Bill to Establish ‘Nullification Committee’ Dies Without Debate

A proposal to establish a legislative committee that would review federal laws and regulations then recommend which, if any, should be nullified by the General Assembly died in a House subcommittee today without debate.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge. When Ragan stepped to the podium at the State and Local Government Subcommittee, Chairman Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville, asked if there was a motion on HB1212. No one on the committee spoke and Ramsey promptly declared that the bill had failed for lack of a motion.
There was thus no discussion of the bill, though Turner remarked that “I thought he (Ragan) might be opening a can of worms” as the sponsor left the room and the committee moved on the next bill.
In a brief interview afterwards, Ragan acknowledged that the bill “is a dead issue for this year.” He said the measure would create a mechanism for formal review of federal decisions by state legislators that is now lacking, though justified by the U.S. Constitution.
Ragan noted that the Constitution originally gave state legislatures the right to select a state’s U.S. senators, who are now chosen by popular election. With loss of that right, states have no effective means to oppose federal decisions except through he court system, he said, and that is inadequate.
The freshman lawmaker said he does not know why colleagues rejected his bill, though he has talked with some who were concerned that the bill would lead to “expensive litigation” in the courts” and others want to see how pending court cases – notably including those involving a federal health care reform law — “shake out” before going to such an alternative method of challenging federal laws and regulations.

One thought on “Bill to Establish ‘Nullification Committee’ Dies Without Debate

  1. Elmer Gantry

    TNGA Senator Stacie Campfield and Reps. John Ragan and Matthew Hill should be ran out of office in their brazen attempts to take away Tennessee voters’ rights to popularly elect candidates of their own choice to represent them within the U.S. Senate!

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