HB0076-Where's The Line, America?

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Please contact your Representative and ask him/her to vote YES on HB0076.

Sample encouraging note:

Dear Representative _____________________,

James Madison stated, “The State Legislatures will jealously and closely watch the operations of this Government, and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power, than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a Federal Government admit the State Legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty.”

In order to abide by your constitutional oath and erect barriers at the constitutional line and jealously and closely watch the operations of the federal government, the Utah Federal Law Evaluation and Response Act is being presented this session. This is the action which starts the conversation “Where’s the Line, America?”

http://le.utah.gov/~2011/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0076S01.htm

This bill will be voted on by the House this week. Please vote YES.

Sincerely,
_______________________

Summary – HB0076: The Utah Federal Law Evaluation and Response Act

This session, the Utah Legislature will be considering a mechanism to proactively evaluate federal programs, acts and mandates and to define “where’s the line?” between the responsibilities of the federal government and the States/people.

Background

Article VI of the United States Constitution mandates that all state legislators and officials swear an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. The Founders were clear about what this meant when drafted. Just a few examples follow:

James Madison stated:

“[T]he State Legislatures will jealously and closely watch the operations of this Government, and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power, than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a Federal Government admit the State Legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty.
– James Madison, Introduction of the Bill of Rights, The Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, First Congress, 1st Session, pp 448-460

And, Thomas Jefferson added:

It is important to strengthen the State governments; and as this cannot be done by any change in the Federal Constitution (for the preservation of that is all we need contend for), it must be done by the States themselves, erecting such barriers at the constitutional line as cannot be surmounted either by themselves or by the General Government. The only barrier in their power is a wise government. A weak one will lose ground in every contest.
– Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791

Summary of Bill

In order to abide by the constitutional oath and erect barriers at “the constitutional line” and “jealously and closely watch the operations of [the federal government],” the Federal Law Evaluation and Response Act does the following:

  1. Defines “federal law” as all federal legislation; presidential executive orders; and agency action, regulations or policies;
  2. Establishes the standard for review and evaluation of all federal law in Utah law as those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution as specifically listed in statute;
  3. Requires the Constitutional Defense Council (UCA 63c-4-101) to:
    1. Review and evaluate federal law against the constitutional standard;
    2. Coordinate directly with Utah’s congressional delegation in such review and evaluation;
    3. Coordinate directly with a similarly functioning council or legislative committee of other states in such review and evaluation;
    4. Receive requests for review and evaluation of federal law from state agencies, legislative committees, political subdivisions or Utah’s congressional delegation;
    5. Respond to federal laws that cross “the constitutional line” through the following:
      1. Provide written notice (in concert with Utah’s congressional delegation and other coordinating states) to the respective federal branch or agency of the manner in which the federal law fails to meet the constitutional standard and what action the federal branch or agency will take to comply with the constitutional standard;
      2. Request the respective federal branch or agency receive a delegation of the Utah CDC (in concert with Utah’s congressional delegation and other coordinating states) to mediate issue of the federal law that fails to meet the constitutional standard;
      3. Request that the Governor call a special session of the legislature to address emergency consequences of federal law that fails to meet the constitutional standard;
      4. Report quarterly to the Government Operations Committee the status of the review, evaluation and response to federal law;
      5. Report annually to every legislator the status of the review, evaluation and response to federal law for further action by the legislature as warranted by the record developed by the CDC.

http://le.utah.gov/~2011/bills/hbillint/hb0076.pdf

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