Introduced in the Missouri Legislature this week are House Concurrent Resolution 25 (HCR25) and Senate Concurrent Resolution 34 (SCR34), both of which claim “sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution for all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government under the Constitution.”
HCR25 was introduced by Rep. Jim Guest and has 24 co-sponsors. SCR34 was introduced by Senator Jim Lembke.
These non-binding resolutions, often called “state sovereignty resolutions” do not carry the force of law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement of the legislature of the state. They play an important role, however.
For example, if you owned an apartment building and had a tenant not paying rent, you wouldn’t show up with an empty truck to kick them out without first serving notice. That’s how we view these Resolutions – as serving “notice and demand” to the Federal Government to “cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.” Follow-up, of course, is a must.
Both resolutions include this “notice and demand” language. From SCR34:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall serve as a notice and demand to the federal government to cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers
SCR34 also makes note of the fact that Constitutional violations from DC didn’t start in January of 2009:
WHEREAS, powers, too numerous to list for the purposes of this resolution, have been exercised, past and present, by federal administrations, under the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans, which infringe on the sovereignty of the people of this state, and may further violate the Constitution of the United States
These resolutions are part of a growing grassroots movement in state legislatures across the country as a protest to the intrusion of the federal government into state government affairs, and is an essential first step towards efforts to push back, or nullify, unconstitutional federal laws and regulations.
In 2009, 38 states introduced similar resolutions, and 7 states passed them, garnering some significant national media attention for these efforts.
Already in 2010, at least ten states, most recently Wyoming and Rhode Island, have introduced similar 10th Amendment resolutions. The “next step” – proposals to nullify various federal laws – has been gaining traction in states around the country, too.
CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s 10th amendment resolution tracking page
CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s model 10th Amendment Resolution, which you can send to your representatives when urging them to introduce one in your state.
Michael Boldin is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Andrew Nappi is the State Coordinator for the Florida Tenth Amendment Center. He lives in the Tampa Bay Area with wife Tammy and dogs Emma and Bud Lite.
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