Thanks to Twitter follower @WangLuWen, I’ve spotted another Stacey Campfield bizarre bill. Read for yourself and then decide if Campfield has gotten completely out of control with his radical ideas.
Senate Bill 411, the “Tennessee Balance of Powers Act”, has some pretty dramatic (if not fanatic) language in it. Some highlights are below, but essentially this bill gives a chosen commission the power to determine what Federal laws Tennessee would not have to abide by and, if forced to abide by said Federal laws, what actions the State may take, including fining the Federal agents (not exceeding two thousand dollars) or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both. The Federal agent(s) would also be charged with: kidnapping if an arrest or attempted arrest occurred, criminal assault if an unreasonable personal search occurred, trespass if a search or attempted search occurred, theft if a seizure or attempted seizure occurred, and homicide if loss of life occurred in connection with the violation.
This reads as though Tennessee, through the “Campfield commission” could decide to follow whatever Federal law it wished and ignore any it didn’t feel matched its ideology. I’m particularly unnerved by Campfield’s suggestion, via this bill, that he and the commission, would base their decisions on “the traditional Anglo-American conception of ordered liberty”. This sounds suspiciously racist, or at least uncomfortably white-centric, to me. Anyone else?
SECTION 2(6)… we specifically reject and deny any federal claim of expanded or additional authority which the federal government may from time to time attempt to exert, exercise, or enforce under these clauses… we reject and deny this unauthorized and excessive abuse of power which has primarily acted as a detriment to states’ powers and individual rights
(10) (This act shall serve as a notice and demand to the federal government to cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally- designated powers;
(12) The Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution secures and reserves to the people of Tennessee, as against the federal government, their natural rights to life, liberty, and property as entailed by the traditional Anglo-American conception of ordered liberty and as secured by state law, including, but not limited to, their rights as they were understood and secured by the law at the time that the amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791, as well as their rights as they were understood and secured by the law in the state of Tennessee at the time the Tennessee constitution was adopted, the people and state hereby proclaim that the guarantee of those rights is a matter of compact between the state and the people of Tennessee and the United States as of the time that Tennessee was admitted to statehood;
(h) The commission shall have the power to reach back and take up or review any, and all, existing federal statutes, mandates, and executive orders not previously ruled upon by the United States supreme court for the purpose of determining the constitutionality thereof, and such commission may recommend existing federal statutes, mandates, and executive orders put in place prior to the passage of this act.
(i) Upon the commission’s recommendation for litigation to challenge the
validity of a federal law, regulation, or executive order, the general assembly shall vote whether to proceed with the recommended litigation. The appropriate entries reflecting the vote shall be documented in legislative journals of the house and senate. In the event the general assembly votes by a constitutional majority to challenge any federal statute, mandate, regulation, or executive order on the grounds of constitutionality, the state shall, concurrent with filing suit, petition the court to stay, suspend and/or hold in abeyance any contested federal action pending final judicial determination of the suit.
(j) In the event that any federal court rules that the state of Tennessee lacks standing to challenge any federal law, regulation, or executive order that has been challenged pursuant to this section, or such court dismisses any such challenge on grounds that do not result in a ruling on the substantive merits of said challenge, then the challenged federal law, regulation, or executive order is declared by the state of Tennessee to be beyond the authority granted to the federal government pursuant to the United States constitution, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered void.
3-1-124. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to adopt and enact any and all measures that may become necessary to prevent the wrongful enforcement of any federal laws or regulations duly stayed, suspended, and/or held in abeyance by any federal action within the boundaries and limits of this state.
(a) It shall be an offense for any official, agent, or employee of the United States government to enforce or attempt to enforce any federal law, order, rule, or regulation that has been declared by the general assembly in fulfillment of the requirements of 3-1-123(i) to be beyond the authority granted to the federal government pursuant to the United States constitution.
(b) A violator of subsection (a) is guilty of a felony and upon conviction the violator shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two (2) years, or both.
(c) In addition to the penalties set forth in subsection (b) any person in violation of subsection (a) shall also be prosecuted for kidnapping if an arrest or attempted arrest occurred, for criminal assault if an unreasonable personal search occurred, for trespass if a search or attempted search occurred, for theft if a seizure or attempted seizure occurred, and for any applicable homicide offense if loss of life occurred in connection with the violation of subsection (a). The persons involved shall also be charged with any other applicable criminal offense.
(d) A defendant under indictment for violation of this section is not entitled to the defenses of qualified immunity or “actions performed in good faith” if the official, agent, or employee of the United States government knew, or should have known, any actions named in this section were performed under the color of laws, regulations, or executive orders previously declared by the general assembly to be unconstitutional.