Texas has become the latest state to introduce a resolution regarding the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. House Concurrent Resolution 50 simply recognizes that the individual states can claim sovereignty on all matters that are not specifically granted to the federal government. It is not a “secessionist” resolution, as has been falsely reported elsewhere.

It is a shame that it took the stimulus package for something like this to be introduced, but there have been moments when our legislature stood up for Texas in recent years. In 2007, the state House and Senate both passed legislation that would’ve investigated whether or not Texas law was being negatively affected by international entities and arrangements including NAFTA and the United Nations. That bill was vetoed by Rick Perry. The sovereignty resolution acknowledges that “a number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from congress may further violate the Constitution.”

HCR 50 includes a strongly worded message to the federal government:

RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed;

The resolution was authored by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), Leo Berman (R-Tyler) and Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola). A similar resolution (HJR 1003) was recently passed in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives.