Arizona Initiative Would Let Voters Overrule Federal Law


The Libertarian Patriot

Arizona voters could gain the right to overrule federal laws and mandates under the terms of an initiative filed on Thursday.

The Arizona Constitution says the federal Constitution “is the supreme law of the land,” reports Howard Fischer at Capitol Media Services. What this measure would do, should voters approve it in November, is add language saying the federal Constitution cannot be violated by any government — including the federal government.

The initiative would allow Arizona residents “to reject any federal action that they determine violates the United States Constitution.”
A rejection of federal law could occur through a vote of the Arizona House and Senate, with consent of the governor. But it could also occur through a popular vote on a ballot measure, effectively allowing state voters to decide which federal laws they feel infringe on Arizona’s rights as a sovereign state.
The group backing the initiative turned in more than 320,000 signatures, according to organizer Jack Biltis. The next step will be for the Arizona Secretary of State to screen the petitions and determine if there are at least 259,213 names of valid voters on the forms to qualify the measure for November’s ballot.
Biltis, who has spent more than $1.2 million on the campaign so far, said Arizona should claim its constitutional rights. He particularly objects to Obamacare, the federal Affordable Care Act, which gives the federal government the power to enact a national health care plan, and that’s the primary motivator behind the campaign. He’s none too fond of the PATRIOT Act, either, which was passed during the second Bush Administration.
But political progressives are more excited about the possibilities of Arizona rejecting federal marijuana laws, should the measure pass.
There will actually be two state sovereignty measures on November’s ballot in Arizona. Another proposal, written by Rep. Chester Crandell (R-Heber), would have Arizona declare its “sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within its boundaries.” Tribal reservations and military land would be exempt from the proposal.