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Posts tagged: jim clark

States trying to block the feds, but the effort may be null and void

OLYMPIA – Conservative activists in Washington and Idaho are trying to force the federal government to “keep out” on issues ranging from guns to health care to the environment.
Through legislation and initiatives, people aligned with what’s variously known as the 10th Amendment or State Sovereignty movement are trying to pass state laws that limit what the federal government can do within its borders.
“Government closest to the people is best able to solve the problems,” said State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Greenacres, who introduced a series of “sovereignty” bills the first week of the session.
The 10th Amendment, which reserves to states any right not spelled out in the Constitution, is the basis for the bills, he said. Language for much of the legislation came from the 10th Amendment Center, which supports and tracks efforts to strengthen states’ rights.
But legal scholars question such efforts to have the Legislature set limits on Congress or to interpret what the U.S. Constitution means within their borders. That’s really the job of the courts, in precedents that stretch back to 1803, Amy Kelley, who teaches constitutional law at Gonzaga Law School, said.
“What the U.S. Constitution means is not a state option,” Kelley said.

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Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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