Fellow Liberty Loving Texans:
It is action time for fundamental liberty in Texas. Arguably the most important bill of this Legislative session -- H.B. 149 -- is at risk of dying in the Calendars Committee. You can help stop this travesty!
When Congress passed the indefinite detention / “disappear” riders to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), it launched the most fundamental assault on our American values, Constitution, and liberty in our history. Short of executive kill orders, nothing is more dangerous than the power of the executive branch to at its whim declare any of us a terrorist then make us disappear with no opportunity for a trial, legal counsel, or hearing of any sort -- not even a phone call.
H. B. 149 -- authored by Rep. Lyle Larson, R – San Antonio and dubbed the "Texas Liberty Preservation Act" -- provides for nullification of those NDAA riders. The full text of the bill is linked below, as well as a fuller explanation of the bill.
Other nullification bills have been filed, but H.B. 149 is the truest nullification bill to make it out of committee this session. It seeks to remedy an issue which should, and to a certain extent does, cut across party lines. Rep. Lon Burnam (D – Fort Worth) is a joint author. Rep. Eddie Lucio (D - Brownsville), Vice Chair of the Calendars Committee, said in the committee hearing that he supports the bill (although he missed the actual vote). As far as I know, this is the only nullification bill to receive support from a Democrat.
H.B. 149 has passed out of the House Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility Committee. It is pending in the House Calendars Committee which decides whether and when the full House gets to vote on a bill.
Calendars is where most legislation dies. It is just one of the "tricky tricks" Texas legislators use to make us think that that they are working for us when they are working against us. It takes lots of calls to Calendars Committee members to get a bill out of Calendars.
Please contact every Calendars Committee member below to let them know you want them to get H.B. 149 out of the Calendars Committee and to a full House vote as soon as possible. If you are in a Calendars Committee member’s district, let them know you are a constituent and want H.B. 149 to get a vote and to pass.
But you can do more than call. If you are able to visit the Capitol building in Austin, you can tag the bill with a "green slip." Go to the Calendars Committee office in the Capitol Extension E2.148 and ask the staffers there (Caleb McGee or Jennifer Welch) for a green slip. Fill out a green slip showing your support for H.B. 149 and leave it with them. The more green slips a bill has, the more likely it will get out of Calendars. "Green" means "go."
Please call these numbers (each extension starts with[masked]- ). Please be courteous and succinct. It is
important to state if you are a constituent. It is enough to state that you want the representative to push to get H.B. 149 voted out of Calendars and to a House vote and passage. End with "this is very important to me" or "I feel very strong about this."
You probably will not be challenged or drawn into a debate. However, below you will find some helpful tips for handling misguided objections to nullification.
The text of the bill can be found at: www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/HB00149I.pdf
H.B. 149 declares the indefinite detention riders to the NDAA to be unconstitutional and makes it a Class A misdemeanor for federal agents to enforce those provisions in Texas and a Class B misdemeanor for state officials to enforce them. Of course, if these or any other provisions are unconstitutional, they are null and void. Efforts to "disappear" people by a federal agent or any other person would be felony kidnapping under Chapter 20 of the Texas Penal Code.
Some oppose nullification because they still naively hope that the judicial branch of the federal government will rein in the legislative and executive branches. Experience has proven this to be a false hope -- remember Obamacare? But in this situation, a judicial remedy is even more unlikely because those detained will be denied access to the courts. That makes nullification of this unconstitutional act even more critical than in other situations.
Things to remember about nullification:
1 The supremacy clause of the Constitution (art. VI) says that only laws “in pursuance” of the Constitution are supreme.
2 The Constitution does not name any entity or person as the final or sole arbiter of constitutional meaning, but it does – in the next paragraph after the supremacy clause in art. VI - require every elected and appointed official in local, state, and federal office to swear an oath to support the Constitution. In Texas, that oath is specified in part to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State.”
3 The Founders expected us all to defend the Constitution and use our independent judgment to interpret its meaning.
4 To allow the federal government to violate the supreme law of the land, is to not defend the Constitution in violation of that oath.
5 Nullification is simply honoring one’s oath and responsibility to defend the Constitution.
Please call me at[masked] to let me know the results of your efforts or with any questions you have prior to calling.
We can do this. You can help.