Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Florida County Votes to Defy Feds on Oil Spill Containment

Hindered by federal red tape no more- people around Destin got tired of waiting for permission from Washington D.C. to protect themselves.

Okaloosa County's (Florida) legislative body has unanimously voted to give it's executive officials authority to act against the oil spill threatening their beaches, even if it means breaking federal law. They voted that county officials no longer needed to wait for permission of the state or federal government to act.

“We made the decision legislatively to break the laws if necessary. We will do whatever it takes to protect our county’s waterways and we’re prepared to go to jail to do it,” said Commission Chairman Wayne Harris.

Nullification, sometimes considered the same doctrine as interposition, is increasingly being used by states and localities against an out-of-control and ineffective federal government which seems to have lost touch with fiscal (and moral) reality. The doctrine, established by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison among other founders, says that when the Federal government acts beyond the bounds of the Constitution, that state and local governments have the right "and duty" to declare those laws null and void.

The doctrine maintains that it is a violation of the separation of powers principle to have a federal agency (the Judiciary) act as the sole determiner of the legitimate extent of the Federal government's power. The only result can be a federal government which constantly acts to expand its own reach. Those who hold to the legitimacy of nullification and interposition hold the view that there is no "neutral moderator" between the feds and the states. Because of this, the parties themselves must resolve the disputes based on the original intent of the compact which bound them together (the Constitution). The feds and the states just have to keep hammering it out with one another, a state of tension that is designed to protect the rights of the people.

Some other areas where states have successfully used the principles of interposition and nullification are; the so-called "Real ID" act, Medical Marijuana laws, and most recently and still in doubt, federal gun laws.

I expect we will see more and more of this. Arizona took matters into its own hands when the feds would not or could not protect the state from illegal aliens. This Florida county is taking things into its own hands to protect itself from the oil spill. They are frustrated at federal foot-dragging.

In Arkansas, we have too many politicians who are focused on sucking their way to the top instead of acting to protect the rights of citizens. That can only be because we let them in many ways. It's time to grow up, and get the state moving to protect its citizens from the blowback of an increasingly dysfunctional federal government.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...we’re prepared to go to jail to do it."

I don't think he quite gets it, but at least he's in the ballpark.

8:27 PM, June 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Mark. You should consider putting it on the Blog at the 10th Amendment Center website.

7:39 PM, June 18, 2010  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Do I have the ability to put my own stuff there?

7:47 PM, June 18, 2010  

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