By RLCID Vice Chair Phil Hart
And it really is “for the children”, so said the Framers of our Constitution when they wrote into the preamble of that great document this language “…and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
What we can do best “for the children” is to defend our Constitution, to which many of us have taken an oath to do just that. And so far in human history, our system of government appears to be the best designed and put into practice in the history of mankind. To that end, the Legislature of Idaho did the right thing when it rejected Senate Bill 1067 in the regular 2015 session. And now today, it also needs to reject House Bill 1 in the Special Session.
There has been much written about Senate Bill 1067, which seeks to implement the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, of the 2007 Hague Convention. Implementing such an agreement is precisely what the Framers of the United States Constitution envisioned the role of the federal government to be, and tasked the United States Senate, working in cooperation with the executive branch, to do so. The responsibilities are clearly drawn. And our United States Senate has had plenty of opportunity since 2007 to implement this Hague Convention as a treaty; and they have declined to do so.
The attempt to get the States of the Union to each put into state statute the unaltered language of this Hague Convention agreement constitutes an end-run around both our state and federal constitutions. It blurs the original and well defined spheres of authority in our constitutional system of dual sovereignties and a framework of checks and balances. It creates more of an enmeshed political blob of confused responsibility that will serve to empower the government and reduce the ability of people to cope with it. This is as unhealthy for a society as it is when families blur individual responsibilities and boundaries between members of a family.
One of the foundational principles of our system of government, and one of the primary issues leading to our separation from England is summarized by the statement “ No taxation without representation.” Embedded in this principal is the idea that citizens should have recourse with their government to change things they do not like. This is a principle that dates back to the Magna Carta in 1215 and is also memorialized in our Declaration of Independence with the noted grievance: “For imposing taxes on us without our consent. “
In the same way today’s House Bill 1 will impose governmental authority over people for which they do not have any means to redress through any political process. It is a form of “Taxation without Representation” that past Americans have fought on the battlefield to throw off such tyranny. This makes HB 1 antithetical to what America is all about.
Sections 9, 34, 35 and 53 of House Bill 1 imposes the “full faith and credit” principle, a constitutional provision limited to other Union States; and not to foreign countries, many of whom will have a political and governmental system different than our own. This was never envisioned by the Framers of either our state constitution nor our federal constitution. The Legislature of Idaho is therefore without the power to pass this bill.
And if House Bill 1 passes and is signed into law by the Governor, where in the Idaho Code will we find sections 68, 69 and 70 of the bill? These sections include “Legislative Intent”, “Report – Legislative Intent” and “Severability”. There is no designation of where these sections will be placed in the code books. Are we going to hide the Legislative Intent from the public and those people who will in the future get their shirt caught in this Child Support Machinery? And what the heck is the definition of the term “sister states” found in section 68? Why don’t we use a well defined term like “Several States of the Union” that has a 228 year history?
And lastly, the urgency to pass this bill is likely unnecessary to avoid the cutting off of federal funds, which was threatened if the Idaho Legislature did not pass SB 1067; and is now threatened again if House Bill 1 is not immediately passed. Both the Governor’s office and the Attorney General’s office ought to know how to fight this issue in the courts, as the state of Idaho is a party to a suit that has recently successfully done just that on another issue.
This relates to the lawsuit by 26 states against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over a DHS institutionalized program that is in conflict with the immigration laws passed by Congress. This case is styled State of Texas v. United States of America, and both the State of Idaho and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, are listed as Plaintiffs. Case: 1:1-14-cv-00254, United States District Court, Southern District of Texas. See the Court’s February 16, 2015 Opinion found below. Please pay close attention to pages 102 to 123.
In this case a DHS program, not authorized by Congress, was going to cause a significant cost to the state of Idaho, and Texas, as the lead state, was able to get a temporary injunction. The main issue was that the DHS was legislating outside of Congress without following the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act.
The same issues apply to HB 1 and the threat of loss of funds to the state of Idaho by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Questions that Idaho Legislators need to be asking include the following:
1. Is the Department of Health and Human Services an independent agency able to administer “public rights” and legislate by rule outside of Congress?
2. Is the policy of the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold funds based on a rule promulgated by that agency? And is there any agency discretion in applying this rule?
3. If the HHS policy is based on such a rule, is the rule a “substantive rule” with the force of law, or is it an interpretative rule?
4. And lastly, if the rule is a “substantive rule”, did HHS follow the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act and the Federal Register Act in promulgating this rule?
If the answers don’t line up correctly with HHS’s authority, then the threatened loss of funds is only a hollow threat. The state of Idaho needs to investigate these details, and if appropriate, sue the Department of Health and Human Services making the same argument that Texas made in their suit against DHS, of which Idaho is a party to. It is likely that today’s special session of the Legislature is completely unnecessary.
Members of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Idaho attended CPAC near Washington D.C. this year. They were fortunate enough to capture this amazing footage of an unscripted Sean Hannity and Senator Rand Paul taking the stage at a dueling piano bar.
This was an impromptu event, so its possible that this may be the only footage available of this moment.
On February 28, 2015, Senator Rand Paul hosted an evening meet and greet for liberty activists attending CPAC at a pub just down the street from the main convention hall. The venue was absolutely packed with Rand fans looking to get autographs and pictures with the Kentucky Senator. The surprise of the night was Fox News host Sean Hannity "crashing" the party to interview Senator Paul for his program. But prior to the official interview, both Hannity and Paul took to the stage and flipped the script, where Senator Paul was the interviewer and Hannity was the guest.
