Taking on the government: Alabama Senate uses twisted logic in defiance of federal gun laws
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
May 01, 2013 | 3440 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Alabama Senate has again decided to tell the federal government which congressionally passed laws it will obey.

Previous attempts to do this have not gone well. That does not seem to matter to the 26 Alabama state senators who voted for a bill that would declare null and void any federal law that was a “violation of the Second Amendment.”

This, according to Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, would send a message to the federal government that Alabama would not enforce “unconstitutional” federal gun laws.

Under this twisted logic, it’s Alabama that will decide if a federal law is unconstitutional. In fact, if the bill becomes law, the state will have declared, in the words of the act, that “all federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms are a violation of the Second Amendment.”

The only problem with this is there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution or constitutional precedent to suggest that a state has the authority to determine the constitutionality of a federal law.

That is the job of the U.S. Supreme Court, which is where the matter will ultimately be resolved if the state actually tries to do what 26 Alabama state senators have said it will.

Alabama will not fare well if this fiasco reaches that point.

This page also wonders what state officials will do if a federal court orders them to enforce federal laws? Will they stand in the gun-store door to keep federal authorities out? Will they go to jail rather than enforce what they have declared to be “unconstitutional” acts, laws, orders,” etc.

Or will they do what George Wallace did in his carefully choreographed stand in the schoolhouse door in Tuscaloosa — bluster, strut, preen and make political points with voters who are swayed by sound and fury, even if it signifies nothing.

This legislative session will be remembered as one of the most theatrical in the state’s history. It will also be remembered for how little actually accomplished.
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