Missouri panel says states should have say on U.S. laws

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 | 7:00 a.m. CST; updated 10:56 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 8, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — A House committee has approved a measure calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow states to block laws passed by Congress.

The Missouri measure would allow states to repeal a federal law if 34 states vote against it. The Missouri House Rules Committee has approved the resolution.

The resolution is sponsored by Republican House member Jay Barnes of Jefferson City. Barnes says one way states could use the power would be to repeal the federal health care law passed last year.

The resolution now goes to the full House.




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Daniel Hassett February 8, 2011 | 1:59 p.m.

Jay Barnes and the Missouri legislature clearly have very little understanding of constitutional law. The bill they propose is in direct opposition to the concept that the federal government holds supremacy over the states. I believe I was taught in third grade that our nation fought a war over that same concept 150 years ago, but I guess Mr. Barnes was absent that day.
Even if the states succeeded in convincing the federal government that a vote on an amendment allowing states the right to overturn federal laws they didn't like is necessary the supreme court would have to rule against the amendment because it is in direct opposition to the founders intent set forth in the constitution and in opposition to 200 years of constitutional law. Perhaps Mr Barnes should pick up a history book before he wastes the taxpayers time and money with this foolish nonsense.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 8, 2011 | 2:35 p.m.

Daniel, it might be said that you have little idea of Constitutional law. If the states successfully amend the Constitution (which I doubt will occur) such that the states can void federal legislation, there is nothing the Supreme Court can do about that action. And this has nothing to do with the Civil War, which seems to be a common refrain from the left nowadays.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm February 8, 2011 | 2:38 p.m.

@ Hassett

I think you missed the point of what they are doing. They want to amend the federal constitution. They understand the Supremacy Clause very well; it is that very clause that they are trying to remove from the constitution with an amendment.

These idiots are basically trying to bring the Articles of Confederation back. I agree, they need a refresher in 3rd grade history.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 8, 2011 | 2:47 p.m.

John Schultz: The following is my understanding of the matter:

Yes, an amendment to the Constitution is automatically constitutional. SCOTUS would have no say in the matter if the States passed a Constitutional amendment using methods defined by the Constitution.

SCOTUS can rule on whether an action or law is constitutional. But it cannot rule whether the Constitution (which includes ALL amendments) is constitutional. For example, SCOTUS cannot rule the 1st, 2nd, 16th, 25th, etc., Amendments are unconstitutional since they are, by very definition, a part of the Constitution.

Interesting topic. I'd like to hear more from legal eagles.

(Report Comment)

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