A group of frustrated Oregon conservatives, who have tried everything from voting out Democratic state officials they consider too liberal to recalling the state’s governor and appealing to their Washington representatives, now want to leave the state – by moving the border with neighboring Idaho westward, a published report Monday said. The group, Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho, has secured initial approval from two counties and has set a goal of getting enough signatures to put the proposal on local ballots in November, USA Today reported. Barring a setback, voters in southeastern Oregon could see a question on a redrawn state border with Idaho, the newspaper reported. Last year, a controversial bill protesting greenhouse gas emissions caused state Republicans to flee Salem, the state capital. Democrats currently control both branches of the state legislature as well as the governor’s mansion. However, Valerie Gottschalk, another petitioner, said she hopes the proposal will gain traction similar to how the petition to recall Gov. Kate Brown did last summer. Proponents were unsuccessful collecting the 280,000 signatures for a recall election, but Greater Idaho said it only needs to collect about 2,400 signatures from Josephine County and about 3,000 from Douglas County to appear on the ballot, USA Today reported. “People here would prefer Idaho’s conservative governance to the progressive/liberal current Oregon governance. Every time I look at the Facebook group Greater Idaho, the group has gotten bigger,” Gottschalk said in a news release. Of Oregon’s 36 counties, only 14 in the Willamette Valley area would remain if the group succeeds, the newspaper reported. Moving the border would require approval from the U.S. Congress as well as the Idaho and Oregon state legislatures, however. The proposal to join Idaho isn’t the first effort Oregonians have made to leave the state. In 1941, residents of residents of southwestern Oregon tried to secede by creating a state of Jefferson with northern Californians.
South Carolina debated seceding from the Union more than 150 years ago, one of the opening salvos of the Civil War. Now, the topic has come up again, amid a national debate over firearms and gun rights. A trio of state House Republicans on Thursday quietly introduced a bill that would allow lawmakers to debate seceding from the U.S. “if the federal government confiscates legally purchased firearms in this State.” Rep. Mike Pitts, the measure’s chief sponsor, acknowledged Friday in an interview with The Associated Press that the bill has no chance of passage this year but pledged to continue to raise the issue based on what he described as a defense of the Bill of Rights. “Without a Bill of Rights, our nation is not what it is,” Pitts said. “I see a lot of stuff where people even talk about totally repealing the Second Amendment, which separates us from the entire rest of the world.” Pitts, an ardent supporter of gun rights, said he had been mulling such a proposal for a while and felt it was necessary to bring the bill forward. He said he wasn’t spurred by recent comments by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who recently wrote in an op-ed that a repeal of the Second Amendment “would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.” South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union before the Civil War…
Some 13 states led by Texas will ask a federal judge Friday to halt the Obama administration’s order to allow transgender students in U.S. public schools to use the restrooms of their choice. The hearing in Fort Worth is the latest in the battle between the federal government and various states opposed to the policy change. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor will hear arguments over the states’ request for a preliminary injunction to halt the Obama directive just weeks before school re-opens for the fall. It is not knowwn when the judge might issue a ruling. The White House in May told the nation’s public school districts that they must allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity or risk losing federal funding. States responded with a joint lawsuit challenging the order. “We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said at the time. “This goes against the values of so many people.” The other states involved are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, other states last month launched a similar suit to stop the new bathroom policy in public schools. They are: Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The Obama administration’s order followed a Justice Department lawsuit against North Carolina, which had passed a law requiring people in the state to only use public restrooms that correspond with their gender at birth. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement that there is “no room in our schools” for discrimination. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court put on hold a lower court’s order that would have allowed a Virginia high school student who was born female but identifies as male to use the boys’ restroom.
