Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205
03/17/2015 09:00 AM Senate STATE AFFAIRS
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SJR 15-CALL FOR US COUNTERMAND CONVENTION SCR 4-US COUNTERMAND CONVENTION DELEGATES 9:01:34 AM CHAIR STOLTZE [announced that the first order of business would be a hearing on both SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15, Making application to the United States Congress to call a convention of the states to propose a countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States as provided under art. V, Constitution of the United States; and urging the legislatures of the other 49 states to make the same application; and SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 4, Relating to the duties of delegates selected by the legislature to attend a convention of the states called under art. V, Constitution of the United States, to consider a countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States; establishing as a joint committee of the legislature the Delegate Credential Committee and relating to the duties of the committee; providing for an oath for delegates and alternates to a countermand amendment convention; providing for a chair and assistant chair of the state's countermand amendment delegation; providing for the duties of the chair and assistant chair; providing instructions for the selection of a convention president; and providing specific language for the countermand amendment on which the state's convention delegates are authorized by the legislature to vote to approve]. At ease from 9:02 a.m. to 9:04 a.m. 9:04:31 AM STUART KRUEGER, Staff, Representative Shelly Hughes, Alaska State Legislature, on behalf of Representative Hughes, sponsor of HJR 14 and HCR 4, House companion legislation, relayed that SJR 15 and SCR 4 would together address an application by the State of Alaska to pursue a constitutional convention under powers granted by Article V of the Constitution of the United States. Under the proposed resolutions, however, the proposed constitutional convention is supposed to be limited to just one subject, that being what he referred to as a "countermand amendment" as outlined in SCR 4. He offered his understanding that such an amendment to the U.S. Constitution would provide the states with "veto power" over federal law. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI joined the committee meeting. MR. KRUEGER, referring to SCR 4, paraphrased the language on page 11, line 14, through page 12, line 16, which read: "Section 1. The Article restores State sovereignty in our Constitutional Republic by providing State Legislatures Countermand authority. "Section 2. State Legislatures in the several States shall have the authority to Countermand and rescind any Congressional Statute, Judicial decision, Executive Order, Treaty, government agency's regulatory ruling, or any other government or non- government mandate (including excessive spending and credit) imposed on them when in the opinion of 60 percent of State Legislatures the law or ruling adversely affects their States' interest. When the Countermand threshold has been reached, the law or ruling shall be immediately and automatically nullified and repealed. This Countermand authority shall also apply to existing laws and rulings. "Section 3. From the time the initial Countermand is issued by a State Legislature, the other Legislatures shall have 18 months to complete the Countermand process. If the Countermand process is not completed in 18 months, then the law or ruling that is being challenged shall remain enforceable. "Section 4. Each State Legislature shall complete their Countermand affidavit and deliver a certified copy to the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the United States, and when applicable the Government Agency or Body that is being challenged. "Section 5. Congress shall have the power to enforce this Article by appropriate legislation. "Section 6. Individual States shall have authority to prosecute violators of this Article under State laws in the absence of Federal prosecution after 90 days from the date of the alleged violation. Multiple prosecutions, by multiple States, for the same alleged crime are prohibited. "Section 7. The Article shall be immediately part of the United States Constitution upon ratification by three quarters of the State Legislatures in the several States. "Section 8. The provisions of this Article are enforceable within the United States, which shall include the Several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the territories and possessions of the United States."; MR. KRUEGER indicated that the concepts embodied in the proposed resolutions were brought forth by Mike Coons and an organization called Citizen Initiatives, and offered his belief that the resolutions' proposed countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States could be viewed as a nonpartisan issue. In response to a question, he indicated that [if the resolutions are passed, and a constitutional convention addressing the proposed countermand amendment is convened, and ratification of the proposed change to the Constitution of the United States occurs, then] any state in disagreement with a federal law could seek repeal/nullification of that law through a specific process. 9:13:06 AM MIKE COONS, National and State Director, Citizen Initiatives, opined that a countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States is sorely needed, indicated that an application to Congress to call a constitutional convention must still be made, and mentioned that the resolutions' proposed constitutional convention is defined in one of the resolutions. He, too, noted that the resolutions' proposed constitutional convention is supposed to be limited to just the subject of a countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Referring to what he termed a "credentials committee," he offered his understanding that it would be appointed by the State of Alaska, and would control the delegates, including picking them, overseeing them, and responding to their questions. MR. COONS, in response to a request, offered a hypothetical example involving state and federal lands, and predicted that with ratification of a countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States, resolutions passed by the states would then have the force of law. In response to questions involving other hypothetical examples, he, too, offered his understanding that [if the resolutions are passed, and a constitutional convention addressing the proposed countermand amendment is convened, and ratification of the proposed change to the Constitution of the United States occurs, then] states in disagreement with a federal law could seek repeal/nullification of that law. SENATOR COGHILL, mentioning "federal overreach," characterized the resolutions' proposed countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States as a tool to be used by states that disapprove of federal law, and expressed support. SENATOR HUGGINS predicted that should the resolutions' proposed countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States be ratified, it would not be used in his lifetime. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI cautioned against allowing a majority of the states to overturn U.S. Supreme Court decisions, venturing that had the resolutions' proposed countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States been ratified in the past, a majority of the states could have gotten together to overturn the significant civil-rights decisions that have been made - decisions such as ending segregation, for example. [SCR 4 and SJR 15 were held in committee.]