This morning I introduced House Bill 2024, to bring much needed clarity to state sovereignty versus federal actions.
At our founding as a nation, it was WE the people of the several States –the united States—who, “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promoted the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity” ordained and established the Constitution for the united States of America. WE the People gave a small bit of power to a federal government in order to accomplish specific set of tasks, and it was WE the People who reserved those powers not specifically given to the federal government for ourselves.
The framers of our cherished Constitution empowered the three branches of the federal government to hold each other in check, but over the last century, each branch has slowly moved away from that which they were sworn to do “in pursuance of the Constitution”, begging the question, in pursuance of what else could possibly be more important?
The States have shared responsibility, which the federal Supreme Court has reinforced on many occasions as “co-equal sovereign authority”. So often see the “supremacy clause thrown on the table as though it were a trump card. But when the federal government acts outside of the authority given it by the Constitution, the States have an obligation to hold Congress, the Executive and the Court accountable to live by the original LAW OF THE LAND, the Constitution that our delegates approved.
HB 2024 contains simple, specific, Constitutionally based language that requires three things in order to make executive orders, agency directives and court opinions operative, and recognized in Arizona. 1. Congress must make an enactment, 2. The Executive must sign the enactment, which makes it a statute, and 3. The statute must be in pursuance of the Constitution.
Christopher Demuth Sr., Distinguished Fellow at the Hudson Institute, in his September 15, 2015 address at Hillsdale College’s Sixth Annual Constitution Day Celebration in Washington, D.C. framed the situation we now face perfectly when he said, “Our Constitution is often treated as a reliquary, worthy of reverence but no longer of much practical use. Yet the Constitution reflects, in many deep and subtle ways, the character of the people who established it and have lived and prospered under it for centuries. This is particularly true of its structural features of federalism and separated powers, which vindicate Americans’ democratic nature, our distrust of power, and our taste for open competition.”
In the early days 52nd Legislature we took action on the Civics Bill, with the clear vision of preparing our next generation of citizens for life in a constitutional republic. That step will mean little if we don’t take the next step toward supporting our [r]epublican form of government, which is Arizona requiring the three federal branches to live by the LAW OF THE LAND, just as we are expected to.
We may see robust debate coming from those who are of a statist mindset, but we are prepared for it and look forward to empowering the Arizona Governor, the State House and Senate and the State Courts to view federal actions through the lens of right and proper authority.