Neo-Confederate nullification day at the Arizona Capitol


Confederale SoldiersA couple of years ago, Doug Muder expanded on the Rev. Dr. William Barber’s thesis that we are living in The 3rd Reconstruction (video) after the Civil War, with an article titled: Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party.Muder’s point is that in order to understand the Tea Party today, we have to realize that  the South really  didn’t lose the Civil War.

The Reconstruction eras effectively negated the post Civil War constitutional amendments, and a racist U.S. Supreme Court and Congress effectively nullified the post Civil War civil rights laws. The South lost the war but won in the end. This situation did not change until President Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights laws of the 1960s — which the Roberts Supreme Court has been undermining in recent years in n attemot to roll them back in a Third Reconstruction.

Muder makes the connection between the mindset of the insurgent confederates and today’s insurgent Tea Party.

The essence of the Confederate worldview is that the democratic process cannot legitimately change the established social order, and so all forms of legal and illegal resistance are justified when it tries…

The Confederate sees a divinely ordained way things are supposed to be, and defends it at all costs. No process, no matter how orderly or democratic, can justify fundamental change.

This is the sentiment that we hear when political leaders talk about “second amendment remedies” and “nullification” of federal laws to defend “states rights.”

Here in Arizona, our lawless Tea-Publican legislature is so overt in its “Confederate worldview” that it actually has a Senate Committee on Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility, which is just another way of saying “interposition, nullification, and secession” (long-discredited theories laid to rest by the Civil War).

Year after year we wind up with “Confederate worldview” legislation that seeks to grab control of federal lands for private use, and to nullify any federal laws with which our lawless Tea-Publican legislature disagrees, from the regulation of firearms, to clean air regulations, to providing health care, food stamps and welfare, etc.

The latest iteration of this Neo-Confederate Tea Party insurgency against the U.S. government occurred on Tuesday, led by “Little Reb” Sen. Sylvia Allen from Snowflake. Allen wants Obama gun rule blocked:

A Senate panel voted Tuesday to declare that the latest executive action on guns taken by President Obama is not enforceable in Arizona (i.e., nullification).

The Senate Committee on Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility voted to declare that presidential actions that are inconsistent with federal and state constitutions are unlawful “and are not recognized by the state.’’

It also bars public employees from enforcing, administering or cooperating with such actions. And individuals who believe some government worker is ignoring that prohibition would have the right to sue.

This last provision borders on legal recognition of the far-right fringe Sovereign Citizens Movement. Not even the Confederacy went that far. As you might imagine, this bill is completely unconstitutional.

Sylvia_Allen_by_Gage_SkidmoreThe vote on SB 1452 (.pdf) was unanimous, with the two Democrats on the panel absent. The measure now needs Senate approval, where it might actually provoke some debate.

Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, said the legislation is a direct outgrowth of the most recent action by Obama dealing with background checks at gun shows. Allen said that is contrary to federal law.

“President Obama needs to quit disrespecting our system of government,’’ she said.

Right back atcha Little Reb! Your unconstitutional attempt to nullify federal laws is disrespecting our constitutional system of government — that would be the U.S. Constitution — not your Constitution of the Confederate States.

“Even if it’s something he wants so much, it should go through the representatives of the people, it should go through the legislative branch,’’ Allen continued. “These laws should be changed there and not be changed through his executive orders.’’

There has been over 230 years of executive department rule making and executive orders to carry out the laws of general applicability passed by Congress. Even someone with a sixth grade education should know this.

Allen is targeting actions by the president last month where he said one of the goals was to expand background checks in a bid to restrict who can get weapons.

But Obama did not issue an executive order – Doh! — which is a specific written directive to agencies under his control. Instead, the White House termed the measure an “executive action,’’ designed to “clarify’’ existing laws.

In this case, the administration pointed out that licensed gun dealers must conduct background checks on buyers. The White House said all this does is spell out that simply because a transaction occurs at a gun show does not mean it fits within existing exemptions from background checks for the person-to-person sale of weapons.

The action was a bit vague, with even the White House saying that there is “no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement.’’

You may recall that members of Congress preemptively threatened to sue the President over his firearms “executive orders,” sight unseen. Since the President did not issue any executive orders, neither the Congress nor the National Rifle Association has sued over the clarification of existing firearm regulations.

Only publicity whore and Crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio pal Larry Klayman from Freedom Watch (sic) has field a lawsuit. Obama’s gun orders hit with first lawsuit. This ethically challenged shyster lawyer should have been disbarred years ago for all the frivolous lawsuits he has filed.

Allen said Tuesday that the latest action is just part of a pattern by the president of “abusing executive orders.’’

“If the executive branch starts bleeding over into the responsibilities of the other two branches of government, somebody has to check that.’’

So self-appointed sovereign citizen Little Reb Allen will step up and do it. Freedom!

Allen said her belief does not change even if all the president says he is doing is providing guidance to federal agencies about the applicability of existing laws.

“President Obama’s made it very clear that he can use the pen to bring about (changes) if Congress does not act as quickly as he wants them to,’’ she said.

Allen compared it to the president’s efforts to expand deferred action programs to prevent the deportation of some individuals not here legally, an action a federal judge blocked.

The stay order by conservative activist judges in the Fifth Circuit who share Sen. Allen’s “Confederate worldview” is very likely to be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. No court has yet ruled on the merits of the case or any constitutional issue. Little Reb Allen’s nativist and racist slips are showing.

Allen said that, in the case of her bill, it wouldn’t take a court action to block presidential actions in Arizona. She said that would be left to the Legislature, expressing the will of the people.

Once again, states do not possess the right of nullification of federal laws. Little Reb Allen will just have to secede from the United States. Good riddance.

“We have more than once turned down background checks at gun shows,’’ Allen said.

And she contends that the president cannot decide that people who sell more than a set number of weapons at gun shows are, by definition, dealers.

“That’s not for him to determine,’’ she said.

Actually it is, as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. Once again, there has been over 230 years of executive department rule making and executive orders to carry out the laws of general applicability passed by Congress.

Little Reb Allen is a real estate agent, and a far-right fringe activist. She is not a constitutional scholar, or even a lawyer. This does not excuse her profound ignorance of the Constitution that she took an oath to defend.

Sylvia Allen has long been a embarrassment to the state of Arizona and should not be serving in elective office.


  1. I did a quick search and found a list of the Flake from Snowflake’s greatest hits here:

    Conspiracy theories, racism, chemtrails, all good stuff, but I think my favorite Allen moment is when she worked on a law to make it harder to prosecute her prison guard son in law for fooling around the the lady inmates.

    I disagree that she’s wearing a tin foil hat, it’s really more of a helmet.

  2. the voters of arizona vote for these “people”. and calling them stupid doesn’t workout to well as jeb bush and lindsay graham can tell you. the majority of arizona voters prefer them to you. It is only when they don’t like mormon matt salmon didn’t appeal to republican women so they left governor on ballot blank (they did not vote for napalitano) and janet squeaked through. that is why the fred duvals keep loosing. they don’t vote for democrats they just leave it blank because they are moderate CONSERVATIVE republicans not democrats!

  3. She is chairman of the Education Committee. That*s an oxymoron. They should only pass this stuff if they have to personally pay the lawyers fees for the lawsuits declaring this stuff unconstitutional. The taxpayers should not pay to defend this nonsense.

Comments are closed.