Senator Warner is providing this new comment feature that allows constituents to send messages to the U.S. Navy SEAL personnel who conducted the successful raid in Pakistan this week that resulted in the death of the world’s most-wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden.
Also, K. T. McFarland interviewed former Navy SEAL Ben Smith on FoxNews (via RadioPatriot):
The following is part of an email I received from a Virginia-based concerned citizen who wrote to their State delegate concerning HR61. A press release from caucus members canvassing for their Tenth Amendment resolution is included:
Thank you for your e-mail in support of HR 61, a measure to honor state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and claims sovereignty for the Commonwealth under the Tenth Amendment over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution. This resolution was first introduced to the House of Delegates on 2/26/09 and referred to committee as is the standard procedure. Since the session adjourned on 2/28/09, there was insufficient time for the committee to take action. Delegate Peace, the patron of HR 61, will consider carrying the resolution over to the 2010 session.
I, too, am concerned by federal intervention in state matters especially with regard to stimulus funding, the kitestrings of which have lasting financial and standards measurement impact on state performance. I am a member of both the Republican Caucus and the Conservative Caucus and follow the common sense conservative principle that the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,
Below is a copy of a press release from two fellow caucus members in reference to the 10th Amendment. Thank you for your interest in this legislation and I encourage you to follow the progress of this legislation in 2010.
Commonwealth of Virginia House of Delegates RICHMOND
Delegates Peace and Fralin File State Sovereignty Resolution –The federal government is a creature of the states – not the other way around – (Walter E. Williams January 27, 1995)
Richmond, VA - From the Capitol where representatives cast the necessary vote on December 15, 1791 to ratify the United States Constitution, Virginia Delegates Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover) and William H. Fralin, Jr. (R-Roanoke) today introduced a House resolution to affirm those founding principles of Federalism guaranteed under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The resolution sets forth the principle that the Commonwealth of Virginia is sovereign and has authority to claim powers not specified or granted to the federal government.
Delegate Peace wrote in his Richmond Times-Dispatch Commentary (February 22, 2009), ” Case law expounded upon this fundamental principle… Printz v. United States held that the federal system limits the ability of the federal government to use state governments as an instrumentality of the national government. But this traditional notion of Federalism has devolved into “cooperative federalism,” where Congress creates new state programs by affixing certain conditions to the receipt of those funds. These coercive acts may become so intolerable that long-term sustainability is in real question, and the ultimate danger is the erosion of the principles of Federalism whereby Virginia becomes, effectively, a ward of the federal super state.”
As a result, over the past year, states around the country passed resolutions claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment and resolving to serve notice and demand to the federal government to cease and desist mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers. Virginia, upon passage of this legislation, joins the movement that so clearly demonstrates the imbalance and growing concern that the federal government is increasing its dominance over their state policy affairs.
Del. Fralin states that “The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state of the United States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp. The states today in some cases are treated as agents of the federal government; and many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. “
James P. “Jimmie” Massie, III Member, Virginia House of Delegates Henrico County, District 72
A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.
As a general timeline, first, federal Judge Roger Vinson declared that the ObamaCare bill was “void” because since the bill offered no severability clause, that meant that if any aspect of the bill were found to be unconstitutional (or otherwise illegal), the entire thing would not survive.
He also stated that granting an injunction at the States’ request that would keep the law from taking affect, going forward, even while in the appeals process, would be superfluous, because he had already thrown the entire law out, thereby negating the need to stop something that doesn’t exist from going forward.
Yet, the Obama Administration is saying that the law’s “implementation will continue,” while simultaneously (at least as of the date of this posting) not responding to Judge Vinson’s void order with a request for a stay of the void (presumably until the decision reached SCOTUS).
More fully fleshing out exactly what the “superfluous injunction” decision by the Judge is about, recall from my last posting (and now including further verbiage) what Judge Vinson meant by this action (ruling page 75):
The last issue to be resolved is the plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief enjoining implementation of the Act, which can be disposed of very quickly. Injunctive relief is an “extraordinary” [Weinberger v. Romero-Barcelo, 456 U.S. 305, 312, 102 S. Ct. 1798, 72 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1982)], and “drastic” remedy… It is even more so when the party to be enjoined is the federal government, for there is a long-standing presumption “that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, the declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.” See Comm. on Judiciary of U.S. House of Representatives v. Miers, 542 F.3d 909, 911 (D.C. Cir. 2008); accord Sanchez-Espinoza v. Reagan, 770 F.2d 202, 208 n.8 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (“declaratory judgment is, in a context such as this where federal officers are defendants, the practical equivalent of specific relief such as an injunction . . . since it must be presumed that federal officers will adhere to the law as declared by the court”)…There is no reason to conclude that this presumption should not apply here.