Thank God Texas is leading this fight for common sense…and for state’s rights. This is something states should decide for themselves. Obama and his fascist so-called Justice Dept has NO right whatsoever to unilaterally, and with the stroke of a pen, force states to enact such insanity. So, kudos to Texas for leading this lawsuit, and to the other states standing up for their rights afforded them by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
The Obama administration declared on May 9th that forcing people to use bathroom facilities based on their God-given plumbing was state-sponsored discrimination. Four days later they dropped an even bigger cultural bombshell. The president issued a directive requiring every public school in the nation to accommodate transgender students – under Title IX guidelines. Boys who identify as girls and vice versa must be allowed to use the bathrooms and locker rooms and shower stalls of their choosing. They must also be allowed to play on the sports teams of their choosing. School districts that dare defy the administration’s directives could face lawsuits and lose millions of dollars in federal funding. Resistance, in other words, is futile. “There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. I warned you in my book, “God Less America” that the fight over transgenderism would be the next battleground. And here we are – a nation where boys who identify as girls have more rights than girls who were born biological girls. “It’s an outrageous attack on our Creator Himself, upon human sexuality and morality and a further advancement of the flagrant attack on religious freedom in our culture,” Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd told me. The leader of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination said the president’s decree is an extreme overreach by the federal government and he called on Christians to speak out. “Sooner or later we have to determine that enough is enough,” he said. “It’s not going to change until Christians get involved in this battle.” Donald Trump was asked to weigh in on “Fox & Friends” — should boys use the boy’s room? “Right now I just don’t have an opinion,” he told the morning show hosts. “I would like the state’s to make that decision.” You don’t have an opinion? How about some moral clarity, Mr. Trump? How about standing up for the privacy and safety of women and children? Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to fight the Obama administration’s decree, telling a gathering of Republicans, “Obama is turning bathrooms into courtroom issues.” “Our country is in crisis and Texas must lead the way forward,” he said. Abbott said he is working alongside the embattled governor of North Carolina “and we are going to fight back.” One of the most forceful rebukes came from Tennessee Congresswoman Diane Black. “I believe the Obama administration is now directly responsible for endangering our students,” she said. “It is worth nothing that this directive does not carry the force of law – and I would encourage Tennessee school officials to continue following their consciences.” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told me Congress must intervene to stop what he called an imperial president. “If the president chooses to go forward with this outrageous order – then congress should begin impeachment proceedings,” he said. Perkins said the decree should be “resisted with ever legal and moral instrument we have available to us in this country.” “Every parent, every school board in America should absolutely refuse to sacrifice the safety of their children for the threat of taking away nine federal pennies that make up every educational dollar,” he said. Resist! That’s the message from Penny Young Nance, president of Concerned Women for America. “The left always uses children to accomplish its goals of social reengineering,” she said. “The adults closest to these children should decide what’s best for all the children in the school. Safety and kindness should be the guiding principles, not threats from the bullies in Washington.” The time has come for all Americans to stand up and defy this president’s immoral agenda. If losing federal funding is the price we must pay to protect women and children – then so be it. We will not betray what we know to be true for the government’s 30 pieces of silver. The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned us about a time such as this. Not to speak is to speak, he once said. Not to act is to act. Far too long American pulpits have remained silent on controversial cultural issues. Preachers don’t want to rock the boat. Parishioners don’t want to cause trouble. Far too long society has turned a blind eye as President Obama fundamentally transformed our nation. But now the country stands at the edge of a great moral abyss. And we must ask ourselves — do we defy the president and save the nation or do we keep the peace and sacrifice our children? -Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook
A pretty powerful op/ed by cultural warrior Todd Starnes.. While, I agree we DO need to “resist” this outrageous, and brazenly unconstitutional power over-reach by Obama and his fascist Attorney General, we need to make sure we keep our eye on the enemy; Obama. Trump is in an election fight. So, trying to drag him into the discussion only undermines the cause. We already know how Hillary feels about this. And, we need to do everything we can to ensure she is NOT our next President…lest we experience more of this insanity. So, Todd, keep your eye on the ball..and focus the fight on Obama, AG Lynch, Hillary, and the other Dems supporting this insanity. The following article (immediately below) ads to this disturbing discussion.
If the nationalists get their way, this November might be the last time Texans vote for a US president. On Wednesday, the Platform Committee of the Texas Republican Party voted to put a Texas independence resolution up for a vote at this week’s GOP convention, according to a press release from the pro-secession Texas Nationalist Movement. The resolution calls for allowing voters to decide whether the Lone Star State should become an independent nation. Texas was, in fact, its own country for nine years before joining the United States in 1845, and while the idea of returning to independence has never been taken seriously by most people, it remains popular as a romantic notion and marketing hook. Lone Star beer is the “national beer of Texas.” Texas Monthly is the “national magazine of Texas.” In a 2009 rally, then-Governor Rick Perry hinted that the state could secede if “Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people.” He later backed off of the idea. (Representatives of the state GOP and Texas Nationalist Movement could not be reached for comment.) The Texas Nationalist Movement, once considered a quixotic fringe group, has added hundreds of members in the years since the election of Barack Obama. According to the Houston Chronicle’s Dylan Baddour, at least 10 county GOP chapters are coming to the convention supporting independence resolutions. But this will be the first time in the state’s 171-year history that they will actually vote on one. It’s very unlikely to win. Then again, that’s what people said about Donald Trump.
