The Edmond Sun

September 28, 2013

Don’t remain silent where state’s rights are concerned

Rep. Lewis Moore
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Legislation to educate, inform and protect Oklahoma citizens and businesses against unconstitutional federal government intrusion is an important step for the state of Oklahoma. An interim study is scheduled for Oct. 30 to look at some of the concerns and actions we can take as a sovereign state.

In conjunction with our Oklahoma U.S. Senators, Congressman James Lankford, the state Attorney General’s office, the state Insurance Commissioner, the governor’s office and the Speaker of the House along with the state Senate we can coordinate a united front where state sovereignty issues are in jeopardy.

We plan to have the above officials or their representatives at the interim study to determine a united, coordinated response to unconstitutional federal government overreach.

One of the concerns addressed will be the Affordable Care Act vs. the Oklahoma Constitution and the 2010 referendum vote of the people of Oklahoma. By almost 70 percent, the people of Oklahoma voted to protect our state from the damaging affects to our liberty and economy by the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Who has the final authority in where there is a conflict between the State and Federal government? In short, the state is supreme where the U.S. Constitution does not give the power to the federal government.”

Supremacy relates to which governing entity has ultimate authority if rules or rights are in conflict. Supremacy is often referred to by lawyers and government officials only as the federal government having unlimited authority over states and all other subdivisions. However, according to even recent opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court, supremacy is not a one-way street!

In the relatively recent Mack-Prinz v. U.S. decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declared, “The local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres; to the general authority than the general authority is subject of them, within its own sphere.”  

In this case the Supreme Court got it right, quoting verbatim Federalist Papers No. 39. The High Court went on to say this separation of the two spheres is one of the Constitution’s structural protections of liberty. Further elaborating, by quoting Federalist Papers No. 51 that “just as the separation and independence of the coordinate branches of the federal government serve to prevent the accumulation of excess power in any one branch, a healthy balance of power between the states and the federal government will reduce the risk of Tyranny and abuse from either front. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people the different governments will control each other at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.”

The sad thing is that this had to even go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Our U.S. senators and representatives as well as the executive branch should have recognized that this is not constitutional and stopped it dead in its tracks. The U.S. Senate’s primary purpose is to protect states’ rights. It didn’t happen in this case. Instead we have a constitutional crisis that each state will now have to contend with. It is forcing our state elected officials to exercise our states’ supremacy, concerning this issue, which probably isn’t a bad thing.

We are either going to come out of this a stronger state, having protected individual liberty or we will know that we are no longer free as citizens but rather subjects, required to submit to a central government that can control much of what we do in our daily lives. Nothing will be left unmonitored. Your movement by car and plane, your phone calls, your Internet, your children’s education, your choice of information sources, your job, college loans, mortgages, health care, retirement, taxes, tax preparation, energy use, food choices and more will be affected by a federal government that exceeds their rightful boundaries. If we are ever going to reset our constitutional boundaries the time is now.

There is hope. We have concerned elected officials who are highly motivated to make something happen in the defense of our state. There is a remedy and it has always been right there in front of us. Knowledge is power and silence is consent.

 

REP. LEWIS MOORE, R-Edmond, is committee chairman of the States’ Rights (Federalism) Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.