UPDATED Feb. 27th, 2013 …well after rigorous debate today, SB 250 was kept in committee barely. It’s obvious that Chairman Kelsey has been against this bill all along. Ignoring all examples given to him and cherry picking the quotes that support his position. Senator Brian Kelsey, thinks the Civil War settled everything as to the supremacy of the US Government. How closed minded is this of him? Very close minded. It is obvious today Kelsey completely ignored the historical information given by retired Constitutional Lawyer of Tennessee Publius Huldah and a representative from the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center. You can watch today’s 11am Judiciary Committee meeting here. Down at the bottom of the video window, you can click on SB 0250 and skip the other bills debated and go directly to the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act debate on who has the final say in unconstitutional laws….the States, the People or the courts. We here in West Tn need to work on Senator Stevens from Huntingdon, as he has said he represents Conservative ideas. Well he didn’t today. Please call or write Mr Stevens to support SB 250 …The 2nd Amendment Preservation Act for Tennessee and be polite.
Here are Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center and retired Constitutional Lawyer from Tn., Publius Huldah giving their testimony today on the original intent of the Founding Fathers on the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution and nullification of unconstitutional laws passed by the federal governmetn that is authorized by the States.
Senator John Stevens
District 24 — Benton, Carroll, Gibson, Henry, Obion, and Weakley Counties — Map
161 Court Square
Huntingdon, TN 38344
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 3, Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone (615) 741-4576
Fax (615) 253-0161
Senator Brian Kelsey thinks that the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to you if the feds decide otherwise. He doesn’t understand the Supremacy clause doesn’t apply to unconstitutional laws. He needs to hear from Tennesseans on this issue to nullify unconstitutional federal gun control laws.
Tell him he’s wrong.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Kelsey, comparing himself at one point to Andrew Jackson in 1832, managed to delay Tuesday a vote on legislation that declares Tennessee has a right to nullify federal gun laws and charge federal agents enforcing them with committing a felony.
The committee voted 5-4 to grant Kelsey’s call to postpone a vote on the proposal (SB250) for one week while he seeks a legal opinion from state Attorney General Bob Cooper on whether it would violate the U.S. Constitution.
Sponsor Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, said the U.S. Constitution authorizes states – through their legislatures – to decide the validity of federal laws.
She understands that lawyers believe the Supreme Court is the “ultimate arbitrator” of constitutionality, Beavers said, and that has allowed justics “setting themselves up as a dictator” and “generation after generation we have just accepted that.”
But that is wrong, she said, and the 10th Amendment lets states decide what laws are constitution and which can be ignored or nullified.
Beavers’ view was reenforced by June Griffin of Dayton, who heads the Tennessee Commission on the Bill of Rights. Griffin said Tennessee’s own constitution cast upon legislators – and sheriffs around the state – a duty to resist federal intrusion by supporting the bill.
“I fear what will come under God if we do not get these guarantees from our legislators,” said Griffin of the bill.
But Kelsey and two other attorneys on the committee — Sens. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, and Lowe Finney, D-Jackson – posed multiple critical questions about whether Beavers’ bill itself was unconstitutional.
Kelsey told Beavers that Andrew Jackson, as president, faced a crisis when South Carolina sought to nullify federal tariffs that was resolved in favor of federal supremacy when “the state very wisely backed down at the last second, pushing off the Civil War for another 20 years.”
“I feel somewhat similar to him (Jackson) in this instance,” said Kelsey.
Overbey said the bill raised a question of unconstitutional “vagueness” because it is unclear on what laws – presumably those already on the books and those that may come in the future — would trigger nullification and criminal prosecution of federal agents.
Finney noted that a Class B felony, the punishment for federal authorities enforcing unconstitutional laws in Tennessee, is typically reserved for such serious crimes as attempted murder. He said this raised a constitutional question on the appropriateness of the penalty.
Beaver’s bill is presented as an amendment to the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act, passed in 2009. That law says that if a gun is manufactured in Tennessee, then kept within the state’s borders, it is not subject to federal gun regulations. The new version says all gun laws deemed unconstitutional by state authorities — regardless of where the weapon is made – are invalid in Tennessee.
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