Bill Description: House Bill 727 would establish a federalism procedure through which the Idaho Legislature could determine the constitutionality of federal actions.
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 727 creates Section 67-9302, Idaho Code, to establish what it terms a "federalism procedure" to "make of no effect federal executive orders, agency orders, rules, policy directives, and regulations, hereinafter referred to collectively as 'federal actions,' that go beyond the powers enumerated to the federal government in the constitution of the United States."
The bill describes the procedure through which a sitting legislator can initiate the process by submitting a complaint to the committee on federalism. If the committee "finds the complaint has merit," a public meeting will be scheduled within 30 days.
The bill says, "If the federal action in question began after January 1, 2022, then no agency of or political subdivision of this state shall take any action or utilize any resources to give effect to or to enforce the federal action in question upon convening of the hearings until a determination has been made on its status in this state."
If the committee finds "the federal action is outside the scope of federal authority or is contrary to the constitution of the state of Idaho," the matter is referred to the full Legislature.
At that point, "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, and regulations."
This bill is designed to restore and uphold the principles of federalism in Idaho, which is indeed a good thing, but it is worth noting that this bill only establishes a procedure for exercising state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
It would be up to the Legislature to use this procedure and pass legislation to counter the many cases of unconstitutional federal intrusion, both now and in the future.