then a congressman, argued fiercely against it. He offered that the Constitution intentionally omitted the power to create and operate a bank because a federal bank would tempt Congress to spend money it didn&#8217;t have on pet projects not authorized to the feds by the Constitution.</p> <div id="content_btf_wrapper" class="adunitwrapper content_btf_wrapper mv-size-undefinedxundefined" data-wrapper="content_btf"></div> <p>Madison lost the argument. The First National Bank of the United States was formed but went out of existence 20 years later. In 1816, at the end of his second presidential term, Madison had a change of heart and reluctantly signed legislation forming the Second National Bank of the United States. Yet, he never renounced his often-articulated fears of Congress exceeding its constitutional bounds by spending money nowhere authorized in the Constitution.</p> <p>The Supreme Court on four occasions declined to rule if Madison was correct. Then, in 1936, the court — terrified of FDR&#8217;s court-packing threats — ruled that Congress&#8217; taxing and spending powers are essentially unlimited so long as the funds are spent for the common good. If this ruling is correct, then Congress can buy any thing and bribe any person, and the restraints in the Constitution are meaningless.</p> <p data-slot-rendered-dynamic="true">This misguided ruling unleashed a torrent of federal government spending which has led us to the present tsunami of debt — $28.1 trillion. This is not an issue of Democrats wanting to spend and Republicans wanting the Madisonian approach. To Biden&#8217;s proposal of $2.3 trillion, Republicans have countered with offers ranging from half a trillion to $1 trillion.</p> <div id="content_2_btf_wrapper" class="adunitwrapper content_btf_wrapper mv-size-undefinedxundefined" data-wrapper="content_2_btf"></div> <p>Recent history shows the bipartisan addiction to debt. George W. Bush borrowed $2 trillion in eight years for the useless war in Afghanistan that Biden just ended. Donald Trump borrowed $2 trillion in four years to pay for tax cuts and to soothe the pain caused by unconstitutional state lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, what Biden wants is the most massive peacetime transfer of wealth in the history of the world, and none of it is authorized by the Constitution.</p> <p>That wealth will be received by poor and middle-class folks and wealthy bankers and industrialists, all of whom will be grateful to the Democrats for the short-term cash.</p> <p>Who will pay for all this?</p> <p data-slot-rendered-dynamic="true">If Biden&#8217;s proposed corporate and capital gains tax increases pass, fewer Americans will be employed as corporations will have less money for new hiring, and investments will suffer as the cost of their fruits will increase. And the post-pandemic economic recovery, once anticipated at the end of the government&#8217;s unlawful lockdowns, will not materialize.</p> <div id="content_3_btf_wrapper" class="adunitwrapper content_btf_wrapper mv-size-undefinedxundefined" data-wrapper="content_3_btf"></div> <p>Add to this the near-certainty of inflation, and you will have Biden misery visited upon all. Inflation will also raise the cost of government borrowing. That means Biden&#8217;s not yet born great-grandchildren, and their unhappy generation, will be paying for Old Joe&#8217;s profligate and unconstitutional spending.</p> <p>That members of both major political parties favor this unbridled borrowing and spending approach to government is unconstitutional and destructive but not surprising. Giving away cash and pushing the cost onto nonvoters — generations as yet unborn — can make members of Congress popular. It can also turn the public treasury into a public trough. Thomas Jefferson warned of the dangers of this as it would become habit-forming for politicians, and voters would grow to expect it.</p> <p data-slot-rendered-dynamic="true">President Woodrow Wilson borrowed $30 billion to pay for American military involvement in the useless and unjust World War I. American taxpayers are still paying the interest on the $30 billion. It now exceeds $15 billion. Only a government — heedless of basic economics and unfaithful to the plain meaning of the Constitution — would pay a 50% interest rate.</p> <div id="content_4_btf_wrapper" class="adunitwrapper content_btf_wrapper mv-size-undefinedxundefined" data-wrapper="content_4_btf"></div> <p>But here we are paying debts that are more than 100 years old and borrowing money as if there were no consequences. How much longer can a society last with a central government that does not pay its bills? Why have a Constitution that limits the government if no person or entity enforces the limitations? Why have taxes in the first place if borrowing and deferring debt will do?</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span><p>The post <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/28/unconstitutional-debt-and-future-generations/">Unconstitutional Debt and Future Generations</a> first appeared on <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>.</p> Current Events Economy federal-spending national debt Judge Andrew Napolitano Signed as Law: Montana Creates Process to Maybe Review and Reject Some Presidential Executive Orders https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-montana-creates-process-to-maybe-review-and-reject-some-presidential-executive-orders/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:71face77-c7da-b484-f5bd-3572ad74abdb Wed, 28 Apr 2021 20:10:01 +0000 <p>This process sets the stage to possibly nullify some executive orders in effect in Montana, but whether the process will be used remains to be seen.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-montana-creates-process-to-maybe-review-and-reject-some-presidential-executive-orders/">Signed as Law: Montana Creates Process to Maybe Review and Reject Some Presidential Executive Orders</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>HELENA</strong>, Mont. (April 28, 2021) – On Friday, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill into law that would create a mechanism to review presidential executive orders and end state cooperation with enforcement of certain orders determined to violate the U.S. Constitution. This process sets the stage to possibly nullify some executive orders in effect in Montana, but whether the process will be used remains to be seen.<span id="more-37185"></span></p> <p>Sen. Tom McGillvray (R-Billings) introduced Senate Bill 277 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/MT/bill/SB277/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB277</a>) on Feb. 25. Under the new law, the legislative council <em>may</em> review any <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/08/12/whats-the-deal-with-executive-orders/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">executive order</a> issued by the President of the United States, if the order “has not been affirmed by a vote of the Congress of the United States and signed into law, as prescribed by the Constitution of the United States.”</p> <p>Upon a recommendation by the executive committee, the state attorney general will be required to review the executive order.  Under the law, the state, a political subdivision of the state, or an organization receiving public funds from the state, will be prohibited from implementing any executive order that the attorney general determines to be unconstitutional during the review.</p> <p>The law covers executive orders that relate to any of the following:</p> <ul> <li>A pandemic or other public health emergency;</li> <li>The regulation of natural resources;</li> <li>The regulation of the agricultural industry;</li> <li>The regulation of land use;</li> <li>The regulation of the financial sector through the imposition of environmental, social, or governance standards; or</li> <li>Any regulation affecting the constitutional rights of state residents, including but not limited to the right to keep and bear arms.</li> </ul> <p>On April 1, the House passed SB277 by a 59-38 vote. <a href="https://legiscan.com/MT/rollcall/SB277/id/1017769" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Senate previously passed SB277 by a 31-19 vote</a>. With Gov. Gianforte&#8217;s signature, the law goes into effect on Oct. 1.</p> <p><strong>THE PROCESS IN PRACTICE</strong></p> <p>The enactment of SB277 creates a process to potentially push back against overreaching executive authority. Upon the AG’s determination that an EO is unconstitutional, the state will be required to <strong>withdraw all resources and cease any cooperation with enforcement or implementation of the action</strong>. But in practice, the law will likely have very little if any effect.</p> <p>In the first place, the law does not require an initial review of any executive order. The language says the legislative council “may review.” That leaves it to that body’s discretion. Even if it does initiate a review and send the EO off to the AG, the process then rests in the hands of a politically connected lawyer.