Bill

SCR 1

84(R) - 2015
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
State Sovereignty

Vote Recommendation

Yes
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive

Author(s)

Paul Bettencourt

Co-Author(s)

Brian Birdwell
Konni Burton
Donna Campbell
Kevin Eltife
Craig Estes
Bob Hall
Don Huffines
Lois Kolkhorst
Jane Nelson
Robert Nichols
Charles Perry
Charles Schwertner
Larry Taylor
Van Taylor

Bill Caption

Claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, serving notice to the federal government to halt and reverse certain mandates, and providing that certain federal legislation be prohibited or repealed.

Fiscal Notes

Not applicable.

Bill Analysis

SCR 1 is a concurrent resolution by the Senate addressing the overreach of power by the federal government. 

The resolution cites Section 1, Article 1 of the Texas Constitution, that states the keeping the union of states depends upon the preservation of local government.  Section 2, Article 1 of the Texas Constitution states the right of the people to alter, reform, or abolish government as they see fit.

According to the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, all powers not delegated to the federal government and all powers not prohibited to the federal government by the states are reserved to the states, or their respective people. The scope of power granted to the federal government is the powers assigned by the Constitution and no more than that.

Today, the states are treated as agents of the federal government, which is not the original intent of creating a federal government. The federal government is the agent of the states. Many powers assumed by the federal government violate the Constitutional purpose of power and rights being reserved to the states. New York v. United States, 505 U.S.144 (1992) ruled that Congress may not commandeer the regulatory and legislative processes of the states.

There are four resolutions because of the philosophy in SCR 1 contending that federal government has violated the Constitutional rights of the states. First, the 84th legislature of Texas would claim sovereignty over all powers not enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution. Second, this would serve as a notice and demand that the federal government stop imposing mandates and assuming powers not enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution.  Third, any federal legislation should be prohibited and repealed that is not necessary to assure rights of the people under the Constitution but instead, directs states to comply under threat of  criminal and civil penalties, sanctions, or loss of federal funding.  Fourth, the Texas secretary of state would forward official copies of SCR 1 to the president of the United States, the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and to all of the Texas delegation to Congress. This would request that SCR 1 be officially entered into the Congressional Record. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

The philosophy of the founding fathers, that resulted in the American Revolution and the creation of the Constitution, must be periodically revisited in order to guard against the encroach and growth of government power.  John Adams famously exclaimed, "‚ÄúPosterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it."  It is also important to remember that each state possesses their own constitution in order to help limit the federal power of the United States.  This resolution serves as a reminder of these principles and that government was created by the people to protect their rights and not to violate them.

This resolution would demand the halt of the federal government's practice of taking powers not expressly given and enumerated by the Constitution.  This affirms our principle of limited government by expressing the necessity of preserving the rights of states and their respective people.  By demanding the stop of the federal government's unconstitutional taking of rights not given, this resolution also affirms the individual liberties of the people. We support SCR 1 on the principle of limited government and individual liberty.