The bill, SB 1332, came to Otter’s desk after being passed unanimously (with three abstentions) by the state House and Senate.
The published purpose of SB 1332, the Idaho Federal Firearm, Magazine and Register Ban Enforcement Act, makes clear the intent of state lawmakers:
This legislation is to protect Idaho law enforcement officers from being directed, through federal orders, laws, rules, or regulations enacted or promulgated on or after January 1, 2014, to violate their oath of office and Idaho citizens' rights under the Idaho Constitution, Article 1, Section 11. This Constitutional provision disallows confiscation of firearms except those actually used in commission of a felony, and disallows other restrictions on a lawful citizen's right to own firearms and ammunition.
The State Affairs Committee,the listed author of the bill, was right to point out the state’s right to refuse to execute unconstitutional demands of the federal government. The authors understood that states are constitutionally, legally, and historically on solid ground when they hold these usurpations as null, void, and of no legal effect. That state governments have the power to take this tack with regard to unconstitutional acts of the federal government, the Founders were universally agreed, as I have explained in earlier articles.
Nullification is a concept of constitutional law that recognizes the authority of each state to nullify, or invalidate, any federal measure that exceeds the few and defined powers allowed the federal government as enumerated in the Constitution.
Nullification is founded on the assertion that the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the compact, they hold ultimate authority as to the limits of the power of the federal government to enact laws that they expect the people to obey.
That is to say, the Constitution is an agency agreement between the states (the principals) and the federal government (the agent).
The law of agency applies when one party gives another party legal authority to act on the first party’s behalf. The first party is called the principal and the second party is called the agent. The principal may grant the agent as much or as little authority as suits his purpose. That is to say, by simply giving an agent certain powers, that agent is not authorized to act outside of that defined sphere of authority.
Upon its ratification, the states, as principals, gave limited power to the federal government to act as their agent in certain matters of common concern: defense, taxation, interstate commerce, etc.
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