</p> <p>In the second place, this cumbersome review process isn’t even necessary. The legislature already had the authority to review executive orders and prohibit their implementation for any reason whatsoever. In fact, the legislature could simply pass a bill prohibiting state enforcement of specific types of executive orders without any lengthy and unwieldy constitutional review. The state has the right to direct its personnel and resources as it sees fit. It can prohibit the enforcement of federal laws or the implementation of federal programs for any reason at all. Montana could withdraw state resources from the enforcement of federal acts just because it’s Tuesday and there’s snow on the ground.</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The provisions prohibiting the state from enforcing or implementing certain federal acts rests on a well-established legal principle known as <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the anti-commandeering doctrine</a>. Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program – whether constitutional or not. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>Based on James Madison’s <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/08/07/the-blueprint-james-madisons-advice/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” provides an extremely effective method to render federal laws, effectively unenforceable because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from the states.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed this type of approach would be extremely effective. In a televised discussion on federal gun laws, he noted that a single state refusing to cooperate with enforcement would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states can nullify in effect many federal actions. As noted by the National Governor’s Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-montana-creates-process-to-maybe-review-and-reject-some-presidential-executive-orders/">Signed as Law: Montana Creates Process to Maybe Review and Reject Some Presidential Executive Orders</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Federal Review State Bills anti-commandeerig Constitution Executive Orders Montana SB277 Mike Maharrey Alabama House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of New Federal Gun Control by Executive Order https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/alabama-house-committee-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-new-federal-gun-control-by-executive-order/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:eefa3fd5-0f5d-e246-c678-61ab1ef53958 Wed, 28 Apr 2021 20:02:25 +0000 <p>In response to Moms Demand Action and law enforcement opposition,  the House committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security significantly narrowed the scope of the legislation to addressing just executive orders, ensuring that state and local law enforcement will continue to participate in the enforcement of most federal gun control; past, present and future.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/alabama-house-committee-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-new-federal-gun-control-by-executive-order/">Alabama House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of New Federal Gun Control by Executive Order</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>MONTGOMERY</strong>, Ala. (April 28, 2021) – Yesterday, an Alabama House committee passed a bill that would set the foundation to end enforcement of future presidential executive orders relating to firearms. Passage into law would represent a small step toward neutering future federal gun control in Alabama.<span id="more-37199"></span></p> <p>Sen. Gerald Allen (R) introduced Senate Bill 358 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/AL/bill/SB358/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB358</a>) on March 30. The subsitiute bill passed by the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security would ban state or local enforcement of future presidential executive orders that &#8220;limit or restrict the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories by law-abiding residents of the state.&#8221; It would also ban the use of public funds by the state or its political subdivisions for enforcement of the same.</p> <p>As <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/alabama-senate-passes-bill-to-take-on-future-federal-gun-control/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passed by the Senate</a>, SB358 would ban state and local enforcement of future executive orders along with any other future laws passed by Congress relating to firearms. But that was a bridge too far for law enforcement lobby groups, which aggressively opposed the bill in a House Committee hearing.</p> <p>Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said he was concerned the measure would endanger relationships state and county law enforcement entities have with federal agencies on joint task forces addressing terrorism response, drug enforcement, and other matters.</p> <p>Randy Hillman of the Alabama Sheriffs&#8217; Association sided with Harriet Huggins of Moms Demand Action in opposing the measure as well.</p> <p>“To do what we have to do every day, we rely on partners whether it’s the county next to you or the municipality and the feds,” said Hillman. “We are members of joint task forces. The bad guys have guns and a lot of the things they are doing are violating federal law. If our guys are participating on that task force with them, how do they draw a line and say, ‘I can enforce A, B, and C but I cannot enforce D, E, and F, and that if they do enforce, they are liable for it. It’s crazy. It doesn’t make any sense.”</p> <p class="Component-root-0-2-48 Component-p-0-2-39">Huggins said passage would send a message of support to criminals,  “It can create confusion and a real public safety risk.&#8221;</p> <p>In response to Moms Demand Action and law enforcement opposition,  the House committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security significantly narrowed the scope of the legislation to addressing just executive orders, ensuring that state and local law enforcement will continue to participate in the enforcement of most federal gun control; past, present and future.</p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/03/alabama-house-committee-passes-bill-to-end-federal-gun-control-enforcement/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A more sweeping bill</a> that would take on gun control past, present and future (<a href="https://legiscan.com/AL/bill/HB157/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB157</a>) passed a House committee on March 10, but it has yet to be brought to the House floor for a vote.</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on <strong>most</strong> federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Alabama can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/">anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>SB358 will now move to the full House for further consideration. If it passed the House, it will go back to the Senate for concurrence with the House amendment. Or, the Senate can reject the amendments, forcing a conference committee to work out the differences.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/alabama-house-committee-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-new-federal-gun-control-by-executive-order/">Alabama House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Enforcement of New Federal Gun Control by Executive Order</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment Alabama Executive Orders Federal Gun Control firearms SB358 Mike Maharrey North Carolina Bill Would Prohibit “No-Knock” Warrants https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/north-carolina-bill-would-prohibit-no-knock-warrants/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:5ec3d933-571b-e4e4-942f-4e71fb1b5668 Wed, 28 Apr 2021 19:39:07 +0000 <p>The legislation would only allow police to break in and enter a premises or vehicle to rescue a hostage if there is probable cause to believe the hostage is inside. "No-Knock" warrants would be prohibited in all other instances.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/north-carolina-bill-would-prohibit-no-knock-warrants/">North Carolina Bill Would Prohibit “No-Knock” Warrants</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>RALEIGH</strong>, N.C.(April 28, 2021) &#8211; A bill introduced in the North Carolina House would prohibit “no-knock” warrants and take a step toward nullifying several Supreme Court opinions in practice and effect.<span id="more-37193"></span></p> <p>A coalition of 15 Democrats introduced House Bill 656 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/NC/bill/H656/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB656</a>) on April 22. The legislation would only allow police to break in and enter a premises or vehicle to rescue a hostage if there is probable cause to believe the hostage is inside. &#8220;No-Knock&#8221; warrants would be prohibited in all other instances.