Thursday, March 25, 2010

In which Rep. Emmer gets a civics lesson

United States Constitution, Article VI, clause 2 provides:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwith-standing.

This clause, known as the Supremacy Clause is based on the principle that federal law is supreme and preempts state law when it conflicts with federal law. It's been there from the beginning, it is a good part of what holds the nation together.

We also have this thing known as the Fourteenth Amendment, which says in pertinent part:
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."

But now we learn that Rep. Tom Emmer, who is running for Governor, has decided to throw off the bonds that join us with the remainder of the United States and has proposed a constitutional amendment (HF3738) that would read:
Citizens of Minnesota are sovereign individuals, subject to Minnesota law and immune from any federal laws that exceed the federal government's enumerated constitutional powers. A federal law does not apply in Minnesota unless that law is approved by a two-thirds vote of the members of each house of the legislature and is signed by the governor. Before voting to approve a federal law, each legislator must individually affirm that the legislator has read the federal law and understands it. Citizens of Minnesota enjoy inherent, natural, God-given rights as reflected in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution and the Minnesota Constitution. Minnesota citizens have the right to seek redress for any alleged violation of these rights committed by the state of Minnesota exclusively through a jury trial in a Minnesota court and through enactment of a change in Minnesota law.

The specific question to be placed before the citizens is:

Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to affirm the sovereignty of Minnesota citizens by requiring two-thirds legislative approval before a federal law becomes effective in Minnesota, and by ensuring the right of citizens to seek redress for any alleged violation of constitutional rights?

One almost doesn't know where to begin with this one. This makes the Light Bulb Freedom Act look like really small stuff. Bob Collins had it right when he said it should just be named the "Constitutional Lawyer Full Employment Act of 2010."

But hey, Andy Aplikowski thinks this is "something that is long over due."

It looks like both of the GOP candidates for governor have jumped on this de facto secession movement. From the Minnesota Tenth Amendment Center (not affiliated with any Minnesota law schools, by the way):

We have two slightly different versions of Minnesota Sovereignty Legislation. HF 997 authored by Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Rep Marty Seifert. HF 998 authored by Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Rep Tom Emmer. Both pieces of this legislation were introduced to the Minnesota House on the same day, February 19th, 2009.

No comments: