In what is being described as a mass ousting of the Maine Republicans, including some prominent Tenth Amendment supporters such as Ryan Harmon, Representative Mel Newendyke has survived. A number of new “Tenther” candidates such as Matthew Maloney and John Jones launched bids in their respective districts, but failed to secure victory in a night that saw the Republican majority collapse. Rich Cebra did not run for re-election also, removing yet another Tenther from the legislature. Sources say, however, that Representative Aaron Libby has been re-elected, though still awaiting confirmation.
In the previous session, Representative Newendyke introuced LD 1172, “An Act To Prohibit Enforcement of Federal Laws in Violation of the Constitution of the United States“, which would have nullified all unconstitutional federal intrastate commerce laws. Pursuant to the United States Constitution, Congress is granted a select number of enumerated powers. Everything outside of these enumerated powers, unless specifically prohibited to the states, is thus left to the states. Among these enumerated powers is the regulatory power over commerce involving two or more states. The purposes of this was to prevent conflict among the states which would have a negative impact on the country, something felt first hand under the Articles of Confederation’s weak central government. There was no power over commerce that does not cross state lines however, despite the fact Congress regularly claims such. LD 1172 would have stopped Congress from claiming this power over Maine.
It is not confirmed whether or not Representative Newendyke will be involved with any nullification efforts in 2013, but he has been a reliable defender of liberty in the legislature to this point. After a difficult night, it is a relief to hear he will be returning again for another term. The Maine Tenth Amendment Center is working to confirm the re-election of additional Tenther-friendly candidates.
Chris is the state chapter coordinator for the Maine Tenth Amendment Center.
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