And you better believe we’ll be keeping a close eye on this.. 🙂
On Tuesday, the Tennessee General Assembly declared it will sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program on Tenth Amendment grounds. The State Senate passed a resolution authorizing that lawsuit in a 29 to 4 vote one day after it passed the Tennessee House by a 69 to 25 margin. “Today we struck a blow for Liberty by finally adopting SJR467,” State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville), the co-sponsor of the resolution who shepherded it through the State Senate, tells Breitbart News. “The General Assembly clearly understands the importance of public safety and state sovereignty as demonstrated by the overwhelming support of this Resolution for which we are thankful. The Syrian surge heightens our sense of urgency to get this properly before the courts, and we urge the Attorney General to act without delay,” Norris adds. Tennessee, which withdrew from the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 2008, will now become the first state to sue the federal government over its operation of the program within the borders of its state on Tenth Amendment grounds. Alabama and Texas are currently suing the federal government over the refugee resettlement program on the narrower grounds that it has failed to comply with the Refugee Act of 1980. “As a state legislator, it is my duty to fulfill my oath and to exercise Constitutional authority,” House sponsor State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) tells Breitbart News. “I take it seriously to do all I can to protect the sovereignty of our great state. Either we abide by the Tenth Amendment or we ignore it,” she adds. “It’s time for states to say no more federal overreach and [I] really believe that the federal government was created by the states and not the other way around,” Weaver says. “Proud to have been involved in the process. It’s been a long road,” State Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) says..
Outstanding!! Kudos to these Tennessee state legislators telling Obama and the federal government what it can do with itself. Obama doesn’t give a damn about our country’s national security. Between his insane notion of importing thousands and thousands of Syrian so-called “refugees” that aren’t being vetted for possible ties to radical Islamic groups, and his open borders approach to immigration (among others), he has shown that he wants to put everyone and every other country first…and America dead last. So, it’s refreshing to see states like Tennessee and Texas fighting back. Excellent!! 🙂
A handful of Texas Republican district or county conventions in March passed resolutions calling for a vote on secession, paving the way for a potentially awkward debate at the state GOP conference in May. A Nederland-based pro-independence activist group, the Texas Nationalist Movement, said at least 22 of the hundreds of conventions passed secession items. Texas GOP chairman Tom Mechler said he “would be very surprised” if that many had indeed passed the conventions. The Houston Chronicle reached out to GOP officials in the counties listed by the Nationalist Movement. Ten responded and all confirmed passage of the resolutions. An official count should be available from the Republican Party of Texas in early May. A party committee will consider the resolutions for debate on the floor of the state GOP convention in Dallas May 12-14. The volume of independence resolutions — from which party leaders are quick to distance themselves — increases the possibility they could be approved for discussion, though the notion of secession would certainly be shot down swiftly on the convention floor. Still, the resolutions represent a significant milestone in the growth of a fringe movement in the Texas GOP, which drew attention last year when members of the party’s State Republican Executive Committee pushed for a vote at a December meeting. “I hadn’t really heard of this in any organized way until this past year,” said Paul Simpson, chairman of the Republican Party of Harris County. “It’s cropped up in a major way just in this last year.” The Nationalist Movement recently has led the push for a conversation on independence, and SREC officials cited it as inspiration when they introduced a resolution for a vote in December.
Very interesting.. We’ll, of course, keep an eye on this developing story from the Lone Star state.
What if a supermajority of states could override a federal law or Supreme Court ruling? That’s just one idea being proposed by advocates of a “convention of states” to amend the U.S. Constitution. “The American people are mad and they’re looking for a way to say, ‘No more,’” said Brooke Rollins, president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank. “Our founders, in their brilliance, gave us a tool to do that. And it’s Article V.” Article V of the Constitution allows a minimum of two-thirds of the states to call for a convention to propose amendments, in turn going around Congress. The push to do so has proceeded in fits and starts over the last several years, driven by a desire for states to debate a range of constitutional changes dealing with everything from campaign finance reform to balanced budgets. So far, six states have signed on — Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Florida, Indiana and Tennessee. Indiana was the latest to sign on, approving a resolution endorsing the effort earlier this month. But organizers would need another 28 to bring their plan to fruition, and call the convention. If they reach that level of support, states would be entering uncharted territory. “It has never happened before in the history of the United States,” said Robert Schapiro, dean of Emory University School of Law. In an election cycle that has defied conventional wisdom, though, supporters of a convention of states believe right now may be the very best time to try something different. “The mood of the public is tired of business as usual,” said Buzz Brockway, a Republican state representative who sponsored Georgia’s convention of states resolution. Brockway told Fox News he believes such a convention could achieve consensus on such issues as campaign finance reform, term limits and balanced budgets. Even if states fall short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to call for a convention to propose amendments (and the three-quarters required to ratify them), Brockway said the effort itself could encourage change. “In the ‘80s, President Reagan actually came out and said he was in favor of a balanced budget convention,” Brockway said. “That spurred Washington to act. And they didn’t actually pass a balanced budget amendment, but they came extremely close. So, I think at the worst case, this will spur Congress to action. The best case, we’ll have actual amendments that are proposed that states can consider.” Schapiro has doubts about how far the effort will go. “There have been efforts before to have states call for a constitutional convention. And with regard to certain issues, states have come fairly close,” he said. “But, given the divided times which we face, and given the broad brush of these amendments, I think it’s unlikely to garner the kind of support that would be necessary actually to reach that two-thirds benchmark.”
In his final book, economist Mancur Olson wrote of the profound and crucial connection between representative government and the property and contract rights important for economic progress. Olson quoted James Madison: “Just as a man may be said to have a right to his property, so he has a property in his rights.” The rule of law is therefore essential for the preservation of constitutional government and for economic growth. In no country have the economic fruits of the rule of law been more plentiful than the United States. Today there is no greater threat to the rule of law and the right to the peaceful enjoyment of property than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the course of prosecuting its ostensible mission to clean the air and the water. Under the guise of the Clean Air Act, the agency’s Clean Power Plan will take control of America’s electrical-power infrastructure. Yet Congress did not envisage that the 1970 legislation would be used to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. To get around the inconveniently precise wording Congress provided in the statute, EPA resorted to rewriting the provision of the Clean Air Act that didn’t fit with its regulatory plans — a gambit that has had ups and downs in the Supreme Court, which will soon address the legality of the Clean Power Plan. Until Monday, the timetable was well advanced, with states being required to submit compliance plans this summer. Then, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court in a 5–4 decision agreed to freeze its implementation, showing that the plan’s opponents have a reasonable prospect of persuading the courts to throw out the plan. Later this month, the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a case, American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA, under the Clean Water Act, a statute Congress passed two years after its clean-air sibling. As with EPA’s regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions, the case involves a massive extension of EPA authority. Without Supreme Court scrutiny, EPA would acquire powers that it had first sought, but had been partially checked, in what has become known as the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). WOTUS derives from wording in the 1972 Clean Water Act that states that the federal government has jurisdiction over navigable waters, which are further defined as the “waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.” Over many years, EPA rule-making expanded its definition of WOTUS far beyond anything a riverboat could navigate, to rivulets, ditches, and potholes. Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006 drew limits on the Clean Water Act’s WOTUS. In the 2006 decision, Justice Kennedy had introduced a “significant nexus” test to assess whether specific wetlands should be defined as part of WOTUS if they were linked ecologically or in some other significant way to a stretch of navigable water. Where Justice Kennedy offered a gap an inch wide, EPA widened it by a mile. It took the significant-nexus test and used it to reach wet patches anywhere, in a revised rule that has prompted multiple legal and political challenges. Just last month, President Obama vetoed a congressional joint resolution (S.J.Res. 22) disapproving of the rule. But, to borrow President Obama’s phrase after he’d given up on getting Congress to pass cap-and-trade, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Whatever the legal and legislative fate of the Clean Water WOTUS rule, EPA has also developed a toolkit to regulate the land over which and through which water flows into WOTUS. Less than four months after taking office, President Obama issued an executive order instructing EPA “to make full use of its powers” to regulate the Chesapeake Bay watershed in a manner that “can be replicated through the nation.” The aim of these watershed-based frameworks, the executive order states, is to “assign pollution reduction responsibilities to pollution sources.” It’s not hard to see how from this source springs a highly intrusive and granular form of federal regulation. At the end of 2010, EPA produced a blueprint for regulating the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) document asserts federal authority not just over the Bay but also over its tributaries upstream all the way to drainage ditches and — most expansively — all land from which rainfall runoff might find its way downstream. A petition concerning this plan is the subject of the case that the Supreme Court is now considering. A suit was originally filed in January 2011, decided in favor of EPA in September 2013, and subsequently upheld by the Third Circuit last July. According to petitioners and the 22 states that filed a friend-of-the-court brief, the Chesapeake TMDL, which encompasses six states and the District of Columbia, will cost “tens of billions of dollars” to implement. A feature of the plan is EPA’s lack of regard to efficiency. A 2012 report by the Maryland School of Public Policy estimated total implementation costs across all jurisdictions in the range of $50 billion between 2010 and 2025 — but going perhaps as high as $80 billion. A 2013 study for the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that alternative ways of achieving the same water quality — which anyway has already improved by 40 percent since the early 1980s — would cost Delaware, Maryland, New York, and West Virginia 82 to 86 percent less than the EPA price tag. Chesapeake is only the beginning; an EPA appetizer, so to speak. The 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed is equivalent to little more than 5 percent of the 1,245,000 square miles of the Mississippi River Basin, spanning 31 states and producing 92 percent of America’s agricultural exports. As the petitioners note, with the powers asserted in the Bay blueprint, “EPA could control — and potentially debilitate — an area where more than half the goods and services consumed by United States citizens are produced.” EPA’s plan to become, in effect, America’s land-planning czar is part of a pattern of aggressive overreach going to the outer limits of the law and beyond into lawlessness. Only two months ago, the General Accountability Office found that EPA had violated federal law by engaging in covert propaganda supporting its own proposed rules. In a separate incident, despite strenuous denials, EPA covertly conspired with three environmental pressure groups to bring about the regulation of power-station emissions, in a contrived sue-and-settle suit designed to make decarbonizing electricity generation a done deal before the end of President Obama’s first term. Writing for the Court in the 2014 Clean Air Act case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, Justice Scalia declared EPA’s interpretation unreasonable because it would bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization. “We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance,’” he wrote. In that case, to keep annual permit applications from jumping from 800 to nearly 82,000, EPA decided to override the stipulations for the quantity of greenhouse gases that could be emitted from a stationary source, permitting quantities that were orders of magnitude greater than the threshold quantity of air pollutants specified in the act. Because of the ubiquity of carbon dioxide emissions, the number of businesses requiring burdensome permitting would have exploded way beyond EPA’s target of electric utilities. EPA’s concern about the effects of widening its net is noteworthy by its absence in its policing of the Clean Water Act. In 2012, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of an Idaho couple to sue EPA after the agency claimed they had violated the Clean Water Act by building a house on wetlands that EPA asserted were part of WOTUS and threatened them with fines of up to $75,000 a day for non-compliance. Land-use and development decisions would fall ever farther under the suzerainty of EPA if the Supreme Court declined to hear American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA. With respect to land use, it would turn the U.S. from a republic of laws into a permit state, an EPA fiefdom in which opaque blueprints emanate from computer models and unaccountable bureaucrats, with little or no regard to their impact on economic activity and none at all for the rights of property. There is a precedent for the deleterious economic impact of shackling an economy in regulation. For its first 50 years after independence, the private sector in India was subjected to the licensing requirements of the Permit Raj and the economy experienced what became known as a Hindu rate of growth. In Federalist 17, Publius (in this instance, Alexander Hamilton) argued that there was little danger that the supervision of agriculture “and of other concerns of a similar nature” would be usurped by the federal government because: “the attempt to exercise those powers would be as troublesome as it would be nugatory; and the possession of them, for that reason, would contribute nothing to the importance, or to the splendor of the national government.” Clearly such arguments fail in the face of a predatory regulator like EPA. Instead, states must rely on the protection afforded by the Tenth Amendment and the intention of Congress expressed in the relevant statute. Here the Clean Water Act is categorical. “It is the policy of the Congress to recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution,” the Act states (1251(b)). And if that isn’t clear enough, Congress instructs federal agencies to “co-operate with State and local agencies to develop comprehensive solutions to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution” (1251(g)). In other words, EPA should be a facilitator, not an instructor. The Chesapeake TMDL turns this around: States are required to cooperate with EPA in developing Watershed Implementation Plans. The executive summary speaks of provision for federal backstops, enhanced oversight, and “contingency actions to ensure progress.” Only the courts — in this instance, the Supreme Court — have the capacity to act to protect the rule of law, for the expansion of the powers of the administrative state shrinks the domain of the rule of law.
Indeed… The EPA is beyond out-of-control, and has been for far too long. It’s time that Congress simply defund it entirely. To read the rest of this article by Rupert Darwall, click on the text above. Mr. Darwall is the author of: “The Age of Global Warming: A History.”
The Environmental Protection Agency blasted more than two dozen states’ attempt to have the Supreme Court halt its landmark climate rules for power plants, saying the arguments they make will not hold up in a lower court, let alone the highest. Under a Thursday deadline set by Chief Justice John Roberts, the agency filed its response to last week’s motion by 29 states to stay the Obama administration’s far-reaching climate rules, called the Clean Power Plan. “The relief that applicants request would be extraordinary and unprecedented, and their applications should be denied,” the EPA told Roberts in a response brief filed with the court. It argues that the states’ motion is untimely and should wait for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to grant a decision on the merits of their arguments later this year.
The arrogance of the fascist EPA is breathtaking….