</p> <p><strong>Nullifying the Supreme Court</strong></p> <p>Passage of HB656 would take a big step toward effectively nullifying and making irrelevant several Supreme Court opinions that give police across the U.S. legal cover for conducting no-knock raids.</p> <p>In the 1995 case <em><a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15506865603077276139&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=6&amp;as_vis=1&amp;oi=scholarr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Wilson v. Arkansas</a></em>, the Supreme Court established that police must peacefully knock, announce their presence, and allow time for the occupants to open the door before entering a home to serve a warrant. But the Court allowed for “exigent circumstance” exceptions if police fear violence, if the suspect is a flight risk, or if officers fear the suspect will destroy evidence.</p> <p>As journalist <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/03/no-knock-warrant-breonna-taylor-was-illegal/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Radley Balko notes</a>, police utilized this exception to the fullest extent, “simply declaring in search warrant affidavits that <i>all</i> drug dealers are a threat to dispose of evidence, flee or assault the officers at the door.”</p> <p>The SCOTUS eliminated this blanket exception in <a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10920539616941250099&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=6&amp;as_vis=1&amp;oi=scholarr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><i>Richards v. Wisconsin</i></a>  (1997) requiring police to show why a specific individual is a threat to dispose of evidence, commit an act of violence or flee from police. But even with the opinion, the bar for obtaining a no-knock warrant remains low.</p> <blockquote><p>“In order to justify a ‘no-knock’ entry, the police must have a <strong>reasonable suspicion</strong> that knocking and announcing their presence, under the particular circumstances, would be dangerous or futile, or that it would inhibit the effective investigation of the crime by, for example, allowing the destruction of evidence.” [Emphasis added]</p></blockquote> <p>Reasonable suspicion is an extremely low legal bar to meet. Through this exception, police can justify no-knock entry on any warrant application. In effect, the parameters in the SCOTUS ruling make no-knock the norm instead of the exception.</p> <p>A third Supreme Court ruling effectively eliminated the consequences for violating the “knock and announce” requirement even without a no-knock warrant. In <em><a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/05pdf/04-1360.pdf">Hudson v. Michigan</a></em> (2006), the High Court held that evidence seized in violation of knock and announce was not subject to the exclusionary rule. In other words, police could still use the evidence in court even though they technically gathered it illegally.</p> <p>Significantly, were it not for the dubious “<a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/05/30/the-incorporation-doctrine-broke-the-constitutional-system/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">incorporation doctrine</a>” made up by the Supreme Court based on the 14th Amendment that purportedly empowers the federal government to apply the Bill of Rights to the states, these cases would have never gone to federal court and we wouldn’t have these blanket rules.</p> <p>Without specific restrictions from the state, police officers generally operate within the parameters set by the High Court. By passing restrictions on no-knock warrants, states set standards that go beyond the Supreme Court limits and in effect, nullify the SCOTUS opinion.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>HB656 has been referred to the <a href="https://www.ncleg.gov/Committees/CommitteeInfo/House/2" target="_blank" rel="noopener">House Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House Committee</a>, where it must pass out with a majority vote in order to continue on in the legislative process.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/north-carolina-bill-would-prohibit-no-knock-warrants/">North Carolina Bill Would Prohibit “No-Knock” Warrants</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Police State Bills HB656 Incorporation Doctrine North Carolina Amanda Bowers Signed as Law: West Virginia “2nd Amendment Preservation” Authorizes Enforcement of Most Federal Gun Control https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-west-virginia-2nd-amendment-preservation-authorizes-enforcement-of-most-federal-gun-control/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:b2f57937-92b7-4d29-4c0f-e3f83783e2b1 Wed, 28 Apr 2021 19:20:14 +0000 <p>In practice, the West Virginia "Second Amendment Preservation Act" will only protect and preserve federal gun control.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-west-virginia-2nd-amendment-preservation-authorizes-enforcement-of-most-federal-gun-control/">Signed as Law: West Virginia “2nd Amendment Preservation” Authorizes Enforcement of Most Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>CHARLESTON</strong>, W.Va. (April 28, 2021) – On Tuesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill into law that bans enforcement of federal red flag laws, but leaves state and local police free to enforce virtually all other federal gun control – present and future. In practice, the West Virginia &#8220;Second Amendment Preservation Act&#8221; will only protect and preserve federal gun control.<span id="more-37201"></span><span id="more-37067"></span></p> <p>Del. Brandon Steele along with a coalition of 10 cosponsors introduced House Bill 2694 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/WV/bill/HB2694/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB2694</a>)  on Feb. 23. As <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/03/west-virginia-house-passes-bill-to-ban-enforcement-of-federal-gun-control-past-present-and-future/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">initially passed by the House</a>, the proposed law would have prohibited a state agency or department from cooperating with the enforcement of eight specific federal actions relating to firearms that “that differ from or is not substantially similar to a West Virginia law.”</p> <p>In effect, <strong>it would have banned</strong> state and local enforcement of current or future federal gun control measures that don’t have concurrent measures in law in the state of West Virginia. This would have been a strong step taking on federal gun control on the books today as well as any implemented in the future.</p> <p>But influential law enforcement groups lobbied aggressively against the bill. Charleston Police Chief James “Tyke” Hunt warned the that passage will effectively defund the police by cutting off federal funding &#8211; and will make coordination with federal authorities, such as the federal BATFE, impossible.</p> <p>He said that, without funding from, and coordination with, the ATF &#8211; “If this bill passes and these funds go away, the Metro Drug Unit will not exist,” Hunt said, adding, “We will soon have a bigger drug problem in Kanawha County.”</p> <p>With &#8220;thin blue line&#8221; republicans gladly going along with law enforcement demands to continue supporting federal gun control, the<strong> Senate significantly amended HB2694 and stripped the legislation of most of its teeth</strong>. Both the House and the Senate passed the amended version of the bill. The <a href="https://legiscan.com/WV/rollcall/HB2694/id/1050199" target="_blank" rel="noopener">House approved the measure 92-7</a> and the <a href="https://legiscan.com/WV/rollcall/HB2694/id/1050200" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Senate passed it by a 30-4 vote</a>. With Gov. Justice’s signature, the law goes into effect on July 9.</p> <p>The only significant positive provision in the final version of HB2694 prohibits state enforcement of federal “red flag laws” in West Virginia.</p> <blockquote><p>“No police department, agency, or officer of the state may enforce an order under a red flag law against a citizen of this state or a person subject to the protections of the laws of this state when the person against whom the order is directed has the lawful right under the laws of this state to possess firearms.”</p></blockquote> <p>HB2694 defines a red flag law as “a law under which a person may petition for a court to temporarily take away another person’s right to possess a firearm which it is otherwise lawful under the law of West Virginia for the respondent to possess.”</p> <p>The finalized version of HB2694 includes provisions that <em>appear</em> to block state and local police from enforcing federal gun control under <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/01/04/the-anti-commandeering-doctrine-an-introduction/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>“No agency of this state, political subdivision of this state, or employee of an agency, or political subdivision of this state, acting in his or her official capacity, may be commandeered by the United States government under an executive order or action of the President of the United States or under an act of the Congress of the United States. Federal commandeering of West Virginia law-enforcement for purposes of enforcement of federal firearms laws is prohibited.”