party (much less the Beltway intelligentsia), the federal governmentnhas assumed limitless de faeto power over the affairs ofnthe states and the activities of their citizens. Last March, ColoradonState Representative (now State Senator) Chades Dukendecided to do something about this. He introduced HousenJoint Resolution 94. When it passed in May, as H.R. 1035, thenColorado legislature served notice on the national government:n”Resolved, the State of Colorado hereby claims sovereigntynunder the Tenth Amendment [and] the federal government, asnour agent, is hereby instructed to cease and desist, effectivenimmediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of its authoritynunder the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of thenUnited States.”nGenerally unreported by the mainstream media, SenatornDuke’s resolution was the subject of a column by WalternWilliams. Coincidentally, May was the month that the Housenof Representatives passed its bipartisan semiautomatic firearmnand magazine ban, later incorporated into the national “CrimenBill” signed into law in September, Not surprisingly, a largennumber of disenfranchised gun owners (the law declarednaround 30 million lawfully owned guns to be “assaultnweapons”) took keen interest in Dr. Williams’ suggestion thatnthe states could and should stand up to unconstitutional federalnmandates “before the Congress completes its agenda to disarmnus through weakening our Second Amendment protections.”nThis column made the “chain fax” circuit in record timenand rallied further support for a movement that was alreadynsweeping the West.nThe Tenth Amendment/State Sovereignty/Secession movementnappears to be a spontaneous mass movement.nThere is no charismatic leader or well-funded “public interestngroup” leading the charge. On the contrary, the movementnseems to be made up of people whose only common traits arenan adamant refusal to live under tyranny and a hard-wired connectionnto the infobahn. The individual groups are too numerousnto list, but they seem to fall into one of three ideologicallynallied camps, differing only on the means to the end.nThe Tenth Amendment supporters are by far the most prolific.nThey have followed the lead of Senator Duke and passed,nin various forms, Tenth Amendment resolutions in Hawaii,nOhio, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Michigan,nPennsylvania, and California. Tenth Amendment resolutionsnare reportedly pending in an additional 22 state legislatures.nThe obvious question is “so what?” The states send hundredsnof resolutions to Congress each year which have no legalnweight whatsoever and are easy to pass. The practical effect isnto embolden the state legislature that initiated the TenthnAmendment claim to pass enabling legislation with some teethnin it. Once again the Colorado State Legislature has led thencharge by passing SB94-157, the Federal Mandates Act. Thisnnicely written piece of legislation is a Great Society stalwart’snnightmare. It requires, among other things, that a state agencynrequesting money to comply with a federal mandate list thenclause of the Constitution that empowered Congress to makenthe law to begin with. If it is not there, the law is considered nullnand void in the state of Colorado. Revisionist case law does notncount.n”Needless to say, the feds may be unimpressed with a statementnof sovereignty and attempt to impose economic sanctionsnagainst the state, as has become their pattern over the years,”nsays Senator Duke. He proposes that the state collect variousntaxes on behalf of the national government, such as federalngasoline and income taxes, then make monthly disbursementsnof these escrowed funds only as long as the national governmentnbehaves itself. Senator Duke continues, “Every dollar disbursednby the feds originated somewhere through the sweat ofnsomeone’s labor. The sovereignty proclaimed by the state simplyninserts the authority of the state, guaranteed by the U.S.nConstitution, at a point to reassert control which should havennever been given over,”nhe Tenth Amend­nment/StatenSovereignty/nSecession movement appears to be anspontaneous mass movement. There isnno charismatic leader or well-fundedn”public interest group” leading thencharge. On the contrary, the movementnseems to be made up of people whosenonly common traits are an adamantnrefusal to live under tyranny and anhard-wired connection to the infobahn.nThe major weakness in the Tenth Amendment proponent’snposition is its reliance upon the federal government and itsnhired guns, the judiciary, to obey the law of the land. Last Octobern11, the Supreme Court refused to hear a Tenth Amendmentncase brought by Kansas against the Fair Labor StandardsnAct and the Age Discrimination and Employment Act. AnTenth Amendment case against the national law that makes itna felony to own a gun and live within 1000 feet of a school camenbefore the high court on November 8. The NRA has also beennsuccessful in attacking the Brady Bill on Tenth Amendmentngrounds in the lower courts. Nevertheless, few will be surprisednif the high court rules, as usual, that the omnipotent CommercenClause supersedes everything. As Tocqueville predicted,na gradual but continuous shift in power from the states to thennational government has occurred as a result of the requirementnthat disputes between the parties be resolved in the nationalncourts.nTaking a somewhat stronger position, yet still working withinnthe established national system, Governors Mike Leavitt ofnUtah and Ben Nelson of Nebraska have called for a nationaln”conference of states” in 1995 to address and correct the imbalancenof power. Governor Fife Symington of Arizona has joinednthe call, and the Arizona legislature has created a one-milliondollarnConstitutional Defense Council that will sue the nationalngovernment on Tenth Amendment grounds. While GovernornLeavitt supports the Tenth Amendment movement, hennnMARCH 1995/23n