State lawmakers step to the fore of state sovereignty movement

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 10:12am

Tennessee lawmakers stepped to the front of the state sovereignty movement Tuesday, voting to enlist legislators from around the country to try to curb the power of the federal government.

A special committee met for the first time since the legislature overwhelmingly adopted a resolution in this year’s session demanding that the federal government recognize Tennessee’s sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

The sovereignty movement has become a cause célèbre of Tea Party activists opposing President Barack Obama, and Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) said Tennessee is taking the lead in calling on the federal government to back off the states.

Lynn, the sovereignty resolution’s main sponsor, said Alaska is the only other state to adopt such a measure so far. Lynn’s committee voted to send a letter inviting all states to meet to discuss how to force the federal government to “halt and reverse its practice of assuming powers and of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States.”

“We really are leaders on this,” said Lynn, who is running for the state Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mae Beavers.

A draft of the letter offered by Lynn gives no proposals for curtailing federal authority, but is filled with stirring rhetoric.

"The role of our American government has been blurred, bent and breached," it reads. "The rights endowed to us by our creator must be restored."

Just before the meeting began, Rep. Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) stepped in and asked whether the committee had seceded from the union yet. “I’m just joking,” she quickly added.

The session lacked much of the anticipated outrage over purported federal abuses of power.

Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) did say he heard on the radio that Obama is planning to help create a world bank to give money to Third World nations.

“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but they had some lord on the radio talking from Great Britain,” Ketron said. “That concerns me … That’s overreaching by the federal government.”

15 Comments on this post:

By: cmarcus45 on 10/20/09 at 11:30

I am a registered Republican, and I think this is stupid. Substantively oppose the Obama Administration's expansion of the federal government, spending, etc. (with which I would agree), but do not waste legislative time with some committee formed primarily for what looks to be garnering headlines. Substance over procedure.

By: DaddyDon33 on 10/20/09 at 12:39

I am embarrassed to be a Tennessean. These "representatives" want the Federal Government to recognize TN as a sovereign state and our rights endowed by our "creator" be restored. Tennessee is as sovereign as any other state and the only way to be more sovereign is to secede. I'm not in favor of replaying the civil war, are they? Now, as to this "creator", KEEP YOUR RELIGION OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT. Do something constructive. Earn your paychecks by solving problems instead of creating them. Show your constituents that you can do something positive for a change. Our state has enough problems for the next 100 sessions of state government and you narrow-mindedly continue to show your ignorance and try to fight battles that were settled 150 years ago. If you don't have the ability to look forward and lead, get the hell out of the way. Stop embarrassing our great state and nation.

By: dogmrb on 10/20/09 at 3:01

It's like Tennessee is whirling toward the edge in every direction and our leaders keep "whistling Dixie". Give me a break.

By: courier37027 on 10/20/09 at 8:26

Makes as much sensse as Congress considering changes to college fotball's Bowl Championship Series.

By: sidneyames on 10/21/09 at 6:38

Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) did say he heard on the radio that Obama is planning to help create a world bank to give money to Third World nations.

There is already a bank lending to Third World nations. It's formerly the IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, now known as The World Bank and is located in Washington DC next to the IMF.

I do agree with our legislators that the Obama white house wants to take over not only the states, but the world. His view on one world gov'ment is not healthy for our country. We have diversity; we have civil rights; we are not perfect, but I don't want to live in a China-like country; an India-like country. I want our country to stay as The United States of America.

Obama is to wishy-washy for me and too "fishy" as well. I am sorry to not be supportive of a sitting U.S. President, but his white house's recent comments that "they controlled the elections regarding interface with the media" reeks of Mao, Hitler, Stalin and Castro. Controlling the media is not what he is signed up to do.

By: joe41 on 10/21/09 at 6:59

I think that this is a worthless exercise and as a Tennessee resident, I do no wish our state's name associated with this activity.

By: vechester on 10/21/09 at 7:23

Let's call this political posturing. And in 12 months we will have a very interesting election cycle. All politicians do this. Reid, Pelosi and Schummer would walk over each other to get to a microphone and state their position when Bush was in office.

I am appalled and disgusted that we now have a "PAY" czar that watches over how much certain executives get paid, not all mind you, just the ones who are politically expedient. I don't see them telling any football, basketball or baseball players that their paychecks are just too much?? And it looks like we are going to have a "food" czar who will tell us what to eat. Next it will be when to sleep. This over-reaching has been going on for some time and needs to stop!

I'm all for putting the brakes on the feds(Rs or Ds) and telling them to back off!

