House Bill 322 — Federal nonrecognition

House Bill 322 — Federal nonrecognition

by
Parrish Miller
March 16, 2021
Parrish Miller
March 16, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 322 establishes a process for the Idaho Legislature to consider federal actions and determine their constitutionality.

Rating: +1

Amendment Analysis: The Amendment to House Bill 322 does not change the rating or substantively change the analysis.

Does it violate the principles of federalism by increasing federal authority, yielding to federal blandishments, or incorporating changeable federal laws into Idaho statutes or rules? Examples include citing federal code without noting as it is written on a certain date, using state resources to enforce federal law, and refusing to support and uphold the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the principles of federalism?

House Bill 322 creates Section 67-9302, Idaho Code, to establish what it terms a "federalism procedure" to "make null and void and of no force and effect federal executive orders, agency orders, rules, policy directives, regulations, acts of congress, or federal court rulings ... that go beyond the powers enumerated to the federal government in the constitution of the United States."

The process is as follows:

"Any current member of the Idaho house of representatives or senate may bring a complaint within the Idaho legislature regarding the enforceability of such federal action, directed to the chairmen of the committee on federalism, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the president pro tempore of the senate."

"Within fifteen (15) days of receiving the complaint, the chairmen shall conduct a survey of the committee, either in person or by remote means, and determine whether or not the committee finds the complaint has merit and, upon such determination, will either dismiss or pursue the action."

"If the committee decides to pursue the action, a public meeting must be scheduled within thirty (30) days of the decision."

Here is one of the more important parts of the bill:

"No agency of or political subdivision of this state shall take any action or utilize any resources to give effect to or to enforce of the federal action in question upon convening of the hearings until a determination has been made on its status in this state."

"If after investigation the committee finds the federal action is outside the scope of federal authority or is contrary to the constitution of the state of Idaho, it shall prepare a report setting forth its findings, recommendation, and reasons for the recommendation to the legislature."

This is the final and most important step in the process:

"Legislation may then be introduced proclaiming that the federal action is outside the scope of federal authority and, if it is enacted into law, such federal actions shall not be recognized by the state of Idaho and are null and void and of no force and effect in this state, and no agency of or political subdivision of this state shall take any action or utilize any resources to give effect to or to enforce such federal executive orders, agency orders, rules, policy directives, regulations, acts of congress, or federal court rulings."

This bill is designed to restore and uphold the principles of federalism in Idaho, which is indeed a positive, but it is worth noting that this bill only establishes a procedure for exercising state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. It would be up to the Legislature to utilize this procedure to counter the many cases of unconstitutional federal intrusion, both now and in the future. 

(+1)

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