Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oklahoma--OK!

At the time of the firing on Ft. Sumter, what is now the State of Oklahoma was still largely Indian territory. Events triggered by the Obama administration and liberal policies have sown the seeds of rebellion. If there were to be another Civil War, Oklahoma just might be the state that fires the first shot.

Oklahoma has been passing legislation to reverse the tide of liberalism and political correctness at a rather stunning pace. Last year it passed a law forbidding its courts to use sharia or other foreign law. In January, a federal judge of the Tenth Circuit in Denver overturned the law which had been passed by a 70% majority in a referendum. The possibility of an appeal to a three-judge 10th Circuit panel still remains open. Its abortion law requiring that the mother first view an ultrasound and listen to a description of the fetus before proceeding with an abortion was also struck down.

Oklahoma’s citizens have plenty of heart, and in keeping with William F. Buckley’s admonition, they are conservatives attempting to stand athwart history yelling “stop!” Their success in courts ruling on constitutionality has not matched their zeal. Which brings me to the latest attempt to turn back the tide of federal interference with state prerogatives. They will need all the help they can get from St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.

Other states have sued the federal government over Obamacare, and just lost in an appalling and surprising ruling from the Supreme Court. Some of those states and others are trying to figure out how to dismantle Obamacare piecemeal with requests for waivers and exemptions as well as using the state’s own financial resources to detour Obamacare. But Oklahoma may be going the whole way. Well, almost the whole way.

Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze (R) will shortly be introducing a bill in the legislature purporting to nullify Obamacare. This is not the first time Ritze has introduced this bill, but it seems to have grown some teeth since the Supreme Court decision. The bill essentially says that regardless of what other reasons the Supreme Court may have had for upholding Obamacare, the socialized medicine bill is still a violation of Oklahoma’s Tenth Amendment sovereignty. Ritze contends that the state has its own separate right to nullify a federal law the state considers unconstitutional.

And here’s the beauty part. The bill also provides for criminal action, including fines and jail, for any federal agent who attempts to enter Oklahoma to enforce the Health Care Act. Ritze says that this is not one of those namby-pamby non-binding resolutions setting out the “sense of the state.” It’s a by-gosh criminal statute and he defies the federal government to do anything about it.

He mocked prior resolutions by saying: “I’m not letting chicken politicians get out of this by saying ‘Well, I voted for some non-binding resolution saying that Obamacare was unconstitutional. Doesn’t that count for something?’ Well, no, not really. Resolutions don’t do anything. In fact they can make things worse because politicians think that at least it’s doing something, and after they voted for the resolution, they think ‘well, at least we tried.’” But what resolutions really say is “Hey , Feds, we don’t really agree with what you’re doing, but I guess we’ll accept it if we have to. Thanks, bye.”

Here’s the wording of the proposed statute: “Any official, agent, or employee of the United States government or any employee of a corporation providing services to the United State government that enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this act shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not exceeding $5,000.00 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding fiveyears, or both.”

If that’s not the first cannonball lobbed directly at the feds, it’s at least a shot across the bow of the good ship Federal Government. Still, as much as I admire their spirit, the Oklahoma legislators should consider a couple of things. South Carolina didn’t fare too well after Sumter. More recently, Texas attempted to pass a nullification bill called HB1937. It got a lot of buzz and some enthusiastic support from Texans who hate the Transportation Safety Agency. The enthusiasm died quickly after the legislature received a simple letter from the Department of Justice threatening to declare Texas a “no-fly zone” if the bill passed.

Nevertheless, I can’t help admiring Sooner spirit. They do not go gentle into that good night. The bill may pass and get the signature of the governor. I give it about five minutes before a court, any court, declares the nullification unconstitutional and issues an injunction. And I don’t think it will fare any better as it moves up the chain of appeals. But ya gotta love any state that threatens to jail federal agents for enforcing socialized medicine. Sometimes lost causes are the best causes.

For those of you who were having salacious thoughts, the photo I used to intro the article was chosen solely to demonstrate the great spirit shown by Oklahomans on every occasion. What did you expect me to post—a picture of Gordon MacRae?

55 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I never thought I would live to see another Civil War here in the United States. This time, I think the South has far more people willing to defy the Northern War of Aggression.

I think this depends more on who gets into the White House whether Oklahoma actively goes in to secession. Also, I don't think this is a lost cause.

Patriot said...

LawHawk.......I thought the picture showed the female Republican representatives in Oklahoma expressing their support for the bill?!?!!

Some might nice lookin Cowgirls in Sooner country son......

Patriot said...