</p></blockquote> <p>But the convoluted definition of anti-commandeering in the bill makes this provision utterly meaningless.</p> <blockquote><p>“Commandeering” means taking control of or seizing the assets, personnel, or operations of an agency of this state, or of a political subdivision of this state, or the employees of an agency or political subdivision of this state without the express authority for the control having been formally given by the state or political subdivision of the state.</p></blockquote> <p>This <strong>never</strong> happens.</p> <p>The feds don’t just go grab some local cops and force them to enforce federal gun control. State and local police do this voluntarily. The feds ask for help. State and local police provide it. And under HB2694, they will be free to continue doing so. Stopping state and local cops from cooperating with the feds requires specific prohibitions <em>barring </em>them from doing so – a perfectly legitimate and legal action by any state under the anti-commandeering doctrine properly defined.</p> <p>Along with the ban on enforcing red flag laws, HB2694 does prohibit state and local police from participating in some federal actions. But as Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin put it, “It has a loophole so big you could drive a 757 through it — filled with gun-grabbers of course.”</p> <p>The proposed law prohibits police agencies from participating in the execution of a federal search warrant or arrest warrant if it only involves the possession of “firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition … which is lawful under the laws of this state.”</p> <p>This could stop state and local cops from participating in outright gun confiscation in the future. That is unless the individual is suspected of another crime as well. And this will almost always be the case. The feds rarely go after people based solely on federal gun laws. They almost always combine gun charges with something else such as federal drug charges. Along with the drug war, there are all kinds of other federal laws federal agents can come up with to justify state cooperation with gun control. That means West Virginia law enforcement will remain right by the fed’s side enforcing those gun laws – along with other federal laws, most of which are also unconstitutional (including the federal war on drugs).</p> <p>As Boldin noted, the final version of HB2694 appears to allow enforcement of all federal gun control – rather than ban it – as long as state and local cops are participating in drug war enforcement.</p> <p>“This is extremely common, unfortunately. Conservative and Republican legislators are more than happy to throw away the Second Amendment to keep their precious – and unconstitutional – federal drug war,” Boldin said.</p> <p>Prohibiting state enforcement of federal red flag laws is a solid step forward, but the other provisions in HB2694 won’t deliver the protections advertised for West Virginia gun owners.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-west-virginia-2nd-amendment-preservation-authorizes-enforcement-of-most-federal-gun-control/">Signed as Law: West Virginia “2nd Amendment Preservation” Authorizes Enforcement of Most Federal Gun Control</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills 2nd Amendment Preservation Federal Gun Control firearms HB2694 second amendment West Virginia Mike Maharrey Like a Cancer: Warrantless Surveillance under Section 702 https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/like-a-cancer-warrantless-surveillance-under-section-702/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:e7efa1e2-7479-1ccd-ee26-78aa50db447e Wed, 28 Apr 2021 17:31:29 +0000 <p>When it’s “just for the terrorists,” you can be sure it’ll eventually be used against you. As leading founders like James Madison, John Adams, John Dickinson, and Samuel Adams warned us - the precedent of power is like a cancer - it grows and grows, and grows. That’s exactly what’s happening before our very eyes with the unconstitutional warrantless surveillance powers of Section 702.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/like-a-cancer-warrantless-surveillance-under-section-702/">Like a Cancer: Warrantless Surveillance under Section 702</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p>When it’s “just for the terrorists,” you can be sure it’ll eventually be used against you. As leading founders like James Madison, John Adams, John Dickinson, and Samuel Adams warned us &#8211; the precedent of power is like a cancer &#8211; it grows and grows, and grows. That’s exactly what’s happening before our very eyes with the unconstitutional warrantless surveillance powers of Section 702.</p> <p>Path to Liberty: April 28, 2021 <span id="more-37203"></span></p> <p>Subscribe: <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/path-to-liberty/id1440549211?app=podcast&amp;mt=2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Apple</a> | <a href="https://open.spotify.com/show/7iRUIPjKQLyfKbunOuYIBq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Spotify</a> | <a href="https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/b4yrd-92c48/Path-to-Liberty-Podcast" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Podbean</a> | <a href="https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9ibG9nLnRlbnRoYW1lbmRtZW50Y2VudGVyLmNvbS9jYXRlZ29yeS92aWRlby9nb29kLW1vcm5pbmctbGliZXJ0eS9mZWVkLw?sa=X&amp;ved=0CAYQrrcFahcKEwigwITb6MrrAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google</a> | <a href="https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=340324&amp;refid=stpr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Stitcher</a> | <a href="https://tunein.com/podcasts/News--Politics-Podcasts/Path-to-Liberty-p1357275/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">TuneIn</a> | <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/category/video/good-morning-liberty/feed/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">RSS</a> | <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/pathtoliberty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">More Platforms Here</a></p> <p><iframe loading="lazy" width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/dtSRI8qa_M4?start=73" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>SHOW LINKS:</strong><br /> <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/members/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">JOIN TAC</a></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/pathtoliberty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Show Archives</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.masshist.org/publications/adams-papers/view?&#038;id=PJA02dg5" rel="noopener" target="_blank">John Adams &#8211; Novanglus No 3 (6 Feb 1775)</a></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/06/22/oppose-a-disease-at-its-beginning/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Oppose a Disease at its Beginning</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.nsa.gov/News-Features/Feature-Stories/Article-View/Article/1627009/section-702-saves-lives-protects-the-nation-and-allies/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Section 702 &#8211; NSA</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/11/politics/trump-fisa-section-702-surveillance-data" rel="noopener" target="_blank">CNN Report</a> </p> <p><a href="https://www.lawfareblog.com/high-stakes-misunderstanding-section-702-reforms" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Lawfare </a></p> <p><a href="https://www.heritage.org/terrorism/commentary/how-the-section-702-program-helps-america-thwart-terrorist-plots" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Heritage</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.heritage.org/defense/report/maintaining-americas-ability-collect-foreign-intelligence-the-section-702-program" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Heritage &#8220;terrorism!&#8221;</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.justsecurity.org/47543/responding-myths-reforming-fisas-section-702/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Just Security &#8211; Myths</a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/03/dont-believe-reports-claiming-nsa-surveillance-shut-down-good-morning-liberty-03-06-19/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Episode on 702</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2021/apr/27/fbi-surveillance-cleared-despite-violations/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">WaPo &#8211; report</a></p> <p><a href="https://reason.com/2021/04/27/report-fbi-misused-foreign-surveillance-powers-to-investigate-domestic-crimes/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Scott Shackford &#8211; Reason</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/secret-court-reveals-fbi-hunted-for-domestic-terrorists-without-a-warrant" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Spencer Ackerman</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/LizaGoitein/status/1387045086773485572" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Elizabeth Goitein Twitter Thread</a></p> <p><a href="https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-11-02-0062" rel="noopener" target="_blank">James Madison (6 June 1788)</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2092/pg2092.