Lawmaker wants Georgia to ignore federal laws

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 4:45 PM
Last updated 7:38 PM
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By Walter C. Jones

ATLANTA — Georgia would ignore federal laws and presidential orders if a panel of appointees says they’re unconstitutional and the General Assembly agrees under legislation introduced Thursday.

Whether states can nullify a federal law without a court striking it down was an issue that helped lead to the Civil War, and many scholars argue the matter was settled 150 years ago. The courts are the only option for disgruntled states, according to Neil Kinkopf, a constitutional expert at Georgia State University’s law school.

“This is the most thoroughly settled question in constitutional law,” he said.

However, Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, argues nullification was supported by Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers and that the Civil War didn’t change the powers the Constitution gives to the states.

“It’s a doctrine I believe is valid,” said Spencer, who is a member of the informal Conscience Caucus of conservative legislators.

He sponsored House Bill 352 which would create a 10-member commission to review every new federal law and recommend ones legislators should vote on nullifying.

“Neither the state nor its citizens shall recognize or be obligated to live under such statute, mandate or executive order,” notes the bill.

Georgia has used the courts to try to strike down laws it objects to. For instance, it joined half of the states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the federal health care reform law. That court upheld the bulk of the law, but it agreed with the states about one part that would have withheld Medicaid funds as punishment if states refused to expand that insurance program for the poor. As a result, Gov. Nathan Deal has decided not to expand it here now that there’s no penalty.

But the federal courts could be wrong and refuse to reject an unconstitutional law passed by Congress and enforced by the executive branch, Spencer notes.

“Who checks the federal government when all three branches assault the states?” he asked.

The second-term legislator doesn’t expect his bill to pass, at least not this year. Instead, he sees it as an opportunity to educate his colleagues during a hearing he expects to get in committee.

In Mississippi, where a pair of Tea Party advocates introduced a similar bill, a legislative committee voted it down last week.

“I don’t know why we would want to bring that ridicule on Georgia,” Kinkopf said.

Comments (13) Add comment
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SFCRET85
4998
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SFCRET85 02/14/13 - 06:27 pm
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1
Geez! What "low information"
Unpublished

Geez! What "low information" voters elect goofballs like this. How embarrassing for all Georgians. Next thing you know he'll nullify women's sufferage, repudiate Voting rights and return us to the glory of Anti-Bellum slavery.

400,000 dead Southern men wasn't enough?

nocnoc
40987
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nocnoc 02/14/13 - 06:27 pm
3
3
Yes and No

I would rather see a panel mix of 5 GA State Court Judges, 5 US Constitutionally educated GA Citizens and all non-political appointees.

Each with 1 anonymous vote and all from around the state, not just cities.

Otherwise we are just swapping one dictator, for a group of dictators.

fedex227
11133
Points
fedex227 02/14/13 - 08:21 pm
7
6
Right wing republicans ...
Unpublished

the gift that keeps on giving. You're making 2016 too easy.

faithson
5129
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faithson 02/14/13 - 08:25 pm
7
4
ignorance at its best

here we go again, thought this was over 145 years ago. Not sayin there are no questions, just the manor in which these yahoo's want to deal with them... so interesting to watch retrograde in motion. backwards instead of creative forward thinking. so much today with a certain crowd.

Jake
32274
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Jake 02/14/13 - 09:29 pm
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Ridicule

"Who checks, I say, who checks the federal government when all three branches assault the states, suh?" asks J.Spencer Claghorn.

oldredneckman96
5042
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oldredneckman96 02/14/13 - 09:49 pm
1
3
States vs. Fed
Unpublished

Yep, just look at how well States trying to legalize pot are doing. They are violating Fed. law. You can show the Nation how dumb some things are by just letting them do it. Teh best deminstraton of winning is to live well inspite of others.

prov227
3113
Points
prov227 02/14/13 - 11:17 pm
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1
It was indeed settled ...

through force of arms and property destruction, not through judicial reason and rule of law.

Darby
24967
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Darby 02/14/13 - 11:27 pm
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2
“This is the most thoroughly settled question.....

in constitutional law."
.

Not really. The Civil War only established that a state could not secede from the Union.

There was nothing determined that a state or states were required to follow an unconstitutional law.

grouse
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grouse 02/15/13 - 12:41 am
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1
Idiotic.
Unpublished

Idiotic.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 02/15/13 - 06:48 am
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5
"This Constitution, and the

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

d1zmljqg
902
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d1zmljqg 02/15/13 - 08:21 am
4
2
Ignorance remains unchecked

Reading this article encouraged me to wonder what had happened to the Ten Commandment judge, Roy Moore, in Alabama. So I did a little bit of Internet research to find in a Nov. 7, 2012 article,

"Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who was removed nearly a decade ago after he refused to obey a federal court order requiring a monument to the Ten Commandments to be removed from the state judicial building, won his old gig back on Tuesday night."

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 02/15/13 - 08:33 am
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4
Gotta love it when you get a

Gotta love it when you get a thumbs down for quoting the Constitution.

Darby
24967
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Darby 02/15/13 - 10:41 am
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2
"Gotta love it when you get a thumbs down for quoting....

the Constitution"
.
What you gotta love is the fact that all you hear from progs/libs 24/7/365 is the the Constitution is a "flexible, living document" which changes constantly. That is until they think they find something in it which reinforces their particular brand of absolutely inflexible rigid governmental control over the lives of free Americans. Then, they become lovers of the Constitution.

The fact is, that for the last 200+ years states have challenged the absolute power of the federal government and have frequently succeeded.

A free spirit will not tolerate a dictatorship.

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 02/15/13 - 11:25 am
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All Thumbs

Thumbs up for Spencer and thumbs down for Kinkopf

americafirst
965
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americafirst 02/15/13 - 11:36 am
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1
They laughed at Noah too. At

They laughed at Noah too. At least until it started raining but by then it was already too late.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 02/15/13 - 01:37 pm
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2
You gotta love when liberals
Unpublished

You gotta love when liberals think a state has no right to nullify a federal law if it is one they like (obamacare) but they have no problem with a state nullifying a federal law if they don't like it (legalized marijuana).

What's even more strange is when they SCREAM about a state passing a law that REQUIRES the state to follow federal law (immigration).

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 02/15/13 - 03:00 pm
1
1
Would the person giving me
Unpublished

Would the person giving me the "thumbs down" care to have the courage to explain what was wrong with my statement? Refute it with facts???

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 02/15/13 - 03:32 pm
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0
Apparently not. Gotta love
Unpublished

Apparently not. Gotta love the trolls.

Little Lamb
45169
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Little Lamb 02/15/13 - 03:53 pm
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Flawless Cut Diamond

Your 12:37 post is a gem, Angela. Don't worry about the trolls. Just understand that those who post a thumbs down don't like what you said, but they don't know why.

It's kind of like Dylan's thin man:

You know something is happening here, but you don't know what it is; do you, Mr. Jones?

Little Lamb
45169
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Little Lamb 02/15/13 - 04:00 pm
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0
Different Slant

This proposed law will likely go nowhere, but there's no harm in floating the trial balloon.

More germane would be for county sheriffs to make it a point not to enforce the upcoming federal gun restrictions that Congress is likely to pass when Constitutionalists get weary and are found not watching. If Congress passes gun confiscation or prohibitions on gun sales; local sheriffs can make it a point of saying, “Hey, it's federal law. I’m going to let the feds handle enforcement. My men will be working hard to enforce state and local law.”

There is no requirement that local law officers enforce federal law. In fact, when it involved immigration, Obama told local sheriffs, “Back off!

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