Thursday, 08 May 2014

As Gov. of Texas, Would Abbott Continue to Stand for States' Rights?

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It’s no secret that President Obama and his globalist gang are determined to disarm civilians. Attacks on the right to keep and bear arms are a constant and consistent activity of the Obama administration.

When states assert their rightful authority to pass laws nullifying unconstitutional federal acts, the White House orders its spokesmen to send threatening letters to the governors of those states courageous enough to get sideways of a president that sees himself above the law, particularly the constitutional law.

About a year ago, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback informing him that the Obama administration would ignore a Kansas law nullifying federal gun control laws. Holder went on to warn the governor that federal agents would “take all appropriate actions” to enforce federal gun control laws, calling the Kansas statute “unconstitutional.”

In a response to Holder's harangue, Brownback defended his state’s right to protect its citizens’ right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

“The right to keep and bear arms is a right that Kansans hold dear. It is a right enshrined not only in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also protected by the Kansas Bill of Rights,” Brownback explained. “The people of Kansas have repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed their commitment to protecting this fundamental right. The people of Kansas are likewise committed to defending the sovereignty of the State of Kansas as guaranteed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” he continued.

Now there is another friend of firearms and the right to keep and bear them that might soon have to reassert his previously proclaimed commitment to fight the federal gun grab.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (shown) is running for governor of Texas and it looks like come November, he may become the 48th governor of the Lone Star State.

A Public Policy Polling survey of registered voters in Texas conducted April 13 shows Abbott leading the Democratic candidate by 12 points.

Gun owners in Texas are likely pleased by the results of that poll, particularly in light of statements made by Abbott while he served as the state attorney general.

Around the same time that U.S. Attorney General Holder was trying to scare state leaders with the specter of federal troops showing up to enforce federal gun control regulations, Greg Abbott was sending out a warning of his own.

In April 2013, Abbott sent a letter to President Obama threatening to sue should the president attempt to enforce the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty in Texas. Abbott wrote:

If the UN Arms Trade Treaty is not stopped at the federal level, I — and my fellow state attorneys general — will take up the fight to preserve the Constitution. Ratification of this treaty would compel immediate legal action to enforce the Constitution’s guarantee that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Although much less publicized than the situation at the Cliven Bundy ranch in Nevada, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) attempted similar land seizures in Texas. In response, Abbott promised to file a lawsuit against the BLM, challenging its assertion of authority over a 90,000-acre tract along the Red River.

Using words familiar to constitutionalists (and to ancient Greeks!), Abbott informed the Obama administration that if it wanted control of the area, it would have to “come and take it.”

While such actions are promising and laudable, the question now is whether Abbott’s fiery words will cool the closer he gets to the governor’s mansion.

A story published on dallasnews.com cites concerns by some that Abbott might not be quite as bold as governor as he has been as attorney general.

“What we don’t know is what kind of governor Greg Abbott might be,” said Rice University political science professor Mark Jones, as quoted in the dallasnews.com story. “A governor who stays in such a heightened state of partisan conflict is unlikely to be successful in his or her main task of actually governing the state.”

Despite this professor’s prediction, a spokesman for the Abbott campaign assures Texans that his boss will not back down.

“Greg Abbott doesn’t mince words when it comes to safeguarding individual and states’ rights, defending the Constitution and protecting against an overreaching federal government,” said Matt Hirsch. “When it comes to fighting for Texans, Greg Abbott’s strong words will match his actions, and he will continue that practice as governor.”

Time will tell the tale of the ability of Abbott’s opposition to federal tyranny to withstand the gubernatorial gauntlet. He doesn’t seem to be a shrinking violet, but others who have started as strong advocates of state sovereignty have withered into “Supremacy Clause” weaklings.

When it comes to the proper relationship between state and federal governments, it is important to recognize that the hand that wrote the Kentucky Resolutions also wrote the Declaration of Independence. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson understood that even small and incremental deviations from the straight and narrow constitutional road would place this nation on a trajectory of tyranny — a path followed by so many of the formerly free governments of history.

Why do state legislators hesitate? Why do they deny the power that exists in them to put an end to the nearly constant contraction of liberty carried out by the federal government? 

Perhaps if he is elected by the people of Texas, Greg Abbott will assert his constitutional prerogative to sever the string from which the federal carrot dangles and then break the stick over the knee of nullification.

One state can lead the way. One state legislature can then take the broken sticks of “state grants-in-aid” and rub them together until they spark a fire of freedom that will attract liberty-lovers to their borders like so many moths to the light of an irresistible flame.

Texans head to the polls on November 4 to elect the next governor. Before election day, voters are encouraged to inform themselves as to the proper relationship between the states and the federal government as intended by our Founders and established by them in the Constitution. To that end, The John Birch Society (JBS) is a great resource.

Since 1958, The JBS has fought the fight to restore our constitutional Republic, providing numerous educational tools that teach Americans to appreciate our constitutionally protected liberties and providing them a means to organize and effect the changes they believe our country needs.

With respect to the role states should play in the fight to prevent federal overreach, The John Birch Society “believes that the states retain the power to nullify any and all unconstitutional laws imposed by the federal government on the states. Indeed, the JBS believes that states are duty-bound to do so.”

Regardless of rhetoric, Texans should take time over the six months or so between now and election day to learn all about the candidates running for governor and unite with others equally committed to upholding our constitutional values and electing candidates who will do likewise.

Photo of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: AP Images

 

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels nationwide speaking on nullification, the Second Amendment, the surveillance state, and other constitutional issues.  Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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