Governor Brewer vetoes State Sovereignty Bills

Phoenix—While Arizona may win its battle over the watered-down SB 1070 due to the efforts of Governor Jan Brewer, the governor vetoed several other measures which the Legislature passed to enforce State sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Among those were measures to prevent State agencies from enforcing provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, a measure supporting county Sheriffs, and objections to international forces on American soil.

Vetoed by the governor was SCR 1008 and SB 1081 which would have given authority to the State and counties to declare emergencies in the forests and take action to clean them up. The governor recently signed the Four Forest Restoration contract with the “National Forest Service.” A main problem with this contract is that any money taken in from the resources leave Arizona.

The governor vetoed Senate Bill 1332 to demand that the federal government extinguish title to all public lands in the State relinquishing title to Arizona. In her veto letter she stated that the bill, “…appears to be in conflict with Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 and Article VI, Clause 2, as well as the Enabling Act.”

The first article mentioned is one that the federal government uses in their arguments.

“The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.”

While a Territory, it was constitutionally legitimate to form a “forest service.” With the Enabling Act mentioned—which allowed Arizona to form a Constitution—and the signing of that Constitution by William Howard Taft, Arizona is no longer a territory and this provision no longer applies.

The Constitution of the United States allows for certain properties for the federal government “To establish Post Offices and post roads” (I, Sect. 8, Clause 7), and the Seat of Government (3) and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature (4) for the Erection of Forts, (5) Magazines, (6) Arsenals, (7) dock-Yards, and (8) other needful Buildings (Article I, Sect. 8, Clause 17). None of these purposes gives Congress the right to form a National Forest Service, National Parks Service or other Bureaus to control lands within a State. The exception is waterways to ensure they are navigable. The federal government also argues Fifth Amendment authority to confiscate public and private land at will, but the Fifth Amendment was only meant to allow them to take land for their limited, allotted purposes. Article VI, Clause 2 is the so-called “Supremacy Clause.” This clause was only meant to give the federal government authority over those areas they were specifically given authority over by the Constitution of the United States. The wording of the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights was meant to make that very clear.

Also in Article IV of the Constitution is a provision that gives the federal government the specific duty to protect the State from invasion. Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 and Title 32 ยง109 of the United States Code gives Arizona the authority to establish a defense force for the purposes of protecting Arizona citizens from invasion. Despite the claim of PBS, the Mexican drug cartels are known to be working with Hezbollah and Fox News has reported concerns by the Department of Homeland Security that they may be working with the terrorist group al-Qaeda. SB-1083 originally would have set up an Arizona Defense Force. A choir of Arizona media led by Senator Steve Gallardo (D-13) accused Arizona of setting up a “vigilante” group displaying their apparent ignorance to the definition of a vigilante group. One television media outlet said that the bill would hand guns out to untrained citizens and send them to the border. They did not mention the training, psychological testing, vetting process and command structure written into the bill. The bill was later changed by the author, Senator Sylvia Allen (R-5), in response to the concerns to create an Arizona Special Missions Unit. The governor did not have a chance to veto this bill which was killed in committee by House Speaker Andy Tobin.

Governor vetoed SB 1182 which would have prevented the State and any State agency from providing material support in implementation of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act. Despite the assurances by Representative Allen West of Florida, many groups advocate that these sections do not exempt American citizens from being apprehended by the military as “terrorists” without trial and being held indefinitely.

In an e-mail, Senator Allen wrote that the governor, “…said it was wrong to force law enforcement to have to decide rather to enforce state law over federal law. She was more worried about law enforcement than the citizens of this state who longer have due process under the Constitution, which by the way, law enforcement took an oath to uphold. The Governor was wrong on this one.”

The governor also vetoed HB 2434 which would have required federal law enforcement officers to notify the Sheriff of a county before conducting operations within their county. In the veto letter by the governor she wrote, “Rather than hinder the efforts of our federal law enforcement colleagues, we need to focus on collaboration. For example, the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Center brings together local, state and federal law enforcement to jointly fight against terrorism and other serious crimes.” Apparently this does not consist of preventing terrorists from entering the country.

Recent news reports are that Russian troops are training in Colorado at the Denver Airport to fight terrorists (See Right-wing Extremist document). HJR 2001, proposed by Representative Harper (R-4) and Senator Gould (R-3) was written prior to that knowledge and opposes the use of international force in America to enforce unratified treaties and authorizes resistance against any international force infringing on the United States Constitution. The governor said, “Many terms are undefined or ill-defined which leaves this measure vulnerable to misuse, confusion and unintended consequences.”

The Resolution only shows Legislative support for the Constitutional right of American citizens to resist foreign invasion as granted by Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 aforementioned, and the Second Amendment (See Federalist Paper No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 24, 25 & 29 ) the Ninth and Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Justice Noah Haynes Swayne in the Cherokee Tobacco Case (78 u.s. 616, 20 L.Ed. 227, 11 Wall. 616 (1870)) wrote, “It need hardly be said that a treaty. cannot change the Constitution or be held valid if it be in violation of that instrument.” That sentiment was upheld by Justice Horace Gray who authored the decision in UNITED STATES v. WONG KIM ARK, 169 U.S. 649, 18 S.Ct. 456, 42 L.Ed. 890 (March 28, 1898), “…as will appear by tracing the history of the statutes, treaties, and decisions upon that subject, always bearing in mind that statutes enacted by congress, as well as treaties made by the president and senate, must yield to the paramount and supreme law of the constitution.”

In 1913, Elihu Root published his lecture Essentials of the Constitution in which he wrote, “The constitution provides that ‘This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.’ Under this provision an enactment by Congress not made in pursuance of the constitution, or an enactment of a state contrary to the constitution, is not a law. Such an enactment should strictly have no more legal effect than the resolution of any private debating society.”