By: sidneyames on 10/21/09 at 7:56

Vechester said "I am appalled and disgusted that we now have a "PAY" czar that watches over how much certain executives get paid, not all mind you, just the ones who are politically expedient. I don't see them telling any football, basketball or baseball players that their paychecks are just too much?? And it looks like we are going to have a "food" czar who will tell us what to eat. Next it will be when to sleep. This over-reaching has been going on for some time and needs to stop!

I'm all for putting the brakes on the feds(Rs or Ds) and telling them to back off!"

I agree with you. AND to add to your comment: The CZARS were not all properly vetted; O'bama just seated them regardless of what the voters want or think.

You are correct, Vechester. First it's what we get paid; then what we eat. I am certain the next step is population control - you know - one baby per couple like China.

His office has already bragged about taking over the media and "controlling" it during the elections; now they are still doing it. I want my country back.

By: TN4th on 10/21/09 at 8:17

OMG, can we look any more stupid????

By all means, lets just become a little balkanized federation of tiny states, instead of the USA. Some patriots all these idiots are, and some practical minds who understand the modern world. Let's have each state run itself ... into the ground. Let's have state militias (yayy 2nd amendment) instead of the US Armed Services. Maybe California and Texas can defend their own borders, and each of the northern states can do the same. Hey, and each coastal state can defend its coastline -- big responsibility for Maine, but not our problem here in TN. Good time to be a central state, with no obligations for border and coastal defense. And every state can have its own postal service. Every state can have its own food inspections and regulations. Every state can fund its own damned roads. Every state can have its own education standards. We could even do away with science altogether here in TN, and be just like those countries that only teach the Koran, only it'll be the newly written conservative christian bible. The earth is finally only 6000 years old! Good for us.

Oh, and someone ought to tell Ketron that there's also a rumor floating around that Obama wants to put a united nations organization of some type right here in New York. Well, at least if we bust up America and just have states, it won't be in our back yard here in Tennessee.

I am so embarrassed by these ignoramuses. Is there any intelligent life left in our state politics?

By: sidneyames on 10/21/09 at 8:41

Yes, there is TN4th - and intelligent life does not want a HUGE Federal Gov-ment. Obama has grown gov-ment more than anyone in modern times; His Czars alone outnumber any other administration's staff. Who's paying these Czars? We are. Who vetted them? NO ONE.

Don't be embarrassed. Be educated. We don't want individual states alone; we want the United States of America and with smaller fed gov-ment.

By: courier37027 on 10/21/09 at 9:51

The discussion should be a state's sovreignty versus the 14th Amendment passed after Civil War preventing secession.

By: TN4th on 10/21/09 at 10:40

By: sidneyames on 10/21/09 at 9:41 ...Don't be embarrassed. Be educated. ...

I AM educated. That's why I'm embarrassed. Guess what? Life has changed since 1776. Some of the "States vs. Nation" debate was settled 100 years later, although I must admit I wouldn't miss Texas all that much. I just don't want TN to join TX. But reality is that we are too interrelated to have the states acting like little duchies and still have a functioning nation. Plus, we ALL constitutionally get the protection that is our right as citizens of the USA. We aren't subject to the whims of the whackos in each state, thank goodness. (Guess that means that we may still have science taught in school here in Tennessee, even though it contradicts the Bible. ...thought that one got resolved around, oh, say 1620, if not earlier.)

Oh, and here's another news flash. Obama was ELECTED in a DEMOCRATIC and CONSTITUTIONAL process. He is the President that WE THE PEOPLE wanted. Don't like it? Go live in Iraq where they fix elections. Here, we (at least most of us) respect the process and accept the results. It is fundamental to our system of government. Oh, I forgot, you would rather dismantle the good ole USA, and live in the Sovereign State of Hillbilly. So much better than living in a modern nation that can compete and lead in the world.

By: DDG on 10/21/09 at 12:15

We can remain "united" and yet have states with individual liberties and laws under the constitution.

By: TheKryptonian on 10/21/09 at 1:18

DaddyDon33 said: "I am embarrassed to be a Tennessean. These "representatives" want the Federal Government to recognize TN as a sovereign state and our rights endowed by our "creator" be restored. Tennessee is as sovereign as any other state and the only way to be more sovereign is to secede. I'm not in favor of replaying the civil war, are they? Now, as to this "creator", KEEP YOUR RELIGION OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT."

As to this "Creator", that's in the freaking Declaration of Independence, genius. If YOU don't like that (America as it was founded), you are free to move to a liberal nation like Canada. You'd like it there; I promise. Why do you liberals insist on changing America into what it was never intended to be? Go where you'd be happy.

And according to the Constitution, there is nothing wrong with this proposal, as it's a right and duty of the States to keep the Federal Government in check. But the Constitution is not good enough for you, is it?

By: TheKryptonian on 11/20/09 at 1:50

Guess I ended that discussion. Almost one month and no more posts. ; )