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Samuel Adams &#8211; 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Audio/Video Path to Liberty Surveillance FBI James Madison John Adams John Dickinson NSA Samuel Adams Section 702 surveillance Warrantless Surveillance Michael Boldin Tenth Amendment Center 33:53 When it’s “just for the terrorists,” you can be sure it’ll eventually be used against you. As leading founders like James Madison, John Adams, John Dickinson, and Samuel Adams warned us - the precedent of power is like a cancer - it grows and grows, When it’s “just for the terrorists,” you can be sure it’ll eventually be used against you. As leading founders like James Madison, John Adams, John Dickinson, and Samuel Adams warned us - the precedent of power is like a cancer - it grows and grows, and grows. That’s exactly what’s happening before our very eyes with the unconstitutional warrantless surveillance powers of Section 702.<br /> Texas Senate Passes Bill Protecting Joe Biden’s Gun Control Plans https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-senate-passes-bill-protecting-joe-bidens-gun-control-plans/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:ac42af2f-7c85-5ed3-6a36-b8fd52aac8a9 Wed, 28 Apr 2021 15:18:39 +0000 <p>the Texas Senate passed a bill that originally would have banned state and local enforcement of any new federal gun control, but amended it to essentially support  all new gun control measures coming from the Biden administration.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-senate-passes-bill-protecting-joe-bidens-gun-control-plans/">Texas Senate Passes Bill Protecting Joe Biden’s Gun Control Plans</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>AUSTIN</strong>, Texas (April 28, 2021) – Yesterday, the Texas Senate passed a bill that originally would have banned state and local enforcement of any new federal gun control, but amended it to essentially <strong>support</strong>  all new gun control measures coming from the Biden administration.<span id="more-37198"></span></p> <p>Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) introduced Senate Bill 513 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB513/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB513</a>) on Jan 28. This month, it garnered 6 additional cosponsors and the support of Gov. Greg Abbott.</p> <p>As introduced, the proposed law would prohibit any Texas governmental agency, including state and local police departments, from contracting with or in any other manner providing assistance to a federal agency or official with respect to the enforcement of a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation purporting to regulate a firearm, a firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule, or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation, such as a capacity or size limitation or a registration requirement, that does not exist under the laws of the state of Texas.</p> <p>On March 9, the Senate State Affairs Committee passed the bill, unamended, in the face of lobbying opposition by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT).</p> <p>In a strange move, yesterday, Hall offered an amendment to his own bill which neutered the entire intent and purpose of it. That is, to stop the state from participating in the enforcement of any new federal gun control.</p> <blockquote><p>Amend SB 513 (senate committee printing) in SECTION 2 of the bill, in added Section 40.03, Penal Code (page 2, between lines 62 and 63), by inserting the following:<br /> (i) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (h) that the person is a local or state law enforcement officer who, as a member of a federal task force or of a joint task force consisting of local or state law enforcement officers and federal law enforcement officers, enforces or attempts to enforce a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation described by Subsection (b).</p></blockquote> <p>Local police rarely, if ever, initiates and enforces federal gun control measures on their own. In almost every situation, they&#8217;re responding to a request from a federal agency to help, and in most situations they do so as part of a federal/state joint law enforcement task force, of which there are <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/02/state-federal-task-forces-and-the-national-police-state/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">literally hundreds throughout the country</a>.</p> <p>The amendment passed without opposition on the Senate floor. And now, instead of the bill being a ban on participating in federal gun control enforcement, it would codify in Texas law that state and local law enforcement can enforce any federal gun control measure that might be coming from the Biden Administration, as long as the federal government asks for help.</p> <p>Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center say that Hall neutered his own bill at the behest of the law enforcement lobby group, CLEET.</p> <p>On 3rd read, SB513 was passed by a <a href="https://legiscan.com/TX/rollcall/SB513/id/1063898">party-line vote of 18-13</a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">SB513 as passed by the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Texas?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Texas</a> Senate today is pretty much &quot;Dear <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeBiden?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JoeBiden</a> &#8211; Mess with Texas, PLEASE!&quot;</p> <p>It&#39;s hard to imagine a weaker attempt to &quot;protect&quot; the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2ndAmendment?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#2ndAmendment</a> than this.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/txlege?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#txlege</a></p> <p>&mdash; TenthAmendmentCenter (@TenthAmendment) <a href="https://twitter.com/TenthAmendment/status/1387247373957550081?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 28, 2021</a></p></blockquote> <p> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE STRATEGY</strong></p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”</p> <p>Based on <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/12/15/james-madison-four-steps-to-stop-federal-programs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">James Madison’s advice for states and individuals</a> in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/08/andrew-napolitano-federal-gun-laws-nearly-impossible-to-enforce-without-state-assistance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">he noted that a single state taking this step</a> would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The state of Texas can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/12/28/states-dont-have-to-comply-the-anti-comandeering-doctrine/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the anti-commandeering doctrine</a>.</p> <p>Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> (1997) serves as the cornerstone. For the majority, Justice Scalia wrote, in part:</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>Next, the bill will go to the House for further consideration, where a similar bill (<a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-house-committee-passes-bill-to-ban-state-enforcement-of-future-federal-gun-control/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB2622</a>) &#8211; but yet unamended &#8211; awaits a debate and vote on the House floor.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/texas-senate-passes-bill-protecting-joe-bidens-gun-control-plans/">Texas Senate Passes Bill Protecting Joe Biden’s Gun Control Plans</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Bills The Opposition Bob Hall CLEET Copposition Federal Gun Control law enforcement SB513 Texas Michael Boldin Tax Increases Are a Natural Extension of Big Government https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/tax-increases-are-a-natural-extension-of-big-government/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:1b3e04fc-7991-d152-2d8f-7364bd38ee69 Wed, 28 Apr 2021 11:02:45 +0000 <p>Joe Biden announced a plan for big increases in capital gains taxes last week. Republicans have united in opposition to the tax hikes as well they should. But they need to realize that they are part of the problem because they have supported much of the big spending.