Oklahoma legislature asserts sovereignty, overrides veto

posted at 5:35 pm on May 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Oklahoma House defied a veto from Democratic Governor Brad Henry to approve a resolution asserting its sovereignty under the Constitution. The Senate had approved the initial resolution 29-18, just shy of the two-thirds needed to sustain an override, but this new bill does not require his signature. Backers are optimistic that they will succeed in sending a message to Washington DC to start limiting themselves to truly federal tasks:

Although Gov. Brad Henry vetoed similar legislation 10 days earlier, House members Monday again approved a resolution claiming Oklahoma’s sovereignty.

Unlike House Joint Resolution 1003, House Concurrent Resolution 1028 does not need the governor’s approval.

The House passed the measure 73-22. It now goes to the Senate. …

Key said HCR 1028, which, if passed, would be sent to Democratic President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress, would not jeopardize federal funds but would tell Congress to “get back into their proper constitutional role.” The resolution states the federal government should “cease and desist” mandates that are beyond the scope of its powers.

Key said many federal laws violate the 10th Amendment, which says powers not delegated to the U.S. government “are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The Constitution lists about 20 duties required of the U.S. government, he said.

The bill does not have any practical legal effect. It serves as a notice to the Obama administration and Congress that the Oklahoma legislature has taken offense at the federal government’s aggrandizement, which to be fair has come at the hands of both parties in DC. They’re specifically objecting to the bailouts planned by the Obama administration and those that came before in the Bush administration, especially since the White House now backs bankruptcy — after throwing away tens of billions of dollars — for bailed-out automakers.

The move leaves Henry twisting in the wind. A recent poll shows Henry to have a high degree of popularity, but that may change if Henry continues to act as a big-government apologist. The same poll showed Henry on the wrong side of another big issue, requiring identification when voting, which is supported by a whopping 82.7% of Oklahomans and opposed by Henry.

Maybe he can get some help from Janet Napolitano. After all, her DHS considers people who promote federalism and adherence to state sovereignty as potential threats to national security. Can a probe into the OK legislature be far behind?


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Comments

electric-rascal on May 7, 2009 at 3:49 AM

I’d be happy if it were only $116K. It will be more like $611K when all is said and done.

angryed on May 7, 2009 at 7:26 AM

It should have some practical effect, when the state starts refusing to allow unfunded mandates from the feds. That will be the real test of each side’s cojones.

Vashta.Nerada on May 6, 2009 at 5:40 PM

I believe the one being debated for Ohio also refuses to allow unfunded mandates… and I agree with you… will be the real test for the states.

dominigan on May 7, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Unfunded mandates dry the state coffers. Just say no.

seven on May 7, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Being a life long Oklahoman I feel it my duty to post some thoughts.

No one likes Brad Henry no matter what the polls say. He was a political error, a “default Governor” because Steve Largent didn’t campaign enough. He’s been propped up by “good ‘ol boys” and is simply a pawn. Not to mention he whines when he talks, here in Oklahoma that makes you a pussy.

This state is Red (conservative) to it’s core. Even people with “D” after their name vote more conservative than the Republican’s on the liberal coasts. Obama didn’t even bother campaigning here. We like clinging to our guns and religion.

And by the way, unless your South of the Mason-Dixon line and East of the Pan Handle, you’re a damn Yankee. Now that’s the Choctaw coming out in me.

regal on May 7, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Being a life long Oklahoman I feel it my duty to post some thoughts.

No one likes Brad Henry no matter what the polls say. He was a political error, a “default Governor” because Steve Largent didn’t campaign enough. He’s been propped up by “good ‘ol boys” and is simply a pawn. Not to mention he whines when he talks, here in Oklahoma that makes you a pu**y.

This state is Red (conservative) to it’s core. Even people with “D” after their name vote more conservative than the Republican’s on the liberal coasts. Obama didn’t even bother campaigning here. We like clinging to our guns and religion.

And by the way, unless your South of the Mason-Dixon line and East of the Pan Handle, you’re a damn Yankee. Now that’s the Choctaw coming out in me.

regal on May 7, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Off Topic…

If you put catsup or mayo on your burger and not just mustard, in Texas you run the risk of being called a Yankee if not worse a Okie.

SkyWatch on May 7, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Just makes you want to sing, don’t it?

“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOklahoma…”

Go OK!!

tickleddragon on May 7, 2009 at 12:41 PM

1) Send a $1 to Washington, get back $0.22 in “benefits”. Stupid. You even outline this in your reply!

electric-rascal on May 7, 2009 at 3:49 AM

The alternative is getting back $0.00 in “benefits” — the $1 is going to Washington anyway. So Cindy is not stupid — pragmatic perhaps, but not stupid. The trick is to figure out which pennies of the $0.22 will be helpful in the long run to your state’s infrastructure, and to accept only those pennies, foregoing the rest. Any other path is damaging to the taxpayers who were required to give the $1 in the first place.

unclesmrgol on May 7, 2009 at 1:22 PM

I don’t know it might be me, but should the federal government be taking taxes and then passing them back to us with strings attached? I mean the Fed should take what they need to do the job the constitution says they should do, and the states can tax for what is needed to be done in that state.

SGinNC on May 7, 2009 at 2:31 PM