Tenth Amendment Center
July 19, 2009
On Friday, July 10th, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin signed House Joint Resolution 27 (HJR27), sponsored by State Rep. Mike Kelly. The resolution “claims sovereignty for the state 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 House passed the resolution by a vote of 37-0 (3 not voting) and the Senate passed it by a vote of 40-0.
Six other states have had both houses of their legislature pass similar resolutions – Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Louisiana – Alaska joins Tennessee as the second to have such a resolution signed by the Governor.
A GROWING MOVEMENT
Passage of this resolution appears to be part of what is now a growing state-level resistance to the federal government on various levels. Similar 10th Amendment resolutions have been introduced in 37 states around the country, and various states are considering single-issue legislation in direct contravention to federal laws.
Most recently, the Arizona Legislature passed a measure for public approval on the 2010 state ballot that would give Arizona voters the opportunity to nullify, or opt out, of any potential national health care legislation.
Since 2007, more than two dozen states have passed legislation refusing to implement the Real ID act of 2005. In response, the federal government has recently announced that they want to “repeal and replace” the law due to a rebellion by states.
Pending legislation in states around the country also includes preventing state law enforcement officials from enforcing federal laws, refusing federal gun regulations, refusing to send a state’s national guard to any duty other than what the constitution authorizes, legalizing marijuana for various purposes and more.
A FIRST STEP
[efoods]While HJR27 is strongly-word in support of the principles of limited, constitutional government that the 10th Amendment represents, it is a Joint Resolution and does not carry with it the force of law. But supporters say that this is an important first step to get their message out not only to grassroots supporters, but to the media, and legislators in other states as well.
Read the final version of the resolution below:
Relating to the Sovereign Powers of the State
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:
WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “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”; and
WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and
WHEREAS some federal actions weaken states’ rights protected by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and
WHEREAS art. IV, sec. 4, Constitution of the United States, reads, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and
WHEREAS the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S.Ct. 2408 (1992), that the United States Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and
WHEREAS all states, including Alaska, find themselves regularly facing proposals from the United States Congress that weaken states’ rights protected by the Tenth Amendment;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature hereby claims sovereignty for the state 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; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution serves as Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.
COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; all other members of the 111th United States Congress; the presiding officers of the legislatures of each of the other 49 states; and the governors of each of the other 49 states.