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Texas Sovereignty Act

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Texas has earned a reputation for standing up to the federal government, especially during now-Governor Greg Abbott’s tenure as Attorney General. Indeed, Abbott was famous for saying, “I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home.”

Of course, Texans are very proud of this fighting attitude, and politicians often invoke the spirit of the Alamo defenders in their appeals for reducing federal overreach.

Yesterday, the Texas House Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility heard testimony on changes to the Texas Sovereignty Act (HB 2338) by Rep. Cecil Bell.

The bill would essentially nullify any federal law, rule, or order that the state legislature finds unconstitutional.

But it goes even further, allowing the Attorney General and other law enforcement officials to arrest and prosecute anyone trying to enforce those unconstitutional regulations.

This is called the doctrine of “interposition,” whereby one level of government places itself between the People and another layer of government for the purpose of protecting the rights of the People.

The bill would establish a joint committee between House and Senate called the “Committee on Constitutional Enforcement.” It would be made up of six House members and six Senators, where no more than four from each chamber can be of the same political party.

The members of this committee will meet to discuss any federal regulation they deem necessary and by majority vote may resolve that it is unconstitutional. From there, the resolution must be approved by the majority of both chambers and be signed by the governor.

If the governor signs the resolution, the Secretary of State must forward the resolution to Congress and the President of the United States, informing them that the unconstitutional regulation will not be enforced in Texas.

The state will not expend any resources in money or manpower to enforce the regulation. And any federal or state official in Texas can be prosecuted for attempting to enforce it.

This legislation was laid out right after the committee took up a bill relating to the Article V Convention of States.

While conservative witnesses were divided in testimony on the Article V bill, both sides were united in supporting Bell’s Sovereignty Act legislation.

Democrat Rep. Chris Turner voiced his concern that nullification had been dealt with in the Andrew Jackson era, and subsequently by the Civil War.

But proponents of the measure insisted the bill is within Texas’ 10th Amendment rights.

The bill was left pending in committee, but could be voted on at any subsequent meeting.  Your participation in your state government is crucial.  Let your elected officials hear from you.

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