And a prevaricator about it, too!
After offering bill after bill in the House to nullify federal law (health care, guns, incandescent light bulbs, all discussed here for many months), or to authorize the legislature to do that, or even more amazingly, give the governor, the Majority Leader in the Senate, or the Speaker of the House a veto power over federal law, now Emmer says he “just wanted to start some discussion.”
This was in response to a question to Emmer by Larry Jacobs at the Humphrey Institute. Perhaps someone schooled — or even merely competent — in the art of the follow up question might have pressed Emmer on the issue. Such as:
You mean like Mark Buesgens wanted to start a discussion of changing the legal BAC limit?
You mean like Tripp wanted to start a discussion of the legal age for drinking by trying to evade law enforcement by hiding in a ditch?
Okay, maybe not those questions, but they make as much sense as Emmer’s response to Jacobs.
But these would have been good ones:
You mean you were only trying to strike up conversation when you offered a bill to add this to the Minnesota Constitution:
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. [ ]
Have you ever read McCulloch against Maryland? Where the Supreme Court held in 1819:
In a unanimous decision, the Court held that Congress had the power to incorporate the bank [Second National Bank of the US] and that Maryland could not tax instruments of the national government employed in the execution of constitutional powers. Writing for the Court, Chief Justice Marshall noted that Congress possessed unenumerated powers not explicitly outlined in the Constitution. Marshall also held that while the states retained the power of taxation, "the constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof are supreme. . .they control the constitution and laws of the respective states, and cannot be controlled by them."
If you were just kidding, you sure fooled loyal claque member Mike Parry:
He was so inspired, he filed your bill in the Minnesota Senate the next week.
Did you explain to Parry that you just wanted to have a discussion about nullification?
And never mind Mike Parry; what about the NRA members you touted your Minnesota gun law exemption to; did you tell them you really weren’t serious about having such a law pass?
Or, how about when you picked up the little plaque at the Legislative Evaluation Assembly banquet this spring, told everybody about your bills, made them available, and responded affirmatively to a question about whether these bills had to do with states’ rights? (Or “stats rats” as they say south of the Mason-Dixon line.) Were you just trying to start a discussion then?
(Emmer’s remarks start about halfway through the video.)
For faithful readers here, these videos are not new, for which I apologize. But they give the lie to Emmer’s attempt to soft shoe off the stage on nullification so well that they bear watching again.
Update: You will be interested in the follow-up post, too.