Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The House passed HCR 2004 on a 38-20 vote, sending the resolution to the Secretary of State. The resolution refers to the ballot a constitutional amendment declaring state sovereignty over lands, air, water, minerals, wildlife and the state's other natural resources based on the argument of "equal footing." It will appear on the ballot as Proposition 120.
So this November Arizonans will suffer the national embarrassment of having to vote on whether to secede from the United States. Of course, it is unconstitutional and entirely unenforceable.
Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a companion statutory measure, SB 1332. See, Ariz. gov. vetoes bill that demanded federal lands.
Now comes along another Neoconfederate ballot proposal, the so-called "Checks and Balances in Government" citizens initiative, backed by a nutty Scottsdale millionaire businessman, Jack Biltis.
This initiative is nothing less than a revival of John C. Calhoun's Theory of Nullification. You know, the concept that led to the secession of the Confederate states, Civil War and the death of over 620,000+ American citizens, and was rejected in the post-war 14th Amendment.
The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports Businessman spends $1.2 million to put nullification measure on ballot:
Jack Biltis, the president of TAG Employer Services, submitted more than 320,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office on Thursday afternoon for the Checks and Balances in Government initiative. The proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution states that Arizona can reject a federal action, either through a public vote or through the legislative process.
The initiative needs 259,213 signatures to get on the ballot.
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But even if the Checks and Balances in Government initiative passes in November, Biltis’ efforts and hard-earned cash will likely be wasted, said Paul Bender, a constitutional law professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Bender said the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which states that federal law is the supreme law of the land and takes precedent over state laws, prohibits states from nullifying federal actions. The initiative would absolutely be found unconstitutional in court, Bender said, though the state would likely have to attempt to reject a federal law before it could be challenged.
“The Supremacy Clause is pretty explicit. If it’s a valid federal law – that is, if it complies with the federal Constitution – then it applies in every state, and states … have no power to exempt themselves,” Bender said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the state Constitution, statute, a state initiative –federal law is supreme.”
The Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, and the Privileges and immunities Clause, Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, preclude the long-discredited Nullification theory. The Arizona Constitution, Article 2, Section 3, also recognizes "The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land."
Biltis, a native Canadian who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, demonstrating his ignorance of the constitution and law, and lack of knowledge of American history, disagrees.
There is only one way to deal with nuts like Biltis. They are to be held up to public ridicule and shame.
There is no place in the 21st Century for long-discredited 19th Century political theories that Americans paid for in a bloody Civil War. It is outrageous that Arizonans will suffer the national embarrassment of having to vote on whether to secede from the United States. Of course, it is unconstitutional and entirely unenforceable. If it's on the ballot, just vote "no."