A bill has been introduced by Representative Mel Newendyke (R-Litchfield) that, if passed, would nullify all Federal laws that violate the Constitution by regulating intrastate commerce laws. The Tenth Amendment states that all laws not specifically given to the Federal Government or prohibited to the States, are then left to the States and the people. The powers of Congress can be found in Article 1, Section 8, while Section 9 lists some limits of Congress. Section 10 of the same article lists various powers prohibited to the States. Among these powers given to Congress is the power to regulate commerce that crosses state lines, otherwise known as a interstate commerce. They do not, however, have the power to regulate commerce that does not cross state lines, also known as intrastate commerce.
LD 1172, “An Act To Prohibit Federal Laws In Violation Of The United States Constitution” would make it a Class C crime for an agent of the Federal Government to enforce any laws nullified by it and a Class D crime for an agent of the State Government to do the same. The Class C crime would carry a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine, while the Class D crime would carry a maximum of less than a year in prison and a $2,000 fine.
Among it’s co-sponsors is Representative Rich Cebra (R-Naples), who introduced LD 58, the bill that would nullify the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act of 2010. Representative Walter Kumiega (D-Deer Isle) also joined in co-sponsoring; Rep. Kumiega has also introduced a bill that would nullify Federal laws that affect local food markets. Senators Lois Snow-Mello (R-Androscoggin) and Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin), as well as Representatives Dale Crafts (R-Lisbon), Gary Knight (R-Livermore Falls), Aaron Libby (R-Waterboro), Beth O’Connor (R-Berwick), Jeffrey Turner (R-Turner), and Windol Weaver (R-York) finish the list of co-sponsors. Rep. Libby had also submitted a version of the Intrastate Commerce Act, as well as a Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act nullification bill similar to Rep. Cebra’s.
Text of LD 1172 can be found here.
Chris is the state chapter coordinator for the Maine Tenth Amendment Center.
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