The fallout is continuing, as states broaden their response to the flood of federal executive orders. W.G. spotted this article about bills before the South Carolina state legislature, and considered in toto, they are a clear indicator of emerging trends:
Consider the following paragraphs:
Taylor’s nullification bill – which he plans to introduce this coming week – would require South Carolina to “ignore illegal White House executive orders that are unconstitutional.” Specifically, it would require the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson to “review the constitutionality of executive orders.” Assuming they are determined to be “unlawful or unconstitutional, the executive order would be nullified and not enforced” in South Carolina.
“Remember, liberal-leaning states have been doing this for years,” Taylor wrote, citing the establishment of sanctuary cities for illegal aliens.
Like last year’s proposed “COS” legislation, this bill would make an application to the U.S. Congress on behalf of the S.C. General Assembly to “call an amendment convention of the states pursuant to Article V” of the U.S. Constitution.
Legislation to stop social media censorship – H. 3450, sponsored by state representative Mike Burns of Taylors, S.C. – is part of the initiative, too, as is another bill sponsored by Burns (H. 3491) which would crack down on mob violence by making it a crime to “unlawfully obstruct public highways and roads.” Burns’ bill holds that anyone “instigating, aiding or participating” in a riot would be on the hook for mandatory restitution to victims, too.
The “pushback agenda” further incorporates a host of bills taking aim at various government edicts issued during the coronavirus pandemic – including a bill that would protect religious freedom (H.. 3105), one that would ensure Covid-19 vaccines are not made mandatory (H. 3217), one that would void the enforcement of federal mask mandates (H. 3218), two bills that would protect businesses from Covid-related liabilities (H. 3597 and H. 3698) and one that would limit the emergency authority of the governor’s office during states of emergency (H. 3443).Likely to be among the most popular components of the agenda with GOP primary voters? A bill (H. 3410) sponsored by state representative Steven Long which would require a witness signature to confirm any absentee ballot – and require the witness to provide their driver’s license or voter registration number as verification.
Rounding out the “pushback agenda” are a trio of bills taking aim at revisionist history – including legislation to protect the Palmetto State’s monuments and memorials (H. 3249) and enhance students’ knowledge of the history of America’s founding (H. 3002)
When one considers all these bills together, one has, as LewRockwell's website summarised them (see https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/south-carolinas-new-nullification-freedom-fighters/):
- Call for the state to ignore unconstitutional White House “executive orders” as determined by the state itself;
- Consider all federal laws that exceed the delegated powers in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution “null and void and of no force whatsoever”;
- Call for an Article 5 convention of the states to amend the Constituton(sic) to impose additonal (sic) constraints on the federal government;
- Redefine the right to bear arms as “a fundamental and inalienable right”;
- Criminalize Antifa/Black Lives Matter-style mob violence, including shutting down public highways;
- Protect religious freedom from COVID lockdowns;
- Prohibit mandatory vaccines;
- Void any federal enforcement of mask mandates;
- Limit the state’s governor’s authority “during states of emergency.”
Now, here's the problem, as I see it, and with it, today's daily high octane speculation: consider that third bullet point: "Call for an Article 5 convention of the states to amend the Constitution to impose additional constraints on the federal government." The last time we had such an event was the Philadelphia convention of 1787, which was intended to amend the Articles of Confederation, under which we successfully prosecuted the Revolutionary War. The founders, however, took the occasion as the opportunity to create a whole new system of government, i.e., the current Constitution. The problem here is, that the Bill of Rights, or as I like to call them, the Bill of Afterthoughts, were only added at the insistence of the Anti-Federalists. They were not, so to speak, "front and center" for the Philadelphia convention "big names", and that in and of itself should afford a clue as to where their sympathies really lay. My point here (and it's a point I've made before in connection to an Article 5 convention), is that would we trust a group of people with far less character and depth of thought to come up with anything truly beneficial? It's worth noting in this regard that the call for a constitutional convention has been echoed not only by the political right, but the political left in recent years.
Consider, for example, the prescient criticism of the Anti-Federalist "Philanthropos" which appeared in The Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser (note the British spelling, thankfully still in use as Daniel Webster had not yet laid his hands on the language!) on December 6, 1787:
The Congress's having power without control to borrow money on the credit of the United States; their having power to appoint their own salaries, and their being paid out of the treasury of the United States, thereby, in some measure, rendering them independent of the several states; their being judges of the qualification and election of their own members, by which means they can get men to suit any purpose.... There are men amongst us, of such dissatisfied tempers, that place them in Heaven, they would find something to blame;
(Consider only our current crop of "progressives".)
and so restless and self-sufficient, that they must be eternally reforming the state. But the misfortune is, they always leave affairs worse than they find them. (Boldface emphasis added)
In other words, "Philanthropos" was concerned that payment of federal legislators from the Federal treasury created a "federal political class" with no financial incentives or ties to their respective states, or to put it even more bluntly, an oligarchy reliant upon, and compliant with, federal privilege. That in turn would create a federal legislature unresponsive to the people of the several states... and here we are.
It strikes me therefore that what we may be looking at is a classic case of problem (Bidenenko's executive orders), reaction (state nullifications), solution (convention of the states), under which we might emerge with an entirely different system of government, ala the precedent set by the Philadelphia convention itself. So, while South Carolina's bills seem to be addressing specific issues, it's that third bullet point that disturbingly opens the door to all sorts of mischief, and unfortunately, there don't seem to be too many Anti-Federalists around this time...
See you on the flip side...