by Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
I've written a few posts listing some of the nuttier bills proposed by the legislature, and this one is going to be similar. I'd feel like I was in a rut, but they keep on serving up new material to work with.
This was something I noticed while writing this earlier post. It seems to be all the rage this session for Republican legislators to propose one or more anti-federal government/pro-new Confederacy bills.
To whit (with numbers of sponsors/cosponsors signed on to the bills as introduced, and where the bill is in the process, and, once assigned to committee, all bills are assigned to the Rules Committee of their respective chambers, so that hasn't been included in the status summary):
HCR2015, pushing for a U.S. Constitutional convention for an amendment to require a vote of a majority of state legislatures to raise the federal debt limit. 35 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, and assigned to House Judiciary.
SCR1016, same as above. 13 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to Senate Border Security, Federalism, and States Sovereignty, Second Read.
HB2561, denying citizenship to children of non-U.S. citizens, in violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 27 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
SB1309, same as above. 11 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
HB2562, directing the governor to enter into compacts/alliances with other states that create the second-class, separate-but-unequal, sort of citizenship/birth certificates that intend to go around/violate the 14th Amendment. 28 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced. Lots of "/"s in this description. 🙂
SB1308, another 2nd class birth certificates/citizenship interstate compact/new Confederacy bill. 11 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
SB1214. similarly directing the governor to enter into compacts with other states to ally with them over fighting health care reform and access to health care coverage for all citizens. 9 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to Senate Border Security, Federalism, and States Sovereignty, Second Read.
SB1391, a "firearms freedom" compact bill, for forging alliances with states with firearms laws that are just as gun fetishist as Arizona's. 5 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
SB1392, an interstate compact bill for gray wolf management. 7 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced. Possibly the least bad of the "new Confederacy" bills, but it will probably be amended if it ever gets a committee hearing. Not that I'm a cynic or anything. 🙂
SB1394, an interstate compact/new Confederacy bill to allow alliances with other states with "freedom to breathe [polluted air]" laws (see SB1393 below). 5 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
SB1395, an interstate compact bill attempting to create an multistate organization separate from the federal Endangered Species Act to handle wildlife management. 8 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
SB1406, an interstate compact/new Confederacy bill to create an alliance of states for the purpose of constructing a fence along the border with Mexico. 8 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
HB2472, allowing for the taking of federal land under eminent domain. 3 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to House Judiciary and Government committees.
HB2313, another eminent domain taking of federal land bill. 2 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to House Judiciary, Second Read.
HB2471, saying that any federal mandate *must* have a statement of how that mandate is a federal responsibility and will pass any Constitutional challenge before the legislature is allowed to enact a law or appropriate funds to further that mandate. 5 sponsors/cosponsors. First Read, assigned to House Government and Appropriations, Second Read.
HB2459, creating a special "Don't Tread On Me" commemorative license plate for tea party types. 2 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to Senate Transportation and Appropriations, Second Read. Introduced, First Read, assigned to House Judiciary, Second Read.
HB2288, mandating that all of the states airports abandon the Transportation Security Administration and contract with private companies to handle all airport security operations. 15 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to House Transportation, Second Read.
HB2070, creating a state-sanctioned and -armed military force that is separate and outside of the national command authority. 5 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to House Military Affairs and Public Safety and Appropriations, Second Read.
SB1178, stating that all Arizona-centered commerce is not under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and making is a criminal act for a federal agent/employee (class 6 felony) or state agent/employee (class 1 misdemeanor) to enforce any federal law, regulation, rule, etc. in violation of SB1178. 10 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to Senate Border Security, Federalism, and States Sovereignty (passed 5 – 2) and Commerce and Energy, Second Read.
SB1328, stating that if a federal employee or elected doesn't have to comply with a particular federal law or rule, no Arizona citizen has to comply with that law or rule. 1 sponsor (Antenori). Introduced.
SB1393, stating that the state legislature's authority to regulate greenhouse gases supercedes federal authority. The authors call this the "freedom to breath" law. I call it the "freedom to breathe [polluted air]" law. 11 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
SCR1015, declaring that Arizona has the sole authority to enact any law or regulation over "non-navigable" waters in the state. 7 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced, First Read, assigned to Senate Water, Land Use, and Rural Development, Second Read.
SCR1024, similar to above. 1 sponsor (Griffin). Introduced, First Read, assigned to Senate Water, Land Use, and Rural Development.
SCR1034, a postcard to to the feds demanding that they stop enacting laws and regulations that certain members of state legislatures don't approve of. 8 sponsors/cosponsors. Introduced.
A lot of the above measures look to be inspired/directly drawn from model legislation crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing industry front group (login required to view specifics, and I don't have such a login) or some other front group. Others looked to be pulled directly from the head (or some other body part) of one or another legislator.
Here are the opening odds on selected particular legislators introducing a secession bill sometime during the 50th Arizona Legislature (meaning this year or next year):
Sen. Sylvia Allen: 5-2
Sen. Ron Gould: 3-1
Rep. Carl Seel: 3-1
Sen. Russell Pearce: 7-2
Rep. Jack Harper:4-1
Sen. Andy Biggs: 5-1
Rep. Judy Burges: 5-1
Sen. Frank Antenori: 7-1
Other Senate leadership Rs: 7-1
Other rank-and-file R House members: 10-1
Other rank-and-file R Senate members: 11-1
Other House leadership Rs:25-1
House Speaker Kirk Adams: 50-1 (he's one of the few down there who is acting like the adult in the room, and the other members of House R leadership are mostly following his lead, or are at least quieter about their nuttiness)
Any Democrat in either chamber: No line, though D Sen. Robert Meza is a cosponsor of one of the "interstate compact" bills (the "border fence" one). I just don't see any D drinking the Kool-Aid, or Meza drinking more than the sip he has already taken.
It's going to be a long and ugly session, and they haven't even gotten to the budget yet.
* – For any law enforcement folks who might be reading this and think that the title is a solicitation for unlawful gaming or something similar, it's just something us writers have in our bag of tricks.
It's called a "metaphor."
It means that I think the political scene in Arizona has declined far enough that the question isn't *if* one of the Republicans in the legislature will call for Arizona's secession from the United States, but *when.*