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/tax-increases-are-a-natural-extension-of-big-government/">Tax Increases Are a Natural Extension of Big Government</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p>Joe Biden announced a plan for big increases in capital gains taxes last week. Republicans have united in opposition to the tax hikes as well they should. But they need to realize that they are part of the problem because they have supported much of the big spending.</p> <p>Never forget &#8211; big government isn&#8217;t free.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Reminder: Big government isn&#39;t free. Yeah, that *should* be pretty obvious&#8230;. <a href="https://twitter.com/mmaharrey10th?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mmaharrey10th</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/truth?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#truth</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nationaldebt?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#nationaldebt</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/taxes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#taxes</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/constitution?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#constitution</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/libertarian?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#libertarian</a> <a href="https://t.co/F3IRwKkc7a">pic.twitter.com/F3IRwKkc7a</a></p> <p>&mdash; TenthAmendmentCenter (@TenthAmendment) <a href="https://twitter.com/TenthAmendment/status/1386885540432138251?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 27, 2021</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><strong>For Further Reading</strong></p> <p><a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/10/28/more-excuses-while-feds-run-biggest-deficit-in-seven-years/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">More Excuses While Feds Run Biggest Deficit in Seven Years</a></p> <p><a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/08/donald-trump-has-a-spending-problem/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Donald Trump Has a Spending Problem</a></p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/tax-increases-are-a-natural-extension-of-big-government/">Tax Increases Are a Natural Extension of Big Government</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Audio/Video Big Government Maharrey Minute budget deficit government spending Republicans Mike Maharrey To the Governor: Arkansas Passes Bill to Take Step Toward Treating Gold and Silver as Money https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arkansas-passes-bill-to-take-step-toward-treating-gold-and-silver-as-money/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:00744c03-0603-1817-5987-75be89848bea Tue, 27 Apr 2021 21:04:42 +0000 <p>the Arkansas House gave final approval to a bill that would exempt gold and silver bullion and coins from sales tax. Passage into law would not only relieve some of the tax burdens on investors, but it would also eliminate one barrier to using gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundational step for people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arkansas-passes-bill-to-take-step-toward-treating-gold-and-silver-as-money/">To the Governor: Arkansas Passes Bill to Take Step Toward Treating Gold and Silver as Money</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>LITTLE ROCK</strong>, Ark. (April 27, 2021) – Today, the Arkansas House gave final approval to a bill that would exempt gold and silver bullion and coins from sales tax. Passage into law would not only relieve some of the tax burdens on investors, but it would also eliminate one barrier to using gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundational step for people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.<span id="more-37194"></span></p> <p>Sen. Mark Johnson (R) introduced Senate Bill 336 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/AR/bill/SB336/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SB336</a>) on Feb. 22. The legislation would exempt coins, currency and bullion from the state sales and use tax. This would include bars, ingots, or coins made from gold, silver, platinum, or palladium that are sold based on the value of the metal.</p> <p>On April 19, the Senate Revenue and Tax Committee passed SB336 with a technical amendment. Last week, the full Senate passed the bill with a <a href="arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Votes?id=SB336&amp;rcs=2966&amp;chamber=Senate&amp;ddBienniumSession=2021%2F2021R" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 30-1</a>. Today, the House concurred with a <a href="https://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Votes?id=SB336&amp;rcs=3157&amp;chamber=House&amp;ddBienniumSession=2021%2F2021R" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote of 93-0</a>.</p> <p><strong>KNOCKING DOWN BARRIERS</strong></p> <p>Repealing sales taxes on precious metal bullion would take a step toward treating gold and silver as money instead of commodities. Taxes on precious metal bullion erect barriers to using gold and silver as money by raising transaction costs. As <a href="https://www.soundmoneydefense.org/">Sound Money Defense League</a> policy director Jp Cortez testified during a committee hearing on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/07/wyoming-legal-tender-act-treats-gold-and-silver-as-money-foundation-to-undermine-the-federal-reserve/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a similar bill in Wyoming</a> in 2018, charging taxes on <em>money itself</em> is beyond the pale.</p> <blockquote><p>“In effect, states that collect taxes on purchases of precious metals are inherently saying gold and silver are not money at all.”</p></blockquote> <p>Imagine if you asked a grocery clerk to break a $5 bill and he charged you a 35 cent tax. Silly, right? After all, you were only exchanging one form of money for another. But that’s essentially what Arkansas’ sales tax on gold and silver bullion does. By eliminating this tax on the exchange of gold and silver, Arkansas would treat specie as money instead of a commodity. This represents a small step toward reestablishing gold and silver as legal tender and breaking down the Fed’s monopoly on money.</p> <p>“We ought not to tax money – and that’s a good idea. It makes no sense to tax money,” former U.S. <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/03/ron-paul-testimony-in-support-of-arizona-sound-money-bill-hb2014/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Rep. Ron Paul said during testimony in support an Arizona bill</a> that repealed capital gains taxes on gold and silver in that state. “Paper is not money, it’s fraud,” he continued.</p> <p>The impact of enacting this legislation would go beyond mere tax policy. During <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/03/ron-paul-standing-on-the-right-side-of-history/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an event after his Senate committee testimony</a>, Paul pointed out that it’s really about the size and scope of government.</p> <blockquote><p>“If you’re for less government, you want sound money. The people who want big government, they don’t want sound money. They want to deceive you and commit fraud. They want to print the money. They want a monopoly. They want to get you conditioned, as our schools have conditioned us, to the point where deficits don’t matter.”</p></blockquote> <p>Practically speaking, eliminating taxes on the sale of gold and silver cracks open the door for people to begin using specie in regular business transactions. This marks an important small step toward currency competition.</p> <p>The effect has been most dramatic in Utah where <a href="https://upma.org/">United Precious Metals Association</a> (UMPA) was established after the passage of the Utah Specie Legal Tender Act and the elimination of all taxes on gold and silver. UPMA offers accounts denominated in U.S.-minted gold and silver dollars. The company also recently released the “Utah Goldback.” UPMA describes it as “the first local, voluntary currency to be made of a spendable, beautiful, physical gold.”</p> <p><strong>BACKGROUND</strong></p> <p>The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” Currently, all debts and taxes in South Carolina are either paid with Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) which were authorized as legal tender by Congress or with coins issued by the U.S. Treasury — very few of which have gold or silver in them.</p> <p>The Federal Reserve destroys this constitutional monetary system by creating a monopoly based on its fiat currency. Without the backing of gold or silver, the central bank can easily create money out of thin air. This not only devalues your purchasing power over time; it also allows the federal government to borrow and spend far beyond what would be possible in a sound money system. Without the Fed, the U.S. government wouldn’t be able to maintain all of its unconstitutional wars and programs. <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/06/17/the-federal-reserve-the-engine-that-powers-the-most-powerful-government-in-history/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Federal Reserve is the engine that drives the most powerful government in the history of the world</a>.