states' rights

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6 States Defy Pentagon on Gay Military Benefits

Couples being forced to travel to federal bases to get ID card needed for benefits

(Newser) - In 44 states, the gay spouse of an active-duty National Guard member can register for a military spouse ID card at his or her partner's base and begin getting federal marriage benefits. But in six states, it's not so easy. As the New York Times explains, bases in... More »

N. Carolina Lawmakers Want to Declare State Religion

They say Constitution forbids Congress, not states, from doing so

(Newser) - The US Constitution might have a problem with merging church and state on the federal level, but two lawmakers in North Carolina say that shouldn't apply to their state or any other, reports the Raleigh News & Observer . The two Rowan County Republicans have introduced the Defense of Religion... More »

Obama: Gay Marriage Bans 'Probably' Unconstitutional

President says debt sustainable for next 10 years

(Newser) - It looks like President Obama's views on gay marriage are continuing to " evolve ." When he first expressed his support for gay marriage last May, Obama also said he thought it was a state issue (a position he's since reaffirmed ). Now, however, the president is saying... More »

Georgia Reps: Time to Revoke 17th Amendment

Scrap the direct election of senators, they say

(Newser) - GOP state representatives in Georgia say it's time to end direct elections of national senators, the Douglas County Sentinel reports. Instead, state assemblies should pick senators, as it was before the 17th amendment, says Kevin Cooke, a sponsor of a bill calling on Congress to take action. "This... More »

States Skip FEC, Demand IDs of Nonprofit Donors

FEC gridlock prompts action

(Newser) - The Federal Election Commission is stuck in partisan gridlock—so states are taking nonprofit donor disclosure into their own hands. California this month called on an Arizona group to uncover the source of $11 million used for ballot measure fights; recent court cases in Idaho and Minnesota have forced political... More »

Sandy Proves Romney Was Wrong to Diss FEMA

Eugene Robinson recalls small-government point during debate

(Newser) - There's something of a Sandy-related brouhaha swirling around comments Mitt Romney made in the ancient days of 2011: Seems that when asked during a Republican debate about disaster relief, Romney sounded like he wanted to gut FEMA, saying he'd shift responsibility for disaster management to the states—or... More »

White House Gives States More Say on Health Law

Proposal would let them determine 'essential benefits'

(Newser) - In a potentially big shift, the White House is poised to give states much more flexibility on how to implement a key part of health care reform. Under a proposal outlined by health chief Kathleen Sebelius, the federal government would largely let states determine what "essential health benefits" would... More »

Arizona Bill Would Let State Ignore Federal Laws

One local columnist sees it as secession-lite

(Newser) - Arizona state lawmakers are considering a bill that one local columnist says amounts to a de facto attempt at secession. The bill would allow the state to ignore any federal law lawmakers deem unconstitutional, reports KPHO-TV . It would create a committee—comprised of 12 state House and Senate members—to... More »

In South, How to Celebrate Secession, Not Slavery?

150th anniversary events include mock swearing-in of Jefferson Davis

(Newser) - How do you celebrate the Confederacy and secession without implicitly celebrating slavery? The South is attempting to do just that, as it plans to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the four-year-long Civil War over the next four years. Events include “secession balls,” re-enactments, a parade, and a mock... More »

New Law Means Idaho Sues Feds if Health Reform Is Enacted

State's 'sovereignty' at stake: governor

(Newser) - Idaho’s Republican governor signed into law today a bill that requires the state’s attorney general to sue the federal government if health-care reform is enacted that mandates coverage for individuals or business. “I put a real high priority on the sovereignty of the state of Idaho,”... More »

Obama Pot Policy a Victory for States' Rights

Administration takes long-overdue steps to end Bush-era excesses

(Newser) - The Obama administration’s decision to respect state laws on medical marijuana is good policy—and not just because it demonstrates compassion toward cancer and AIDS patients, writes Glenn Greenwald. Despite his critics’ charges of “socialism” and “fascism,” President Obama is showing that his administration, unlike the... More »

Feds Will Back Off Medical Pot Operations

No more crackdowns on outlets that comply with state law

(Newser) - The Obama administration will stop cracking down on medical marijuana centers operating legally under state law, according to a new policy expected to be released today. The move is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which continued to bust such operations for breaking federal law. Under the new strategy,... More »

Calif. Will Honor Harvey Milk

'Day of significance' commemorates gay rights pioneer

(Newser) - Reversing his position on a bill he vetoed a year ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed off on bill making May 22 an annual day of recognition in  honor of gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk. The San Francisco supervisor, who was assassinated in 1978, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom... More »

Health Foes Fight Mandatory Insurance at State Level

Efforts, mainly GOP-led, appear more symbolic, but could result in court battles

(Newser) - Efforts are afoot in more than a dozen states to outlaw mandatory health insurance, a preemptive strike against federal health reform that, though mainly symbolic and constitutionally dubious, could provoke a court battle that would be costly and delay any plan passed by Congress. “I just don’t want... More »

GOP Plays With 'Crazy Fire' on State Sovereignty

(Newser) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s stand against the intrusion of federal power on states’ rights is straight from an 1832 playbook, Ed Kilgore writes for the Democratic Strategist. And the argument John C. Calhoun made then is still wrong. Miffed that the GOP is out of power, Kilgore writes, Perry... More »

Hawaiians Protest Statehood; Vow to Take Over

Monarchists blockade royal palace

(Newser) - A group of native Hawaiian activists seized the grounds of the state's old royal palace in Honolulu yesterday and vowed to take over, CNN reports. They locked the gates and announced they would rule the government from there. The group, one of several which rejects Hawaii's statehood and seeks to... More »

States Fume on Eve of REAL ID Deadline

Montana leads fight against unfunded federal law

(Newser) - Washington is locked in a standoff with states over REAL ID, an anti-terror law that aims to make driver's licenses harder to dupe or obtain. But no states are near complying and Montana, New Hampshire, and Maine have all balked at the unfunded plan. What's more, REAL ID is just... More »

Open-Minded Obama Earns Backing of GOP Stalwart

Lawyer Kmiec disagrees on most issues, backs candidate anyway

(Newser) - The former legal counsel to Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush is siding with Barack Obama, calling the Democrat “a person of integrity, intelligence and good will.” Doug Kmiec disagrees with the candidate on gay marriage, abortion, states’ rights, and the place of religion in the public sphere,... More »

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