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?