(The Center Square) – The Oklahoma Senate is considering a bill that would allow the state to ignore presidential executive orders deemed unconstitutional.
The state House already passed HB 1236, introduced by Republican House Speaker Charles McCall and state Rep. Mark McBride, by a vote of 79 to 18.
Republican Senate Majority Floor Leader Kim David has not yet said if she supports the measure, according to KOCO.
The bill would allow the state legislature to review every executive order issued by the White House to determine if Oklahoma should follow it. The legislature could request the state attorney general to review the order, or the legislature could declare the order unconstitutional itself by a simple majority vote, according to the bill.
If the order is referred to the AG, the AG would determine if it is constitutional. If it is deemed constitutional, then Oklahoma would adhere to it. If not, then Oklahoma could sue to invalidate the executive order.
The AG could also choose to take no action, leaving the decision up to the legislature to vote on the matter, according to the bill. If the legislature were to declare an executive order unconstitutional, it remains unclear if the state would then sue or simply ignore the order. If Oklahoma were to ignore it, the federal government would then determine if it would enforce the order or sue Oklahoma.
The bill states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the state, county, political subdivision or any other publicly funded organization shall not implement any action that restricts a person’s rights or that the Office of the Attorney General or the Legislature by a majority vote determines to be unconstitutional.”
The bill outlines different categories of orders lawmakers would review, ranging from public health crises and emergencies, to land use, oil and gas regulations, education, and agriculture regulations.
House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, a Democrat, called the bill “pandering” and “shenanigans.”
Last month, state Republican Rep. Jay Steagall introduced a resolution, HR 1005, asserting state's rights protected by the 10th Amendment.
House Republicans also reinstated a State's Rights Committee to prevent federal overreach encroaching on Oklahomans’ rights.
A long-held constitutional debate among states and the federal government is the tension between the 10th Amendment, which grants powers not delegated to the federal government to the states, and the Supremacy Clause, which stipulates that federal law generally takes precedence over state laws, and sometimes even over state constitutions.
via Oklahoma's Center Square News