February 22, 2009

States prepare to combat stimulus strings
From the Wasington Post:
Worried the federal government is increasing its dominance over their affairs, several states are pursuing legislative action to assert their sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution in hopes of warding off demands from Washington on how to spend money or enact policy. The growing concerns even have a handful of governors questioning whether to accept federal stimulus money that comes with strings attached...

Oklahoma state Sen. Randy Brogdon introduced a resolution that he said would enable his state to "reclaim its 10th Amendment right to reject any and all acts of Congress that go beyond its enumerated powers in violation of the 10th Amendment." Other states pursuing sovereignty resolutions are Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and Washington. Similar measures are likely to be introduced in more than a dozen other states, analysts said.

The Memorial from the State of Washington (PDF here ) lays out how the federal government has in the past intruded on states rights and violated the 10th Amendment through unfunded mandates and by co-opting state regulatory responsibilities. Just so Obama can grasp the historical significance of the 10th Amendment, this legislation contains 4 clauses that explain the intent of the founders. This is appropriate I guess considering Obama's propensity to invoke the words of everyone from Abe Lincoln to George Kennan in his speeches. What is curious is the timing of these actions. Has the reality of Obama suddenly put fear into the hearts and minds of these legislators?

It is going to be hard to undo 60 years of federal domination now that the precedent has been set. It will be interesting to see if the democrats try to force the stimulus on the states that have opted not to take the money. We may be in for the biggest fight over state rights since the Civil War.

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