That means that under the ruling, the law is void and cannot be implemented from this point forward. The Administration’s legal remedy is to seek a stay of the ruling pending appeal. It cannot just defy a federal court ruling. If it tries, the plaintiffs should go to court for the injunction and/or seek an order of contempt against the administration. Pretending that the ruling doesn’t change anything when it unequivocally does, would be both a petulant and extra legal approach to governance. [emphases original]
All other things being equal, the above paragraph would seem to logically hold, especially with the States (the Plaintiffs in this case) being able to follow up Judge Vinson’s ruling with a request for a hearing to see if the Defendant (the United States of America) should be held in contempt for pursuing a law that has been declared void.
Of course, all other things are not equal, as the same blogger states in an update to his posting.
Remember that Judge Vinson’s jurisdiction, while federal, is restricted to the northern district of Florida, “based” out of Pensacola. The question then becomes, where does this leave the other lawsuits — much less States — when it comes to implementing the ruling?
Bloomberg.com points out that there is now disagreement over which districts could or could not enforce one district’s ruling, and that the ultimate decision could theoretically come from the appellate level, but will more than likely require a final SCOTUS decision:
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola left attorneys general questioning how they should handle the law in their states, said Shurtleff, a Republican whose state joined the Florida lawsuit. “The question is: Is the law stayed in the 26 states? That needs to be resolved.”
“We don’t think we can advise that this law is void,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a Republican who opposes the act, said yesterday in a phone interview. “It will get resolved fairly quickly with a court decision. I would hope the U.S. Supreme Court would find a way to expedite this.” …
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican opposed to the law and a participant in the Florida lawsuit, said he doesn’t believe the federal statute needs to be enforced following Vinson’s ruling.
“For Wisconsin, the federal health-care law is dead — unless and until it is revived by an appellate court,” Van Hollen said. “Wisconsin was relieved of any obligations or duties that were created under terms of the federal health-care law.”
Wisconsin, part of the U.S. Seventh Circuit, isn’t within the federal court districts where the law has been litigated.
Here is Bloomberg’s listing of the relevant pending cases:
The cases are State of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 10-00091, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida (Pensacola); Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius, 11-01057, and Liberty University v. Geithner, 10- 02347, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Richmond); Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, 10-02388, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Cincinnati).
The answer to the above questions come from either prior Court precedent where SCOTUS ruled on national law that impacted all fifty States or from SCOTUS as the cases will quite likely make their way to that lofty perch.
From a concerned citizen, several Virginia State Representatives have yesterday introduced HR61 (status page):
State sovereignty; Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Honor state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and claims sovereignty for the Commonwealth under the Tenth Amendment over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.
A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.
Lots of activity has been happening at the State level since the re-launch of The Right Side of Life.com concerning push-backs on health care, the Second Amendment, and illegal immigration (most updates via the TenthAmendmentCenter.com blog):
The state of Virginia has one also and has been signed by both the house and senate and is now on to the Governor to be signed. It is bill HB1587. This bill prohibits the Real ID as issued by the government and Virginia will not participate in it!
It has passed in the HOUSE and the SENATE already.
House vote 88-10
Senate vote 39-10Now it has to be signed or vetoed by the Governor.
He has two weeks.
A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.
A BILL to authorize the Commonwealth’s lack of participation in the compliance of any provision of the Real ID Act.
———-Patron Prior to Engrossment–Delegate Marshall, R.G.
———-Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
———-Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1.§ 1. Participation in the Real ID Act of 2005.
A. For purposes of this Act, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this Act except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
“Biometric data” means information relating to a biological characteristic of an individual that makes that individual unique from any other individual, including, but not limited to, the following:
1. Fingerprints, palm prints, and other means for measuring or recording ridge pattern or fingertip characteristics.
2. Facial feature pattern characteristics.
3. Behavior characteristics of a handwritten signature, such as shape, speed, pressure, pen angle, or sequence.
4. Voice data used for comparing live speech with a previously created speech model of an individual’s voice.
5. Iris recognition data containing color or texture patterns or codes.
6. Keystroke dynamics, measuring pressure applied to key pads.
7. Hand geometry, measuring hand characteristics, including the shape and length of fingers, in three dimensions.
8. Retinal scans, reading through the pupil to measure blood vessels lining the retina.
9. Deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid.
“Economic privacy” means the privacy of an individual that relates to a right, privilege, or reasonable expectation that certain information is required by law to be held confidential or is otherwise considered to be confidential to that individual, including, but not limited to:
1. Information included in a tax return required by law to be filed with the federal, state, or local government.
2. Information on financial transactions conducted by or on behalf of the individual.
3. Information on investment transactions conducted by or on behalf of the individual.
“Real ID Act of 2005″ means Division B of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005 (Public Law 109-13, 119 Stat. 302).
B. Neither the Governor nor the Department of Motor Vehicles nor any other agency of the Commonwealth shall participate in the compliance of any provision of the Real ID Act of 2005 [ and any other federal law, regulation, or policy ] that would compromise the economic privacy or biometric data of any resident of the Commonwealth.