Mississippi Weighs Bill to Ignore Federal Laws

HB 490 seeks to assert 'sovereignty' of state

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 25, 2013 6:43 AM CST

(Newser) – Angry about ObamaCare and the president's gun control proposals, two Mississippi state representatives have filed a bill to create the Joint Legislative Committee on the Neutralization of Federal Laws, reports the AP. Republicans Gary Chism and Jeff Smith say the bill is about supporting states rights and clawing back federal overreach. "We need to do something to stand up for the 10th Amendment" (which says powers not specifically reserved for the federal government are reserved for the states), explains Chism.

Per the Jackson Free Press, among other things, HB 490 intends to:

  • "prohibit the infringement of the constitutionally protected rights of the state of Mississippi or its people by means of any federal statute, mandate, executive order, judicial decision, or other action deemed by the state to be unconstitutional"
  • "assert the sovereignty of the state under the Mississippi constitution of 1890"
Previous attempts by Mississippi to defy the federal government, from secession to the Sovereignty Commission—a state agency that spied on people believed to support racial equality—have not gone so well, notes the AP. "It's absolutely the most horrendous idea that has ever come before this august body," said Democrat Steve Holland of the bill. "It is political fodder for the right and borderline stupid."

Rep. Gary Chism, left, is offered a pen by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant after he signs a new state law to boost the state's business climate.
Rep. Gary Chism, left, is offered a pen by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant after he signs a new state law to boost the state's business climate.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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