States Rebellion Update

The Founders petitioned and pleaded with King George to get his boot off their throats. He ignored their petition and rightfully they declared a unilateral declaration of independence and went to war. Today it's the same story but it's Congressional usurpations against the rights of the people and the states that make King George's actions look like child's play. Our constitutional ignorance, coupled with the fact that we've become a nation of wimps, sissies and supplicants, has made us easy prey for Washington's tyrannical forces.

But that might be changing. There is a long overdue re-emergence of American's characteristic spirit of rebellion. Coloradans have been a leading player. Last year their state legislature passed a concurrent resolution ordering the federal government obey the Tenth Amendment and cease and desist unconstitutional mandates and the commandeering its state legislature. Subsequently, a number of other states have passed, or are now in the process of passing, a similar resolution. An arrogant Congress and their minions, like King George's parliament, have little respect for toothless resolutions. But teeth might be emerging.

Colorado State Senator Charles Duke, one of the authors of Colorado's Tenth Amendment Resolution, has introduced a bill titled "State Sovereignty Act." If it passes the legislature, it would require all persons liable for any federal tax, that's a component of the highway users fund, to remit those taxes directly to the Colorado State Department of Revenue. The money would be deposited in an escrow account called the "Federal Tax Fund" and remitted monthly to the IRS along with a list of payees and respective amounts paid.

If the federal government imposes sanctions on Colorado for failing to carry out an unconstitutional mandate, and penalizes the state by withholding funds due, say for highway construction, the State Sovereignty Act prohibits the State Treasurer from remitting any funds in the escrow account to the IRS. Instead, Colorado would impose a surcharge on the account to continue the highway construction.

Further out West the rebellion spreads. The federal government lays claim to 85 percent of Nevada's territory. There is no similar land grab in any of the states east of the Mississippi. Therefore, according to the Elko Daily, citizens are petitioning the federal government to abandon all claims to land within the boundaries of the state of Nevada. They're asserting an "equal footing" claim that they had the right to be admitted to the union on the same basis as other states.

For sissies a petition is fine. But if Nevadans had the character and courage of the Founders, they'd send a unilateral declaration to Congress asserting from this day forward all land within the state boundaries belong to the people of the State of Nevada, except as permitted by Article I, section 8, of our Constitution that grants the federal government to exercise "authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state . . . for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings."

Some might say, "Williams, it's not for you or the people to interpret the Constitution; that's the job of those nine cats on the U.S. Supreme Court!" I say nonsense. Our Constitution is not written in hieroglyphics. The Constitution is easy to understand. Nevadans can easily establish where the federal government has jurisdiction in their state simply by walking around and picking out forts, magazines, arsenals and dock-yards.

It's high time Washington gets the clear constitutional message that the federal government is a creature of the states - not the other way around.

Walter E. Williams
January 27, 1995
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