“James Madison once asserted that “in a republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.” Well, today, only executive power predominates, because federal and state executive agencies seem to be the only ones doing the legislating. As Joe Biden continues to pass sweeping “laws” unilaterally with no authority from Congress, the red states are the only even potential check on his abuse of power. It appears that the state of Oklahoma has now taken up the mantle as the second state to move to block these executive orders.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma House overwhelmingly passed a bill, HB 1236, that would grant the state’s attorney general and state legislature the authority to review the president’s executive orders to determine constitutionality. Specifically, the bill would authorize the legislature to recommend that the attorney general review any executive order, federal agency rule, or federal congressional action to determine whether the state should seek an exemption or declare it unconstitutional. If either the attorney general or the legislature, by concurrent resolution, declares the act unconstitutional, then all state and local officials and any publicly funded organization are prohibited from enforcing it.
The federal actions covered under this bill include any orders pertaining to health emergencies; the regulation of natural resources, agriculture, and land use; infringements upon the Second Amendment; the regulation of the financial sector as it relates to environmental, social, or governance standards, the regulation of education; the regulation of college or school sports; or any other powers reserved by the State of Oklahoma or the people of Oklahoma.
This bill is probably the single most direct and effective way of countering federal power-grabs. As written, it would potentially pave the way for the legislature to block Biden’s mask mandate, transgender agenda in school sports, and racially biased orders in finance and commerce, just to name a few.
Oklahoma’s House is now the second chamber to pass a state sovereignty bill against federal overreach. The North Dakota House passed a similar bill, HB 1282, earlier this month. However, that bill passed by a narrow margin, 51-43, with nearly 30 Republicans voting against it. The Oklahoma bill, on the other hand, was introduced by the speaker himself, Rep. Charles McCall, and passed 79-18 along party lines, which means it has a good chance of going to the governor’s desk.
A few minutes after passage of HB 1236, Rep. Jay Steagall introduced HR 1005, a resolution expressing the right of a state to defend the Constitution and intervene on behalf of the liberties of its citizens.”