Oklahoma City – The 58th Oklahoma Legislature opened with a slew of pro-freedom bills, as a direct response to the threatened and expected overreach from the illegitimate Biden Administration. The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee have been responsible for some of the most dynamic and powerful legislation being considered the term.
Perhaps the most powerful piece of legislation, however, was not proposed by any of the heavyweight Conservative groups in the state. That bill is simply known as H.B. 1236 and is authored by Speaker of the Oklahoma House Charles McCall and endorsed by no less than 45 Representatives, including local conservative stalwarts Jay Steagall and Denise Crosswhite-Hader. It’s simple title, or lack thereof, belies its inherent power.
The bill, which just passed out of the States Rights Committee, is nothing less than Oklahoma powerfully asserting it’s 10th Amendment right to put the Federal Government back in it’s place. HB 1236, if passed, gives the State of Oklahoma the right to “review any executive order issued by the President of the United States, federal agency rule or federal congressional action to determine the constitutionality of such action.”
The bill provides for the Attorney General, upon recommendation of the Legislature, the authority to review any such action to determine its constitutionality and whether an exemption from such action should be requested by the State. Should the Attorney General decline to take such action, the bill also provides for the Legislature to then take up the measure and declare any such action unconstitutional by simple majority vote.
The bill then goes onto to state that “notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the state, county, political subdivision shall not implement any action that restricts a person’s rights” (emphasis added). This measure is separate from any move by the Legislature or Attorney General. What makes this so astonishing, is that this act appears to be the state givinging the right to Oklahoma counties and municipalities to overrule any such overreach of the Federal Government that restricts the rights of Oklahomans.
This is literally giving the power back to the people, at the lowest level of elected government. THAT is what makes this so extraordinary. While some proponents of the misguided Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates will claim that cities and towns (the “lesser magistrates”) have always had the authority to do this, that theory lies more in the realm of political fiction than actual reality. In our constitutional republic, the supreme authority lies with the states and always has.
By passing this law, the State of Oklahoma will be granting that authority that is inherent within itself to its cities and towns (the “lesser magistrates”), giving them the ability to cancel and nullify the unconstitutional orders of the federal government. That is an exceptional step in the right direction from a legislature that has been more interested in doing nothing in recent years than actually fighting for the people of Oklahoma…and for that they should be applauded.
The bill then clarifies the situations under which the state, counties, and municipalities may take such action:
- Pandemics or other health emergencies;
- The regulation of natural resources, including oil and natural gas;
- The regulation of the agriculture industry;
- The regulation of the finance sector as it relates to environmental, social or governance standards;
- The regulation of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms;
- The regulation of education;
- The regulation of interscholastic, intramural or other extracurricular sports sponsored by an institution of higher education, a school district or a charter school; or
- Any other powers reserved by the State of Oklahoma or the people of Oklahoma.
Should this pass, it would be the first major step by the legislature to stand on their 10th Amendment rights. This would also give pave the way for future legislation to directly address transgender’s use of opposite sex bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams – though that power is is inherent in point number 7 above.
Though many of the pro-freedom bills proposed by OK2A and OCPAC have had great success in passing out of committee, this bill is perhaps the more important that any other piece of legislation to be considered this term. It is imperative that we as Oklahomans take one of three actions to help assure this bill’s passage: 1) thank the legislators that have sponsored this bill, 2) call the ones that didn’t and ask them to support it as well as your senators, and 3) call the Governor’s office and ask him to support it. OK2A, OCPAC, and this organization are wholeheartedly supporting it, and we ask you to do the same.
This is how federalism is supposed to work, and it’s about high time this country had a federalism revolution…and it appears like Oklahoma maybe leading the way.
– Copyright, Ignite Liberty, 2021