State Capitol News
8:21 am
Mon February 7, 2011

Proposal Would Set Up A Committee to Review Federal Laws and Regulations

Phoenix, AZ – The proposal by Sen. Lori Klein would set up a committee to
review federal laws and regulations to determine which members
believe are beyond the powers of the federal government. If the
panel concludes one or more are, the question would go to the
full Legislature. And if lawmakers agree, the state and its
residents -- quote -- shall not recognize or be obligated to live
under the statute, mandate or executive order.

(We have, at present, in Washington, an extremely overreaching
executive branch as well as regulations that are coming out of
agencies that are not even mandated from Congress. They're taking
what Congress legislates and has said, and they're making their
own rules and regulations which is not the intent of the
legislation as well. And then they're forcing that on the
states.)

Klein acknowledged that what she is proposing in Arizona, if
copied elsewhere, would result in each of the 50 states picking
and choosing which laws its residents should observe. But Klein
said she is not challenging the fact that Arizona is part of the
United States -- at least not exactly.

(We're not seceding. We're looking at nullifying laws that are
coming from the federal government that are mandates that are not
constitutional.)

The measure even has the support of Senate President Russell
Pearce. But Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said there's a major flaw in the
legislation: It ignores the supremacy of the federal government.

(The idea of nullification is to say that you can have a state
statute or constitutional issue that then preempts everything
above it. It just doesn't work that way.)

Klein, however, said she views this as an issue of states'
rights.

(We're a dual sovereignty, that we have a right to, our
constitution is on par with the federal constitution. Most of the
time, they work hand in hand. But lately, and it's been a creep
over the past 20 years, the federal government has taken a
liberty beyond the constitutional mandate. And that whereby we in
the states have the responsibility to stand up for our rights as
a sovereign state.)

But Sinema said there is a procedure to object to claims of an
overreaching federal government.

(It's called elect new people to Congress.)

Klein's measure is just one of more than a dozen introduced this
session to challenge or limit federal authority. Issues range
from requiring federal agencies to register with local sheriffs
before coming into a county to declaring the right of Arizonans
to have guns, produce carbon dioxide and even create their own
nuclear fuel, all free of federal regulation. For Arizona Public
Radio this is Howard Fischer.