Tea Party-backed GOP lawmakers in Arizona have introduced bills that would create alliances with other states in order to defy the federal government. Ironically (or maybe not so, since we’re talking about teabaggers), the federal government would have to approve the alliances.
The push to form interstate compacts, which have the power to supersede existing federal law if approved by Congress, is part of a broader effort at the Arizona Capitol to promote states’ rights. Lawmakers have introduced bills that seek to limit congressional spending and federal authority on issues from elections to environmental inspections, and Gov. Jan Brewer lists federalism as one of her top priority initiatives this term. So far this session, Republican legislators have introduced more than a dozen bills that propose to create compacts, about three times as many as lawmakers introduced in each of the past two or three years. Among them are measures to allow participating states to build a border fence, regulate endangered species without federal interference and set up their own health-care programs.
The lawmakers behind the bills cite the Tenth Amendment, which stipulates that the federal government cannot issue laws on subjects not explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. And since the Constitution never mentions environmental protection, health insurance, etc…all those federal laws are therefore illegal.