House lawmakers file bills to push back against federal laws

Posted April 9, 2013

— A group of House lawmakers filed measures to push back against federal government rules they deem unconstitutional during a last-minute flurry of bill filings Tuesday.

Wednesday is the deadline for House members to file legislation that does not deal with tax or budget issues. Lawmakers filed 87 bills Tuesday. 

Two measures carry on a string of bills that confront how federal law applies in the state, including bills on firearms and public prayer.

House Resolution 617 expresses support the idea that North Carolina "should have the right to claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government or reserved to the people by the Constitution of the United States." 

That paraphrase of the Tenth Amendment is preceded by "whereas" language that complains "many federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment" and that states are treated as subservient to the federal government. 

Sponsored by Reps. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, Mark Brody, R-Union, George Cleveland, R-Onslow, and Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, the measure is only a resolution, so it would not have the force of law. Also, it does not call for the state to take any action other than transmit a copy to Congress and the president asking them to stop acting in an unconstitutional manner.

Another bill, House Bill 619, filed by Speciale and Pittman, would direct Attorney General Roy Cooper to bring a lawsuit to determine whether certain sections of the 2012 Defense Authorization Bill are unconstitutional.

The bill specifically raises the question of whether the federal law allows for suspending rights of habeas corpus and trial by jury and would make it illegal for anyone in North Carolina to arrest, capture or kill anyone "under the law of war."

The 2012 federal bill has earned bipartisan misgivings and even President Barack Obama expressed concern about some of the sweeping powers it gave the government when he signed it.

The American Civil Liberties Union has called indefinite detention provisions in the bill dangerous. However, the fact-checking site Snopes gave mixed reviews to the claim the bill would allow the military to arrest U.S. citizens without charge or trial.


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  • rolliby Apr 10, 2013

    I'm proud of you all. It is time that the unconstitutional activities are called out and recognized for what they are.


  • Spock Apr 10, 2013

    "This sort of malarky didn't work out too well in 1865, either, did it?" rasengineers

    Lincoln screwed us all and continues to put this country smelly. Modified testing (so that minorities can pass), minority vote (uneducated and uninformed voters)... arrg, the list goes on and on and on.

  • SouthernPackerFan Apr 10, 2013

    and that states are treated as subservient to the federal government. I do believe that is why they call it these United
    States of America....bunch of goobers

  • jtd1969 Apr 10, 2013

    Our state is becoming a joke

  • rasengineers Apr 10, 2013

    This sort of malarky didn't work out too well in 1865, either, did it?

  • dwbenfield Apr 10, 2013

    The "states rights" issue was settled way back in the 1860s. Remember the little national incident called the Civil War? The South lost, remember?

  • wral mods blow close my account Apr 10, 2013

    The south will rise AGAIN!

    NC GOP wasting more time. Boy they sure know how to milk the per diem they get for being in session.

  • forddp Apr 9, 2013

    This is not the way to run a state.

  • bossman54 Apr 9, 2013

    Again? They don't get it, do they? Stop wasting the per diem and get to work!

  • Spock Apr 9, 2013

    There are a host of laws that could fall under this umbrella - as expected - the feds knew that there would be issue until their decision and laws were actually challenged. This is NOT the way to run a country.