</p> <p>Passage of SB336 would remove one of the tax barriers that hinder the use of gold and silver as money in Arkansas.</p> <p>Repealing taxes on gold and silver would also take the first step in the process of abolishing the Federal Reserve system by attacking it from the bottom up – pulling the rug out from under it by working to make its functions irrelevant at the state and local levels, and setting the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve monopoly by introducing competition into the monetary system.</p> <p>Constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene said when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.</p> <blockquote><p>“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”</p></blockquote> <p>Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people. Nullifying the Fed on a state-by-state level is what will get us there.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>SB336 will now move to Gov. Asa Hutchinson&#8217;s desk, where he must act within 20 days of transmittal (excluding Sunday), or the legislation becomes law without being signed.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/to-the-governor-arkansas-passes-bill-to-take-step-toward-treating-gold-and-silver-as-money/">To the Governor: Arkansas Passes Bill to Take Step Toward Treating Gold and Silver as Money</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Federal Reserve State Bills Arkansas Gold SB336 Sound Money Taxes Mike Maharrey North Carolina Bill Would Limit State Participation in Federal Asset Forfeiture Program https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/north-carolina-bill-would-limit-state-participation-in-federal-asset-forfeiture-program/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:0ee95d5d-6d59-0153-ff03-1c282bbc50bb Tue, 27 Apr 2021 20:51:26 +0000 <p>he proposed law would prohibit North Carolina law enforcement agencies from transferring seized property to a federal agency by way of adoption or other means for the purpose of the property’s forfeiture under federal law and from accepting payment of any kind or distribution of forfeiture proceeds resulting from a joint task force or other multijurisdictional collaboration with the federal government if either of two conditions applies.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/north-carolina-bill-would-limit-state-participation-in-federal-asset-forfeiture-program/">North Carolina Bill Would Limit State Participation in Federal Asset Forfeiture Program</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>RALEIGH</strong>, N.C. (April 27, 2021) &#8211; A bill introduced in the North Carolina House would limit the state&#8217;s participation in a federal program that allows local police to circumvent stringent state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the feds.<span id="more-37187"></span></p> <p>A coalition of 13 Democrats introduced House Bill 670 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/NC/bill/H670/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">H670</a>) on April 22. The proposed law would prohibit North Carolina law enforcement agencies from transferring seized property to a federal agency by way of adoption or other means for the purpose of the property’s forfeiture under federal law and from accepting payment of any kind or distribution of forfeiture proceeds resulting from a joint task force or other multijurisdictional collaboration with the federal government if either of two conditions applies.</p> <ul> <li>There is no criminal conviction</li> <li>The value of the seized property is $5,000 or less</li> </ul> <p>In other words, North Carolina law enforcement would be barred from transferring seized property to the feds without a conviction, and even with a conviction if the forfeiture amount is $5,000 or less.</p> <p>Many forfeitures take place without any criminal conviction and a surprising number don&#8217;t meet the $5,000 threshold. According to <a href="https://www.propublica.org/article/police-say-seizing-property-without-trial-helps-keep-crime-down-a-new-study-shows-theyre-wrong" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a 2020 study</a>, the median forfeiture amount averaged $1,276 across the 21 states where usable data was obtainable. In most of those states, half of the cash seizures fell below $1,000.</p> <p>In effect, H670 would partially withdraw North Carolina from the federal program known as <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/12/federal-asset-forfeiture-program-helps-local-police-steal/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">equitable sharing</a>. This is particularly important in light of a <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/07/30/states-can-thwart-new-doj-asset-forfeiture-policy/">policy directive issued in July 2017 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions</a> for the Department of Justice (DOJ) that remains in effect today.</p> <p><strong>NECESSARY</strong></p> <p>While some people believe the Supreme Court “ended asset forfeiture,” the recent opinion in <i>Timbs v. Indiana</i> ended nothing. Without further action, civil asset forfeiture remains. Additionally, as law professor <a href="https://reason.com/volokh/2019/02/20/supreme-court-rules-that-excessive-fines">Ilya Somin noted</a>, the Court left an important issue unresolved. What exactly counts as “excessive” in the civil forfeiture context?</p> <blockquote><p>“That is likely to be a hotly contested issue in the lower federal courts over the next few years. The ultimate effect of today’s decision depends in large part on how that question is resolved. If courts rule that only a few unusually extreme cases qualify as excessive, the impact of Timbs might be relatively marginal.”</p></blockquote> <p>Going forward, opponents of civil asset forfeiture could wait and see how lower federal courts will address this “over the next few years,” or they can do what a number of states have already taken steps to do, end the practice on a state level, and opt out of the federal equitable sharing program as well.</p> <p><strong>IN EFFECT</strong></p> <p>North Carolina has some of the best state-level forfeiture restrictions in the country, <a href="https://ij.org/pfp-state-pages/pfp-north-carolina/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">acco</a>r<a href="http://ij.org/pfp-state-pages/pfp-missouri/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ding to the Institute for Justice</a>. The state requires a criminal conviction before prosecutors can proceed with forfeiture, and law enforcement agencies don’t get a cut of the proceeds. But federal asset forfeiture standards are much lower. As a result, state and local police often pass cases to the feds to avoid the more stringent state laws.</p> <p>The situation in California was similar until recently. The Golden State state also has some of the strongest state-level restrictions on civil asset forfeiture in the country, but until <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/09/signed-as-law-california-reins-in-asset-forfeiture-takes-on-federal-equitable-sharing-program/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the state closed the loophole</a>, law enforcement agencies would often bypass the state restrictions by partnering with the federal government through the equitable sharing asset forfeiture program.</p> <p>Under these arrangements, state officials can simply hand over forfeiture prosecutions to the federal government and then receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds—even when state law banned or limited the practice. According to a report by the Institute for Justice, <em>Policing for Profit</em>, California ranked as the worst offender of all states in the country between 2000 and 2013. In other words, California law enforcement was passing off a lot of cases to the feds and collecting the loot. During the 2016 legislative session, the state closed the loophole.</p> <p><a href="https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit-3/pfp3content/equitable-sharing-creates-a-giant-loophole/how-states-stack-up/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">North Carolina ranked 7th</a> among the states with the highest level of federal forfeiture. Passage of H670 would close the loophole and significantly increase protections for North Carolinian property owners.</p> <p>As the Tenth Amendment Center <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2015/09/feds-meddling-in-attempt-to-undermine-state-asset-forfeiture-reform/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">previously reported</a> the federal government inserted itself into the asset forfeiture debate in California. The feds clearly want the policy to continue.</p> <p>Why?