Sunday, May 31, 2009

Texas House Votes for Resolution Supporting States' Rights

The federal government can dictate a lot to the individual states by loosening and tightening its Congressional purse strings or by simply mandating a decision that will impact all of us. Recently though, through "tea party" protests and our own governor's reminder that secession is always an option, the decisions of our elected officials in Washington, D.C. have come under increased scrutiny. The citizens of Texas have always had a strong independent streak, so it should be no surprise that, this past weekend, its legislative body took up the very idea of asserting its strength over the federal government.

HCR 50 is a non-binding resolution that was introduced by Rep. Brandon Creighton, a Republican from Conroe. The text of this resolution supported the idea of "states' rights" as determined by the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. Creighton believes that the federal government should stay out of the lives of Texans as much as possible, but insisted that he was not calling for secession. In his own words, "It's about succeeding in the union, not seceding from the union." Apparently, many of his many fellow House members agreed with this sentiment, as the resolution passed with a vote of 99-36.

Those who opposed the resolution pointed to the fact that states' rights has historically been an argument used by those who wanted to deprive equal rights to minorities, and most of the votes in opposition came from African American and Hispanic Democrats.

There are countless areas of law and policy that are determined by a partnership between the federal and state government, including education, abortion, drugs and alcohol, taxes, and many others. What are your thoughts? Do you think that the people and elected officials of Texas should have more autonomy over what happens in our state? Or, do you believe that our country benefits from having unified policies? Please let us know what you think!

Either way, the attorneys at Bertolino LLP are experienced in both federal and state laws and work aggressively to keep our clients in good standing with both Austin and Washington, D.C. If you have any legal question or concern, please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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