Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Oklahoma Throws Down the Gauntlet -- Sorta

The Oklahoma Legislature wants to see the federal government withdraw to the confines of its proper constitutional authority, and are undaunted by the governor's refusal to endorse their resolution.

House Joint Resolution 1003 demanded that the federal government abide by the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and stop exercising authority beyond the scope of what is enumerated in the Constitution. After Governor Brad Henry vetoed it, on the grounds that it would jeopardize federal dollars coming into Oklahoma, House supporters came back with a Concurrent Resolution, which does not need to be approved by the Governor. Said Rep. Charles Key (R-Oklahoma City): "We’re going to get it done one way or the other. I think our governor is out of step.”

But the governor does put his finger on an important point. Key says that the resolution will not jeopardize federal tax dollars, but let's get serious about something. If individual states really want the feds to roll back, then they are going to have to be willing to jeopardize the inflow of federal dollars. If they are not willing to forgo their share of federal loot, then they can't be serious about wanting the feds to abide by the Constitution. What else is it that has bloated the federal government beyond all imagination, but the willingness of states and other persons and entities to trade their freedom in exchange for filthy lucre? Don't the feds get to dictate the terms on which they will distribute largesse? This resolution demands that the feds stop imposing terms in exhange for federal funding, but does anybody seriously think they can repeal the age-old Golden Rule: whoever has the gold makes the rules? Besides all of which, to get the largesse to distribute, don't the feds, who are incapable of creating their own wealth, have to take it away from somebody?

Here is the text of House Concurrent Resolution 1028 (you can find the official text here):

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:
“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, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, many federal laws are directly in violation of 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, Article IV, Section 4 says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”, and the Ninth Amendment states that ”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 Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS, a number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from Congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States.


THAT the State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty 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.

THAT this serve as Notice and Demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.

THAT all compulsory federal legislation which directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed.

THAT a copy of this resolution be distributed to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation.

All fine, well, and good; but until the states are willing to stop clamoring for their share of federal plunder, it's just air.


  1. Isn't that just how the Fed bypasses the 10th ammendment, by financial blackmail? You do this and I give you money (*which was taken from you or another state to begin with). A good portion of the Administrative branch of the Federal Government finds no basis in the powers enumerated by the Constitution, unless you are puffing on pnumbra.

  2. you hit the nail right on the head. And state governments are only going to find themselves begging the feds and Obama for more aid due to the housing crisis and resulting crash in property tax revenues. Our country is only hoping and wishing away our problems -- they're still there and getting larger.