Originally published September 27 2011
Movement springs up in Ohio to reclaim sovereign state's rights
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) In a sign of the divisive political times in which we live, there have been more calls in recent years for a reassertion of local sovereignty over federal control.
And in at least one case, the governor (and a current presidential candidate) of one of the nation's most populous states has entertained outright secession as a possible course of action if Washington continues to push for more influence and control.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, currently leading in most Republican presidential polls, has hinted more than once that his state could elect to secede (the first time Texas seceded was in 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War) if Washington continued to "thumb its nose" at the American people.
Now comes a movement in Ohio that supporters say is all about reclaiming what they believe is the state's lost sovereignty to a habitually overreaching and controlling federal government.
According to the group's Web site, the movement is aimed at bringing "government back into compliance with the [state and federal] Constitutions and serve the best interests of the people," by restoring "the fundamental principles of good government, under God, and with such leadership that we can bring integrity, honor and dignity back into the institutions of government."
Supporters are attempting to introduce a so-called "sovereignty amendment" to Ohio's constitution that they say will more closely reflect the will and sentiment of state citizens.
"Ohio perpetually retains its sovereignty over the federal government. It is a principal duty of the state of Ohio to exercise all measures appropriate under the circumstances to protect the people in Ohio from all unconstitutional interference by the federal government or its agents," says Subsection 1-C of the proposed amendment.
"The state of Ohio shall operate solely as a free and independent republic and within the Union of federated states comprising The United States of America, and its government shall faithfully, diligently, and prudently exercise all powers and authorities granted to it by this Constitution," Subsection 1-D states.
Working off the premise that every state citizen has "fundamental rights" including "life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness," the sovereignty amendment basically seeks to restrict both the state and federal governments from usurping those and other rights. It seeks to establish that the state's constitution "is the supreme law for Ohio," and that "no law, rule, regulation or other governing provision shall be enacted, established, enforced or otherwise implemented or applied contrary to the provisions, purposes, or intent of this Constitution."
In essence, the sovereignty amendment seeks to force the federal government to recognize its limitations regarding what its supporters believe was the founding fathers intent regarding the state-federal relationship as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, most notably the language contained in the Tenth Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
"The American political tradition points strongly to the value and importance of state's rights. That is, the empowerment of state government in areas that are constitutionally prohibited from the federal government. The 10th Amendment is the most notable example of this ideal, encapsulated by those famous words," says state Sen. Kris Jordan, of Ohio's 10th district, in support of the sovereignty amendment.
"Though these statements are powerful, numerous actions by the federal government have directly challenged the principals of our founding fathers, including states rights, rights of the people, and checks and balances. The federal government's overreach cries for additional protections on the state level."
"Our Founding Fathers understood that the separation and balance between state and federal powers in our federalist Republic system of government would help to preserve the checks and balances required to protect the freedoms of the people and prevent acts of tyranny by government," adds state Sen. Tim Grendell, of Ohio's 8th district.
"As a legislator elected to serve the people in Ohio, it is my duty to uphold the state and federal Constitutions and to protect the people in Ohio from abuses by government."
Though the U.S. Constitution makes clear it is the supreme law of the land, the effort in Ohio to reassert its rights under the Tenth Amendment is responsible enough to win the endorsement of some of the state's serving politicians.
As one-size-fits-all mandates from Washington continue to mount, it's little wonder why scores of other states are considering similar measures.
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