Dissatisfaction is spreading rapidly throughout a very divided nation in the wake of the Nov. 6 elections, as citizens in nearly every state have begun petitioning the federal government to leave the union.
The secession effort is being led by the independence-minded citizens of Texas, with more than 111,000 residents having signed an online petition requesting secession as of this writing.
Lawmakers in Texas are set to respond to a growing wave of discontent with federal authority, as they look set to consider a pair of bills that will set the state on a collision course with Washington.
Let the nullification begin
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, “a national think tank that works to preserve and protect the principles of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism,” the state legislature will consider a pair of bills aimed at protecting some basic civil liberties for citizens.
Earlier this week, Rep. David Simpson, R-Longwood, pre-filed a measure called “The Texas Travel Freedom Act,” or H.B. 80, which would make it a criminal act to intentionally touch “the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing,” without probable cause, in the process of allowing someone access to public transportation.
In other words, the bill is aimed at ending pointless, embarrassing and invasive pat downs of travelers by the federal Transportation Security Administration, among others.
The measure also forbids removing a child under the age of 18 from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian.
“If you walk up to somebody and grab their crotch out on the street, it will land you in jail. Blue uniforms and federal badges don’t grant some goon the power to sexually assault you, or at least they shouldn’t. A person doesn’t forfeit her or his personal dignity or Fourth Amendment protections with the purchase of an airline ticket,” said Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey.
In addition, state lawmakers will consider a separate measure that would block any attempt to indefinitely detain people in Texas under sections of the National Defense Authorization Act. That measure, known as H.B. 149, has been pre-filed by Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio. It states:
It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. No. 112-81). Any act to enforce or attempt to enforce those laws is in violation of this subchapter.
‘Our last hope is to stand up and nullify’
The latter bill also provides for criminal penalties against any outside authority attempting to detain persons within the boundaries of Texas without due process under the NDAA. If passed, the bill would effectively nullify indefinite federal detention in the state of Texas, the center said, noting that the bills appear to be aimed at the Obama administration in particular.
“With four more years of the man who not only signed ‘federal kidnapping’ into law, but has vigorously defended it in court, there is absolutely zero chance for repeal in Washington D.C. Our last hope is to stand up and nullify,” said the center’s executive director, Michael Boldin. “While Representative Larson will likely be derided by the establishment, if you live in Texas, he deserves your praise. And other state legislators need to follow suit.”
“When enough states stand up and say, ‘No!’ to unconstitutional federal acts, there’s not much that Obama and his gang can do about it. The Constitution and your liberty will win,” Boldin continued.
The center said both pieces of legislation appear to be modeled after examples set by Thomas Jefferson, when he drafted the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, arguing that nullification is “the rightful remedy” of federal government usurpation:
The several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes – delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.
Other states are engaging in nullification, of sorts, regarding Obamacare. Many are opting out of creating state health insurance exchanges, as called for by the law, while others have held referendums to simply opt out of participating in the law altogether.
“Because of how the policy is structured, the road to ObamaCare leads straight through the governors’ desks. Based on the Supreme Court’s decision, the federal government has to implement the President’s program, but it cannot force states to run it,” said Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins.