When legislatures convened this year, lawmakers in more than 30 states set out to send Washington a blunt message: back off. Frustrated by federal policies like the bank bailout and rules allowing wolves to prowl the West, they drafted so-called sovereignty resolutions, aggressive interpretations of states’ rights outlined in the Tenth Amendment.
Acting independently (though sometimes cribbing a whereas or two from the Web), the lawmakers shared the same broad goal: to symbolically push back against Congress and the White House in a power struggle as old as the Republic.
Now, despite a few loud exceptions, including the recent protests of Gov. Rick Perry, Republican of Texas, and the Florida Legislature’s rejection of $444 million in stimulus money that would have required changing state rules for unemployment aid, the objections have proved muted as financially struggling states embrace federal help.
As many legislatures come to the end of their annual sessions, only four states have passed sovereignty measures through their full legislatures. The states that have — Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota — were successful in large part because of the strength of determined conservatives, who have long railed against an activist federal government.
Monday, May 18, 2009
10th amendment measures and stimulus spurning proving difficult for most states...
The New York Times has an article mocking conservative state sovereignty movements and governors who said they were going to reject stimulus dollars on principle (link). Excerpt follows...
If Rick can get HCR 50 through, it will be a big win considering how dismissive the New York Times article is about all of these conservative ideas. If he gets his way on rejecting the expansion of the unemployment insurance program, as the now actively and overtly anti Rick journalist Paul Burka thinks he has done (link), it will be another big win. They may be symbolic in many ways, but they are wins that very few states can claim.