PHOENIX — Voters could get the right to overrule federal laws and mandates under the terms of an initiative filed late Thursday.
The Arizona Constitution already says the federal Constitution “is the supreme law of the land.” This measure, if approved in November, it would add language saying that federal document may not be violated by any government — including the federal government.
More to the point, it would allow Arizonans “to reject any federal action that they determine violates the United States Constitution.”
That could occur through a vote of the state House and Senate with consent of the governor.
But that also could occur through a popular vote on a ballot measure, effectively allowing voters to decide which federal laws they feel infringe on Arizona’s rights as a sovereign state.
Organizer Jack Biltis said he turned in more than 320,000 signatures. The next step will be for the Secretary of State to determine, after screening the petitions, if there are at least 259,213 valid names on the forms to allow the measure to go on the ballot.
Biltis, who said he has spent more than $1.2 million on the campaign so far, said it is time for Arizona to step up and reclaim its constitutional rights.
The “flagship” example, he said, is the federal Affordable Care Act. He said there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution which gives the federal government the power to enact a national health care plan.
Biltis acknowledged that the U.S. Supreme Court, faced with exactly that question, ruled to the contrary.
“I believe the Supreme Court completely got it wrong,” he said. In fact, Biltis argued, the ability of the nation’s high court to interpret — and invalidate — federal laws itself is not part of the U.S. Constitution but was claimed by the court in 1803.
“The only portion of government that has unlimited powers are the state governments and the people themselves,” he said. Biltis said that, under his measure, Arizona could simply refuse to participate, though it would do so at risk of losing federal dollars.
h/t Cruisin Cat