Sunday, March 21, 2010

States to feds: Take a hike!

On issues ranging from light bulbs and medical marijuana to health care mandates and gun regulations, states in a rising tsunami are challenging the federal government's authority to micromanage their affairs. "Since 2007, more than two dozen states have passed resolutions or laws denouncing and refusing to implement the federal REAL ID Act, which imposes rigorous issuance standards for driver's licenses and state ID cards," wrote Suzanne Weiss in an analysis titled, "Sovereignty measures and other steps may indicate an upsurge in anti-federal sentiment in legislatures" at the National Conference of State Legislatures. She also cited 14 states that have asserted their right to "permit and control" the medicinal use of marijuana, the rising surge of states – five so far – that have declared that firearms made, sold and used within their borders are exempt from federal rules, and efforts on the part of states to provide for their citizens an "opt-out" provision from federal health reform mandates. "Formal protests against federal encroachment on states' authority and prerogatives under the 10th Amendment – in the form of sovereignty resolutions or memorials – were considered by legislators in 37 states (in 2009)," her report continued. "Although many of them never made it out of committee or failed on initial floor votes, roughly half were approved in at least one legislative chamber. And in seven states – Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee – the measures passed in both the House and Senate." more

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