</p> <p>We can only guess. But perhaps the feds recognize paying state and local police agencies directly in cash for handling their enforcement would reveal their weakness. After all, the federal government would find it nearly impossible to prosecute its unconstitutional “War on Drugs” without state and local assistance. Asset forfeiture “equitable sharing” provides a pipeline the feds use to incentivize state and local police to serve as de facto arms of the federal government by funneling billions of dollars into their budgets.</p> <p><strong>WHAT’S NEXT</strong></p> <p>At the time of this report, H670 had not been referred to a committee. Once it receives a committee assignment, it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/north-carolina-bill-would-limit-state-participation-in-federal-asset-forfeiture-program/">North Carolina Bill Would Limit State Participation in Federal Asset Forfeiture Program</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Asset Forfeiture State Bills Equitable Sharing H670 North Carolina Policing for Profit Mike Maharrey Signed as Law: North Dakota Creates Unwieldy Process to Review and Reject Presidential Executive Orders https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-north-dakota-creates-unwieldy-process-to-review-and-reject-presidential-executive-orders/ Tenth Amendment Center Blog urn:uuid:f098e8be-b36c-3438-2862-ee1beca34d3b Tue, 27 Apr 2021 17:55:37 +0000 <p>North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill into law creating a multi-layered mechanism to review some presidential executive orders and potentially end state cooperation with enforcement of those orders determined to violate rights under the U.S. Constitution. But due to layers of bureaucracy in the law, whether the process will actually be used remains to be seen.</p> The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-north-dakota-creates-unwieldy-process-to-review-and-reject-presidential-executive-orders/">Signed as Law: North Dakota Creates Unwieldy Process to Review and Reject Presidential Executive Orders</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. <p><strong>BISMARCK</strong>, N.D. (April 27, 2021) – On Friday, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill into law creating a multi-layered mechanism to review some presidential executive orders and potentially end state cooperation with enforcement of those orders determined to violate rights under the U.S. Constitution. But due to layers of bureaucracy in the law, whether the process will actually be used remains to be seen.<span id="more-37184"></span></p> <p>A coalition of nine Republicans introduced House Bill 1164 (<a href="https://legiscan.com/ND/bill/1164/2021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HB1164</a>) on Jan. 8. The new law revises <a href="https://casetext.com/statute/north-dakota-century-code/title-54-state-government/chapter-54-03-legislative-assembly/section-54-03-32-review-of-presidential-executive-orders" target="_blank" rel="noopener">N.D. Cent. Code § 54-03-32</a> and requires the state attorney general to review any <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/08/12/whats-the-deal-with-executive-orders/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">presidential executive order</a> not affirmed by a Congressional vote on the recommendation of the <a href="https://www.legis.nd.gov/legislative-management" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Legislative Management</a>.</p> <p>Under the law, the state, its political subdivisions, and any publicly funded organization will be prohibited from implementing any executive order “if the attorney general issues an opinion that the executive order unconstitutionally restricts a person’s rights or has been found unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction&#8221; and the EO relates to one of the following:</p> <blockquote><p>a. Pandemics or other health emergencies;<br /> b. The regulation of natural resources, including coal and oil;<br /> c. The regulation of the agriculture industry;<br /> d. The use of land;<br /> e. The regulation of the financial sector as it relates to environmental, social, or governance standards; or<br /> f. The regulation of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.</p></blockquote> <p>HB1164 took a winding path to passage. Initially, <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/02/north-dakota-republicans-neuter-bill-to-review-and-reject-presidential-executive-orders/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Republicans on a House committee neutered the bill</a> so that North Dakota would enforce all executive orders unless a court tells them it is unconstitutional, which is exactly how things are today. The Senate restored the language prohibiting enforcement if the AG determines the EO is unconstitutional. The House did not concur with the amendment, sending HB1164 to a conference committee. The final language hammered out by the committee <a href="https://legiscan.com/ND/rollcall/1164/id/1056109" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passed the House 80-12</a> and <a href="https://legiscan.com/ND/rollcall/1164/id/1056111" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cleared the Senate 40-7</a>. With Gov. Burgum’s signature, the law goes into effect Aug. 1.</p> <p><strong>THE PROCESS IN PRACTICE</strong></p> <p>The enactment of HB1164 creates a process to potentially push back against overreaching executive authority. Upon the AG’s determination that an EO violates a constitutional right, the state will be required to <strong>withdraw all resources and cease any cooperation with enforcement or implementation of the action</strong>. But in practice, the law will likely have very little if any effect.</p> <p>In the first place, the law does not require an initial review of any executive order. The language says the Legislative Management “may review.” That leaves it to that body’s discretion. Even if it does initiate a review and send the EO off to the AG, the process then rests in the hands of a politically connected lawyer.</p> <p>In the second place, this cumbersome review process isn’t even necessary. The legislature already had the authority to review executive orders and prohibit their implementation for any reason whatsoever. In fact, the legislature could simply pass a bill prohibiting state enforcement of specific types of executive orders without any lengthy and unwieldy constitutional review. The state has the right to direct its personnel and resources as it sees fit. It can prohibit the enforcement of federal laws or the implementation of federal programs for any reason at all. North Dakota could withdraw state resources from the enforcement of federal acts just because it’s Tuesday and there’s snow on the ground.</p> <p><strong>LEGAL BASIS</strong></p> <p>The provisions prohibiting the state from enforcing or implementing certain federal acts rests on a well-established legal principle known as <a href="https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2018/05/23/anti-commandeering-an-overview-of-five-major-supreme-court-cases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the anti-commandeering doctrine</a>. Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program – whether constitutional or not. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. <em>Printz v. U.S.</em> serves as the cornerstone.</p> <blockquote><p>“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”</p></blockquote> <p><strong>No determination of constitutionality is necessary</strong> to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.</p> <p><strong>EFFECTIVE</strong></p> <p>Based on James Madison’s <a href="http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/08/07/the-blueprint-james-madisons-advice/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">advice for states and individuals</a> in <em>Federalist #46</em>, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” provides an extremely effective method to render federal laws, effectively unenforceable because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from the states.</p> <p>Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed this type of approach would be extremely effective. In a televised discussion on federal gun laws, he noted that a single state refusing to cooperate with enforcement would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.</p> <p>The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states can nullify in effect many federal actions. As noted by the National Governor’s Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”</p> <div class='ctx-module-container ctx_default_placement ctx-clearfix'></div><span class="ctx-article-root"><!-- --></span>The post <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2021/04/signed-as-law-north-dakota-creates-unwieldy-process-to-review-and-reject-presidential-executive-orders/">Signed as Law: North Dakota Creates Unwieldy Process to Review and Reject Presidential Executive Orders</a> first appeared on <a href="https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com">Tenth Amendment Center</a>. Federal Review State Bills anti-commandeerig Constitution Executive Orders HB1164 North Dakota Mike Maharrey