State Sovereignty Bill Would Strengthen ‘Checks And Balances’ System

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There has been plenty of misinformation about a resolution I’ve sponsored that is moving through the Legislature, and I am trying to clear it up. Senate Concurrent Resolution 1016 would constitutionally allow the people of Arizona to reject a federal action if they determine it violates the United States Constitution. They could do this by passing an initiative or referendum, passing a bill or by using legal action. In addition, the resolution further prohibits the state from using personnel or resources to further enforce a federal action that the people have deemed unconstitutional. SCR 1016 passed out of the Senate and is currently in the House of Representatives. If it clears there, it would likely be sent to you, the voter, in 2014.

Opponents of SCR 1016 claim that this type of legislation causes outsiders to mock the state of Arizona, making it a target for unnecessary and unkind media attention. So now we should consider the late night comedians when determining the best legislation for our state? Well, the people of Arizona aren’t laughing when they suffer the consequences of federal government overreach. If the cost of fighting back is suffering through some punch lines of comedians, I’ll take it.

I believe that SCR 1016 reflects and enhances the system of government in the United States, specifically with regard to the concept of “checks and balances.” We must fight back for the things that we as a state value. SCR 1016 would allow Arizona to reject federal actions that overstep their boundaries and interfere with the constitutional sovereignty of the state.

In the past, other elected officials have taken necessary steps to reject unconstitutional federal actions. The Brady Act, passed in 1993 as an amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968, imposed a waiting period of up to five days for the purchase of a handgun, and subjected purchasers to a background check during that period. Sheriff Richard Mack of Graham County challenged the Brady Act’s provisions in the local federal district court, explaining that the act imposed duties upon him as a county sheriff. He invoked the 10th Amendment and the district court ruled that the act did in fact violate the 10th Amendment by imposing a mandatory duty on sheriffs to conduct background checks.

SCR 1016 expands upon this type of action and it seeks to follow the example of Sheriff Mack, expanding upon his efforts to challenge the federal government. In November of next year, you may be able to join in this challenge by supporting our legislation.

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