....and I agree with Joel, this time, the south has the industry and won't stand for being run over by the Feds. The outcome will be quite different. Remember, Texas, AZ and all the western states weren't part of the mix 150 years ago!

TJ said...

Way to go Oklahoma! Now if only some other states would follow suit.

tryanmax said...

I don't think the question necessarily centers on how well such a bill would fare in the federal courts. The question is how many other States can pass similar bills. It seems like after every presidential election, especially those where the Democrat candidate loses, a relabeled electoral map circulates the Web with the blue states named "The United States" and the red states named "Jesusland." It's a typical bit of leftist snark, but it grants a fair idea of how the states might divide if Civil War ever reared it's ugly head. (I say Jesusland gets all the best parts anyway.)

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, if that division were ever to happen--frankly, I could live with it.

As for Oklahoma, I would like to see them at least try to enforce this. It might not get anywhere, but I think an actual throwdown would be the best thing at this point.

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

If I recall the main enforcement arm of the Obamacare bill is the IRS.

So are State Sheriff's in Oklahoma going to march down to the federal building and shut the IRS office down.

Yeah that would start Civil War 2.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
Have we ever, since the Civil War, seen such division in our country.
The efforts of bo and his minions to Socialize this country have created such division I do not remember ever seeing.
We MUST get rid of this race baiting socialistic sphincter for the over all health of America and Americans.
GO Oklahoma!!!!

JG said...

I remember getting lots of...guff...when Oklahoma was one of the first to pass Voter ID laws a couple of years ago, passed the Sharia law measure (by a HUGE majority vote of the public). We've got our problems, too, there's no doubt. And like you say, in the end, the courts very likely will (again) shoot this down even if it passes. But what's better, doing nothing at all? Thanks for this. I only get snippets from back home and this was a great update for this displaced Okie. Boomer Sooner! ;)

rlaWTX said...

awwww - you're making a Texan think kind thoughts about Oklahoma! I'll get a brain sprain!!!

You know what happens when you send all the Aggies [pick a "dumb" TX group] to Oklahoma? you raise the IQ in both states! har-har-har

That said, go OK!

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: Save your Confederate money boys, the South will rise again! LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Patriot: It's the warm glow of freedom.

AndrewPrice said...

Frankly, this is idiotic. It's legally ignorant and has no chance of being allowed. This is sucker bait for the fringe. It's legislative masturbation.

T-Rav said...

Hey now, I always thought Oklahoma was a great state! My aunt and uncle used to live there for a while; and anyway, a state that had every county vote for McCain in '08 can't be too bad.

rla, I think you Texans and the Okies need to get to work on a mutual assistance pact or something in case the feds come a-knocking.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patriot: I hadn't really looked at it that way. Interesting. I never entirely bought the theory that the industrial north versus the agricultural south was the cause of the Civil War (too Marxist for my tastes). But it certainly determined the outcome of the war. The slave labor is now in the North (the unions and government employees) and the free people with burgeoning industries are now in the South. Food for thought, if not grounds for civil war.

Texas was in the mix during the Civil War. It seceded, and when Sam Houston refused to take a loyalty oath to the Confederacy, they kicked him out of office.

LawHawkRFD said...

TJ: The more these states defy leviathan the more the differences between the statists and a free people become apparent. Not a bad thing at election time, regardless of what happens with any given statute in the interim.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: The Cloward-Piven "overload the government" plan so popular with leftists can be turned against them. If a whole bunch of states start passing these laws, they could overload the DOJ and keep them too busy to protect Black Panther thugs and people who want to vote even when they're not eligible.

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, first - The Sooners?? Really? You had to go there...Okay now that's out of the way, I can concentrate on the actual article...

It's hard to believe that the "hat of Texas" did this. (Yeah, JG, I went there! Boomer, Sooner, indeed!)They are a tough state. Let the courts decide what the Feds can force on the state. It may go down in flames, but sometimes it is better to push back hard to make a point even if you know you'll lose.

And Andrew - Frankly, I think MOST of what our Congress DOES is legislative masturbation...

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: A little rebellion is good for the soul and the body politic.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: Ditto!

LawHawkRFD said...

JG: Glad I could make you feel good about your home state.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: You guys and your regional differences! LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Yes, but it feels so good.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: But first we have to get them speaking to each other.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: It will go down in flames in the courts. But I think that's part of the plan. Defiance, even if it doesn't have a snowball's chance.

tryanmax said...

Bev, they call themselves "Sooners" because it sounds better than "cheaters."

tryanmax said...

I shoulda thrown a *wink* at JG. No disrespect, intended!

