Monday, July 20, 2009

Preparing to Advocate an Aggressive States' Rights Agenda

Last November, I wrote an update entitled, "Preparing for an Expansion of Government." In that update, I referenced how that over time, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, both parties have used the expansion of federal government as a tool to accomplish their various agendas and in doing so violated the important concept of states' rights. I also wrote about the possible upcoming expansion in the size and scope of the federal government due to the recent consolidation of liberal control over both the presidency and Congress.

Since that time, I have been contacted by a number of worried constituents who are desperate to know what can be done. They have contacted their U.S. Senators and Congressman but are terrified because with vote after vote, the U.S. Congress seems to be moving towards implementing a frightening new socialist agenda. They want their Oklahoma lawmakers to do whatever we can to stop this agenda.

I believe these types of calls and e-mails are also being placed and sent to other Oklahoma Representatives and I predict that next year there will be a significant number of 10th amendment/states' rights legislative initiatives filed by Oklahoma legislators.

Several Representatives are considering filing a bill tailored after a measure that was signed into law in Montana earlier this year that seeks to keep the federal government from regulating the production and sale of firearms. Traditionally, the federal government has regulated this industry through the "Interstate Commerce Clause" in the constitution. However, the Montana law seeks to provide a means by which the producers and users of the firearms can clearly document that the product in question was made in Montana and is thus not subject to federal regulation.

This type of creative concept can likely be expanded into other areas of policy ranging from health care to energy. For instance, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming have all considered proposals to take preemptive action against the pending federal mandates tied to the ongoing socialization of health care efforts by Congress. The Arizona Legislature has passed a resolution that will allow the people of Arizona to vote on amending the state constitution to codify that no resident would be required to participate in any public health care option.

As more and more of the important votes are being lost at the federal level, the fight will move to the state level and the question before our legislative leadership and the Governor will be about whether or not they will allow important states' rights legislation to go forward.

It is vital that we move forward quickly with this legislation before the federal judiciary is stocked with liberal appointees who will rule against states' rights and try to strike down these laws.

I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to advance a strong platform of states' rights legislation in the upcoming session.

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