Tennessee legislature moves a step closer to filing states’ rights lawsuit on refugee program
Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 19, 2016
All over the country, ‘Pockets of Resistance,’ are forming to oppose the heavy-handed (secretive and costly) UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program. Tennesseans get kudos for being among the first to be recognized as resisters by the federal government as I learned here at a 2013 meeting the Office of Refugee Resettlement held in Lancaster, PA.
Now, the legislature itself may be on the cusp of striking a real blow for states’ rights.
See Michael Patrick Leahy, here at Breitbart:
The state of Tennessee is one step closer to filing a Tenth Amendment lawsuit in federal court to end the United States Refugee Resettlement program in that state.
The Finance, Ways & Means Committee of the State Senate overwhelmingly passed Senate Joint Resolution 467 in a bi-partisan nine to one vote.
The resolution now goes to the State Senate floor, where it is likely to pass, then on the the State House, where it is also likely to pass.
In Tennessee, the state legislature (called the General Assembly) has the authority to file this lawsuit, which may prevail in the courts on Tenth Amendment grounds, if Republican Governor Bill Haslam fails to act.
The resolution was filed in the State Senate by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey a little less than a month ago on January 22, and has moved quickly through the legislative process.
Unlike previous lawsuits filed by Texas and Alabama, which were not brought on 10th amendment grounds, this lawsuit could result in a victory. Such a victory would not prohibit refugees settled in other states by the Obama administration from entering the state of Tennessee. It would, however, prevent the State Department from settling those refugees initially in Tennessee under any circumstances, since such settlement requires the state of Tennessee to pay, in part, for their upkeep.
“Wilson-Fish alternative program” states including Tennessee and eleven others (Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Vermont) who have opted out of the US Refugee Resettlement program have a strong 10th amendment suit against the federal government to stop the program in their states since it is “an unfunded mandate,” proponents of the resolution argue.
“In 2012, the Supreme Courte ruled in the now famous NFIB v Sebelius case in that case the Supreme Court said ‘a state cannot be compelled or coerced to participate in a federal program for which it has chosen not to participate.’
By the way, most people outside of Tennessee are shocked to learn that the state (especially Nashville) is a prime resettlement site for refugees seeded there by Catholic Charities in conjunction with the federal government.
Readers get moving!
For all of you in Wilson Fish states***, you must work to persuade your governor (or state legislature in some cases) to get on board with a 10th Amendment lawsuit ready to file at the Thomas More Law Center. You ask me all the time, what can I do. Well, if you are a citizen in one of these states this is something you can do!
*** Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont
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