K said...

Forget the Civil war stuff there's smarter ways to fight. If they wanted to really really annoy Washington, they'd

1. Purge their universities of the far left and turn them into the state supported versions of Hillsdale college. Pour in enough money to make them world class and attractive to conservatives and pro-liberty types the world over.

2. Start up a state subsidized cable channel and start broadcasting 24/7 anti-government shows - call it "Radio Free America".

3. Start public education programs, the same way California does about smoking etc etc etc about the dangers of big government.

4. Effectively subsidize the Tea Party the same way the Democrats do ACORN and the unions.

THAT would get the attention of Washington, would be cheaper and far more successful than obviously futile gestures.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: What's a little cheating when you can get all that land?

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I'm sure JG knows it was tongue-in-cheek. It was, wasn't it?

tryanmax said...

I think that Huskers and Sooners have put their differences aside for the time being, so yes. Of course, if we ever end up in the same conference again...

AndrewPrice said...

K, Nicely done. But why do something effective when we can raise funds by suckering people with futile gestures? It's so much easier. And best of all, it will never solve the problem so you can keep fighting about it year after year.

This is the problem with so many conservative politicians. I don't know if they're just retards or if they truly are this cynical, but laws like this Obamacare thing are useless -- 0.0% chance of success. Yet they keep pushing idiocy like this rather than real solutions because it gets the fringe all excited and they fall in love with these ideas rather than spending their time coming up with a useful plan.

I am often temped to create a leftist party and come up with stupid ideas like this in the hopes of keeping them from working on anything more useful.

Patriot said...

K....a little leftist jujitsu huh?! Turn their own strategery back against them. I like it!!

Especially the university approach. Recruit high profile "conservative thinking" professors and announce to the world the creation of a top notch program. Look at George Mason University's Economics program. Remember who was the Chairman there for a while.....yep, Dr. Walter Williams...... Right in the belly of the Beast too! They are putting out some highly creative economic solutions and programs.....Mercator Institute as an example ( Mercatus.org )Veronique de Rugy is one of the clearest thinkers around and someone who can explain complex economic issues in simple, layman's terms.

Unfortunately, many at Mason still hew to the old way of thinking... African and African American Studies; Collaborative Leadership in Community Studies; Global and Environmental Change...you get the picture.

It would be nice to have more Hillsdale type colleges that could be recognized as "World-Class"

LawHawkRFD said...

Tryanmax: Ah, peace on the prairie.

LawHawkRFD said...

K: Excellent suggestions, all. I was having some fun reviewing the actions in Oklahoma, but they really do need to get down to serious business that at least has a chance of surviving a court test.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Yield to temptation. If we can distract them with useless gestures by posing as leftist activists, we can get on with doing the people's business while they're not looking. Recruit me--I know all the tricks.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patriot: I don't know how the state university and college system works in Oklahoma, but here in California, the Board of Regents of the University of California and the Trustees of the California State Universities and Colleges have tremendous power over curriculum and staffing. Sadly, we also have an electorate which leans almost as far left as the schools so we get continuing leftist indoctrination in the schools. In Oklahoma, they have a Republican majority which it seems to me ought to be exercising its power over the schools. That would be a far more useful effort than passing legislation that doesn't have a chance of surviving.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patriot: Even in California, things can get done if conservatives have the will to do so. Ward Connerly was a Regent of the University of California who decided that affirmative action didn't belong in the schools. He pushed, and pushed, and pushed, and ultimately produced the California Civil Rights Initiative which banned racial quotas from hiring at the universities and colleges. It has been a model for legislation in many other states, and has survived all the court challenges. If he could do that in California, imagine what Republicans could do in Oklahoma if they set their minds to it.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I partially address that issue in my comments to Patriot. It can be done, if Republicans will just quit getting side-tracked and put their efforts into legislation that can actually survive. But simply abandoning the field to the liberals has been the far more common practice.

Individualist said...

Andrew

You may be right about this being a futile action but there is a strategy that I think can create some real political effect although it is "disruptive".

We pass these laws then we hit the IRS office during lunch and make arrests. Let them out on bail but force the individuals and the federal government to go through the mothins of hiring legal counsel, fighting this in court, etc.

Furthermore since these are criminal matters you can make arrests based on each little action t people have to do. this makes for many cases to defend agaisnt. Force the court to look at each different fucntion separately.

Then once this law is thrown down. write another one and another one and keep up the pressure. Keep interfering with the people that have to do this work and make everything a legal nightmare in court. Don't settle. The idea is to obstruct the federal government.

