CONNECTICUT GRASSROOTS ALLIANCE

2/10/10

Urgent Request for Assistance of All Connecticut Residents:  The Time Is Now to Contact Legislators to Gain Support for Three Proposals to Reassert the Tenth Amendment to Be Able to Declare Federal Laws Unconstitutional.

 

The Connecticut Grassroots Alliance, an alliance of 28 grassroots organizations through the state, have succeeded in obtaining the support of Senator Toni Boucher and some of her Republican colleagues in the General Assembly to propose legislation that would reassert the right of the General Assembly, pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, to declare federal laws unconstitutional.  Because of the rules of the General Assembly for this session, however, these kinds of bills must be introduced as raised committee bills, and cannot be introduced by individual legislators. 

 

Therefore, Senator Boucher is asking the Government Administration and Elections Committee to raise three specific proposals, all aimed at reasserting the State’s rights under the Tenth Amendment to be able to review federal laws for their constitutionality.

 

The three proposals, Versions A, B, and C, seek to accomplish this is similar ways.  One is a resolution, which essentially is a declarative statement, or sense of the legislature on an issue.  The other two are bills, which would have the full force and effect of law.

 

Version A is a resolution that urges Congress to exercise only those powers delegated to the United States.

 

Version A:

  

RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZING CONGRESS TO ABIDE BY THE TENTH AMENDMENT:

 

Resolved by this Assembly:

    That the Connecticut  General  Assembly calls on the Congress

and  the  President   of  the  United  States  to  abide by the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; specifically:

  

THAT the people, and by their authority, the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut retain sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States;

  

THAT on numerous occasions, the federal government has gone beyond the scope of their enumerated powers, in effect violating the Constitution, and such violations must cease; and further

  

RESOLVED:  THAT the federal government must, in the future, exercise only those powers delegated to the United States by the Constitution, and that which is necessary and proper in advancing those enumerated powers, with all other power, authority and sovereignty being reserved to the people.

 

 

 Version B is a bill that declares that the State of Connecticut and the General Assembly retain sovereignty over all powers and duties not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, and sets up a method for the legislature to review federal laws to determine their legality, and directs the legislature to tell Congress of the legislature’s findings.

 

Version B:

 

The proposal should provide the following language:

NEW Section 1. Pursuant to the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the State of Connecticut and its General Assembly retain sovereignty over all powers and duties not enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States . 

 Section 2.  Upon the written request of any member of the General Assembly, the committee having cognizance over matters pertaining to government administration and elections shall review any statute, regulation or directive promulgated by any branch of the federal government to ensure that the federal government has the authority to issue such statute, regulation or directive.  Following such review, the committee shall recommend to the General Assembly its determination as to the legality of the statute, regulation or directive.

Section 3.  Upon the recommendation of the government administration and elections committee, the general assembly shall vote to memorialize Congress as to the findings of the committee regarding the legality of the statute, regulation or directive.  

 

Version C is a bill that declares that the State of Connecticut and the General Assembly retain sovereignty over all powers and duties not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, and sets up a method for the legislature to review federal laws to determine their legality.  It omits any directive to Congress.

 

Version C:

 

NEW Section 1. Pursuant to the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the State of Connecticut and its General Assembly retain sovereignty over all powers and duties not enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States . 

 Section 2.  Upon the written request of any member of the General Assembly, the committee having cognizance over matters pertaining to government administration and elections shall review any statute, regulation or directive promulgated by any branch of the federal government to ensure that the federal government has the authority to issue such statute, regulation or directive.  Following such review, the committee shall recommend to the General Assembly its determination as to the legality of the statute, regulation or directive. 

 

All three versions are worthy of adoption as they would reinforce the rights that the State already retains pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. 

 

The Connecticut Grassroots Alliance is asking for the assistance of all Connecticut residents.  None of these proposals will be raised in the Government Administration and Elections Committee if the Democrat Co-Chairmen of that Committee do not support it.  The Co-Chairmen have control over whether any bills get raised for a vote by the full Committee.  So, the first step is to urge the Co-Chairmen to raise these bills for consideration by the committee and to hold a public hearing on them. Explain to them that this is an issue that cuts across all party lines.  This is about the Constitution and the ability of the State to be able to say “no” to the federal government when the federal government oversteps its authority and adopts any law that it has no Constitutional authority to adopt.  It is about the ability of the State to protect itself from unlawful intrusion into its State sovereignty.  The next step is to ask the remaining members of the Committee to vote in favor of raising the bills for a public hearing, and to support their passage out of committee for a vote by the full General Assembly.

 

The Co-Chairmen of the Government Administration and Elections Committee are:

 

Senator Gayle Slossberg, representing Milford, Orange, and West Haven.

Slossberg@senatedems.ct.gov

Capitol Phone:

860-240-0482, or toll-free
1-800-842-1420

Home Phone:

203-878-6412

http://www.senatedems.ct.gov/Slossberg.html

 

Representative James Field Spallone, representing Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam.

James.Spallone@cga.ct.gov

Capitol Phone:

800-842-1420 |

860.240.8585

Home Phone;

860.767.8615

http://www.housedems.ct.gov/Spallone/

 

 

 

 

 

The other members of that Committee are:

 

Senator Edward Meyer, Vice Chair, representing Branford, Durham, Killingworth, Guilford, Madison, and North Branford.

Meyer@senatedems.ct.gov

860-240-0455, or
1-800-842-1420

http://www.senatedems.ct.gov/Meyer.html

 

 

 

 

State Representative Joe Aresimowicz, Vice Chair, representing Berlin and Southington

Joe.Aresimowicz@cga.ct.gov

860.240.8585 | 1.800.842.8267

860.829.1654

http://www.housedems.ct.gov/Aresimowicz/

 

The full list of GAE Committee members can be found at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/MemberList.asp?comm_code=GAE&doc_type=

 

 

Keep in mind that when you speak to the legislators, they may be unfamiliar with the Tenth Amendment and the powers retained by the State.  For a brief historical background on that issue, we have put together a short narrative.  It is attached to this memo.

 

If the legislators are uncomfortable with ultimately voting for adoption of any of the proposals, please ask them, at least, to vote in favor of raising them for the purpose of having a public hearing on them.  Tell them that the citizens of Connecticut simply want the opportunity to express to them their opinion about this topic.  Tell them people of all political persuasions across the state are upset with many directives coming from both parties in Washington, and are urging our Connecticut legislators to help them find a way to be able to send a strong message to Washington when, and if, it is necessary.  Tell them that if a bill such as any of those being proposed were to be adopted, that at any time in the future our legislature would be able to send that strong message to Washington, no matter which party is in power.  In order to do that, we need our legislators to help us now.

 

Again, tell the members of the Government Administration and Elections Committee to raise these proposals for a public hearing and to support their passage out of the committee for a full vote by the General Assembly. 

 

WE NEED TO DO THIS NOW.  The DEADLINE FOR THE COMMITTEE TO RAISE ANY BILLS FOR A PUBLIC HEARING IS FEBRUARY 19, 2010.

 

http://www.cga.ct.gov/lco/XLS/Committee_Deadlines_Current_Year.pdf

 

So we can accurately keep track of who is supportive and who is not, after you have talked to any of the Committee members, please let us know how they responded.  Any help you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

 

For further information, you can contact:

 

Deborah Stevenson, dgs31@yahoo.com, info@nheld.com, (860) 354-3590

Vivian Rockwell Nasiatka, monienergy@sbcglobal.net

Estelle Stevenson estellestevenson@prudentialct.com