Here is a short write-up I did for Maine Web News, my first piece since joining the team there. This is one of several Tenth Amendment-related bills that the Maine Legislature will be considering.
MAINE MULLS INTRASTATE COMMERCE ACT
In Maine, the shift is on when it comes to politics. A state that has previously been known for it’s moderate-liberal leanings, has taken a turn to the right. Republicans control both the Legislature and the Blaine House for the first time in decades. With this new direction, new topics have entered the mainstream discourse, including nullification, which is the repeal by the States of unconstitutional Federal policies. Conservatives began embracing the idea starting with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Although liberals have recently been critics of the concept, it was the democratic legislature that led the movement across America with the nullification of the REAL ID Act.
Among the Tenth Amendment legislation to be submitted to the 125th for consideration is an “Intrastate Commerce Act”, which is a bill that would nullify federal laws that regulate instate commerce. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states that among the powers of Congress is to regulate commerce only among the several states. The Tenth Amendment goes further to state that unless the power is specifically given to the Federal Government or has been specifically denied to the State Governments, it is a power thus left to the States or to the people. This division of government was necessary to prevent the centralization and corruption that is inherent with such, which the Founders had fought against to give us the freedoms that we enjoy today.
This bill is important because the government has become inefficient as the decades go on, coinciding with an increase in unconstitutional centralization and a decrease in transparency. This was sought to be prevented by giving the Federal Government a set of certain enumerated powers to maintain order among the States, while allowing the States to run their own independent operations within their territory.
An important point to note as well is that this Act would not necessarily be a rejection of the federal policies, but rather the way they have been enacted. If Legislators feel that certain policies should be kept in place, then they can be enacted at the State level, as provided by the constitution.
Maine has previously rejected unconstitutional legislation passed by the Federal Government. The democrat-controlled legislature nullified the REAL ID Act of 2005. In a vote of 137-4 vote in the House and a 34-0 vote in the Senate, the Legislature took a bipartisan stand and became the leaders in a nullification movement that 20 other states eventually joined. Maine has the opportunity to again live up to it’s motto and lead the country with this Act.
The draft legislation text, as provided by the Tenth Amendment Center, can be found at the following link:
Chris is the state chapter coordinator for the Maine Tenth Amendment Center.
If you enjoyed this post:
Click Here to Get the Free Tenth Amendment Center Newsletter,