After having their faces rubbed in the dirt for decades, some state governments are now deciding to start pushing back. Fourteen state legislatures have now either passed or have introduced bills to publicly declare their state's sovereignty as set out in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.
Analysts expect anywhere from another ten to twenty states to introduce similar measures by the end of this year.
Can individual American states declare their sovereignty and tell the federal government to back off?
You bet they can. In fact, the Constitution was designed to give the individual states enormous power.
The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states the following:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Now, Oklahoma's House of Representatives has become the first state legislative body to actually pass a state sovereignty resolution this year.
House Joint Resolution 1003 was passed on Feb. 18 by a vote of 83 to 13. The text of the resolution reads as follows:
"That the State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."
In other words: "Federal government - step off!"
But Oklahoma is far from being alone. The state sovereignty movement is literally sweeping across the United States.
Let's take a look at what some of the resolutions say in the various states where they have been introduced.....
The preface to the resolution in Montana expresses concerns about attacks on the 2nd Amendment:
“An Act Exempting From Federal Regulation Under The Commerce Clause Of The Constitution Of The United States A Firearm, A Firearm Accessory, Or Ammunition Manufactured And Retained In Montana.”
Missouri's version takes aim at the Federal Freedom of Choice Act:
"Whereas, the Federal Freedom of Choice Act would nullify any federal or state law enacted, adopted or implemented before, on, or after the date of enactment and would effectively prevent the State of Missouri from enacting similar protective measures in the future...the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, hereby declare our sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all power and hereby declare our sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."
The Arizona version of the resolution is very broad:
"That this Resolution serves as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers. That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."
The resolution that has been introduced in New Hampshire (Concurrent Resolution 6) may be the most forceful of all:
"...any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive order of the President...which assumes a power not delegated to the government of the United States of America by the Constitution...shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the [Federal] government."
So is this just the latest political fad?
Will the resistance of the states amount to anything more than symbolic gestures?
Is this the beginning of a Constitutional crisis?
Could some states actually consider secession in the future?
Only time will tell, but it will be interesting to watch.....