Sean Hannity started off with a comedy routine about how Democrats blame everything on George Bush, which was a bit lame, dated, and out of place for this particular audience, but he delivered it with such enthusiasm as to make it very entertaining for the crowd.
The video closes with Sean Hannity buying a bottle of cinnamon whiskey for the table in the front, as he and Senator Paul move to a different area to tape the official interview for Hannity's show. You can watch this video below. The official interview where Hannity interviewed Paul is here.
All-in-all it was a great evening with RLC-PAC endorsed Senator Rand Paul!
Please consider joining the RLC today!
IDAHO LIBERTY EXPO SCHEDULE RELEASED
Event Start Time: 8 AM (Wake Up, Rise 'n Shine for Liberty Rally)
Workshops/Presentations: 9 AM - 5 PM
Lunch break (lunch on your own): 11:50 AM-1:00 PM
Presentations & Debate Topics Include:
• Medicaid Expansion (Gubernatorial Candidate Debate)
• Liberty Through Financial Independence by John Pugliano
• Freedom & the Free Trade Agenda by Tom Munds
• The Politics of Fear by Connor Boyack
• Common Core Presentation by Stephanie Zimmerman
• NDAA by Jason Casella (PANDA)
• Securing Your Communications by Alex Barron
• Right of Conscience (Panel Discussion)
• Sound Money: The Case for Gold & Silver by John Green
• Free Trade vs Fair Trade (Panel Discussion)
• Sharia Law Presentation by ACT for America!
• Medical Marijuana in Idaho (Panel Debate)
• Center for Self Governance Presentation by Sandra Belzar Brendale
DINNER BANQUET W/TOM WOODS
Social: 6:00 PM
Dinner: 6:30 PM
Idaho Liberty Expo Guest Speaker Dr. Thomas Woods is interviewed by Dr. Ron Paul. Watch below.
But here's a good report you might have missed.
I reached out to the campaign, who said that even though nearly every minute of his time in Moscow was booked, that could spare us 20 minutes evening if I could deliver a good turnout.
I got this confirmation afternoon.
So with less than 24 hours to plan an event, I got to work building a meet and greet around his schedule.
Of course I had promised a big turnout, but I honestly had no idea if I could get one with such short notice.
RLC members started sending out emails and making facebook posts. I took the mic at a couple of the committee hearings morning to announce the event. And that was about the extent of our promotion.
We decided to make the event free for RLC members, and $5 for everyone else. I booked the "Gold Room" at the convention hotel (the same room Huckabee had been in the night before) and much to my pleasant surprise, the Paul campaign generously offered to pick up the tab for the whole event.
I had originally scheduled the event for one hour (with Rand appearing at the last 20 minutes) but then started to wonder if we might actually get a big crowd, so I changed it to two hours in case we needed more time to process people.
When the event started, it became very apparent that Rand Paul is popular in Idaho. People started streaming in! We had so many people show up that had to open up another room for overflow. We estimate that around 200 people tried to get into the event. It was so big it was getting out of control.
State Chairman Barry Peterson made it in, giving a little speech. So did Senators Risch and Crapo. (Governor Otter was nowhere to be found.)
When Rand Paul was ready to come in, I was proud to be able to escort him from his hotel room to the event. We quickly took some pictures with the RLC board, then Rand took the mic, shared a few anecdotes, took some pics, signed some autographs, and shook some hands before he was whisked away to the main event at the Kibbe Dome.
For an event I put together at the last minute, I'd have to say it was a rousing success! The RLC raised a ton of money from the entrance fees, from people joining the RLC at the door and paying dues, and from T-Shirt sales. Sen. Paul was generous enough to donate five autographed copies of his book, "The Tea Party Goes to Washington" that we were able to auction off at the event. Our big ticket items, however, were two framed copies of the US Constitution that had been autographed by Dick Heller, the famous Plaintiff from the Supreme Court case DC v Heller that reaffirmed our 2nd Amendment Rights. Rand also signed them at the event, and they raised over $600 at auction! (Thanks to RLC Vice Chair Phil Hart for donating the items.)
Senator Paul went on to play another packed house at the State Convention dinner banquet that night. His popularity at these events makes me hopeful for the future of our country. The seeds planted by Ron Paul in 2008 have grown into a nationwide movement that is seriously advocating limited government and individual rights. The fact that Rand Paul is spoken of as a frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016 by the liberal mainstream media (!) shows that our hard work is paying off. Our tireless advocacy of libertarian policy is changing hearts and minds around this nation. It has made libertarianism mainstream. It has put the White House in our sites!
Please consider joining the Republican Liberty Caucus of Idaho today. The RLC of Idaho is the fastest growing charter in the country. We support principled liberty Republicans in office today such as Rep. Raul Labrador, Rep. Justin Amash, Rep. Thomas Massie, Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Ted Cruz, and of course Sen. Rand Paul. (If you don't know who some of these new leaders are, do yourself a favor and google them!) Our historical champions include Ron Paul, Ronald Reagan, and Barry Goldwater.
Join today by clicking this link, and help us remain "the conscience of the GOP!"
Region 4 Chairman