Oklahoma House Passes Sovereignty Bill

Spurred by President Obama’s stimulus package, today the Oklahoma House passed a bill declaring the state sovereign from any rule of the federal government not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, the first shot in a growing national movement intended to give states the power to defy federal laws on a broad range of issues from abortion to gun control to hate crimes.

Via the Christianist site WorldNetDaily:

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 1003 Feb. 18 by a wide margin, 83 to 13, resolving, “That the State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States. “The language of HJR 1003 further serves notice to the federal government “to cease and desist, effectively immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.” The sponsor of the resolution, state Rep. Charles Key, told WND the measure was a ‘big step toward addressing the biggest problem we have in this country – the federal government violating the supreme law of the land.” “The Constitution either means what it says, or it doesn’t mean anything at all,” Key said. “The federal government must honor and obey the Constitution, just like the states and this citizens of this country are obligated to do, or our system of government begins to fall apart.”

Eight other states have sovereignty bills pending, another twelve have bills on the way. Some legal sources call the bills merely symbolic, saying that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution renders such efforts moot. Others are calling the sovereignty movement the thin wedge of a coming secessionist effort largely driven by disagreements over social policy issues such as gay rights, immigration, and freedom of religion.