You can even expand this strategy to other things. for instance make it illegal for any agency other than an apporved Oklahoma state agency to collect medical inforamtion. refuse to share it with the feds and keep poor records so that even when the data is forced to be turned over it is incomplete.

Create enough red tape and the Fed may have to eventually cry uncle. Dirty yes but this is how you should treat people that pass laws they don't bother to read.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Sorry, wrong. That's not how the law works. The US Attorney will sue to stop the law from being enforce within a day or two after it passes. It will take 3-4 legal hours to prepare the motion and appear in court. The judge will grant the injunction. The law is dead.

All the rest is pure fantasy.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Great fantasy, but [un]fortunately the Constitution and precedent would squelch those actions before they could even get started. That's what the amendment process is all about, and without the consent of the supermajority majority of states and the people thereof, it won't happen.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Agreed. As I said in the article " I give it about five minutes before a court, any court, declares the nullification unconstitutional and issues an injunction." And then there's always the side tactic of simply cutting off funding and federal cooperation with the state on everything that relates to the legislation. In this case, federal hospital assistance funds, drug subsidies, not to mention VA facilities, could simply be cut off. You can bet Holder would do with Oklahoma exactly what it did with Texas.

And let's not forget that the IRS has plans for how to collect taxes in the event of a thermonuclear war. I don't think a state or two rebelling would even slow them down.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - I love this :) Boomer Sooner!!!

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Fraught with double-entendres and innuendo. LOL

Individualist said...

Andrew and Lawhawk

The very fact the state of Oklahoma would pass legislation criminalizing the Federal government from doing its job even if it is political grandstanding puts scenarios like I suggested above in people's minds. Words are the first step to actions.


Make the arrests within five minutes of passing the law and pass a law every day.

Refuse the funds from the Feds anyways. Matter of fact let them shut down and balme the feds...

use this to further justify shutting down the IRS offices.

These are the actions that would back up the words...... once dissent turns to defiance then speeches will turn to action

We just can't imagine a state getting so fed up that they would do this .... maybe it is a fantasy.... but someone enacts it and it could cause chaos either way....

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Sounds exhausting. The one thing that I really do like about your suggestion is refusing federal funds. Anything the feds help to fund, they can control.

The problem is that all the states have spent decades becoming the welfare recipients of federal money and most of them would collapse if they simply stopped receiving all those juicy bucks. On the other hand, these legislators could spend their time constructively figuring out how to do their state jobs with state funds only and leave federal matters to the feds. At the national level, we have to cut the umbilical cords holding the states to the central government.

Things are so intertwined now that it's hard to sort of what is being done by the states and what is being done by the federal government. Tenth Amendment freedom can only come after the states no longer need the feds to prop them up and bail them out.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Another thought. The feds alone didn't create the problem, they merely exploited it. The states go hat-in-hand to the feds to ask for help with problems they should be solving themselves, and then complain because the feds attach conditions. If you don't take their money, they can't tell you how to govern.

The true underlying problem is that neither side seems to have a clear concept of federalism. The states have their jobs and the feds have theirs. The federal government could not keep enlarging its tentacles if the states didn't set themselves up for it. For instance, until the states learn how to fund and efficiently run their own schools, we're never going to be able to abolish the Department of Education, an entity whose sole existence is based on the failure of the states to do their job.

rlaWTX said...

occasionally a futile gesture is needed...

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I agree. I know all too well that Oklahoma can't succeed in this battle, but at least they made a statement. As for those damned IRS agents, even Oklahoma will have to put up with them until we repeal the Sixteenth Amendment.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I admire the chutzpah of Oklahomans however I agree they must also get serious about transforming the propaganda dept. back to a real education dept., and everything K suggested.

You also nailed the root of the state's problems with the feds, Lawhawk.
Cut the umbilical cord!

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

In the Texas case. Suppose the State of Texas told Holder. Fine, declare Texas a No Fly zone - we are calling your bluff.

You shut down all air travel over the second largest state in the Union. You shut down one of the largest Hubs in the country in Dallas.

Go Ahead! Then tell everyone it is over some petty control issue.

I don't think the MSM could have put a positive spin on that

LawHawkRFD said...

USSBen: Cut it and become free.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: I don't think the administration would care, particularly the Obama administration. This is one of those "sounds good, looks good, won't work" propositions. The administration wouldn't portray it as a petty control issue, they would find a way to compare it to the feds entering Ol' Miss to enforce civil rights and bring a rogue state back into line with the law. It might not be true, and it might not be fair, but I know the Democrats and how well they can manipulate public opinion.

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