tenth amendment center

Maryland Republicans Introduce Bill to Fight NSA

Eight Maryland Republicans introduced the Fourth Amendment Protection Act last Thursday. The bill would keep local government from providing resources to the National Security Agency while it’s engaged in any form of spying programs. According to OffNow.org, the bill would make any data gathered by the NSA inadmissible in state court.

The piece of legislation is based on the model legislation drafted by the Tenth Amendment Center that is being used by lawmakers in several other states to fight the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance locally.

Maryland is basically the National Security Agency’s political subdivision, according to the Tenth Amendment Center’s executive director Michael Boldin. The agency’s home base in Ft. Meade, Maryland uses a massive amount of water, which would be denied to the agency if the legislation passes. Local governments would be denied state funds if they refuse to comply with the law and companies would be blocked from maintaining any state contract if they choose to cooperate with the NSA.

Eight Republicans are defending Maryland’s HB 1074 in the House of Delegates. The bill will only pass with the approval of three-fifths of delegates. The introduction of the legislation follows reports concerning a contract renewal between the NSA and Howard County, Maryland that will provide the agency with up to 5 million gallons of water per day. The water is used to cool the agency’s supercomputers, which would not be functioning if it weren’t for all of the water provided by local governments.

Tennessee Legislator Introduces Fourth Amendment Protection Act, Joins Seven Other States

Lawmakers in at least seven states are taking the fight against the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs to state capitols. All bills introduced locally to keep the states from cooperating with the federal government were based on the Off Now Coalition’s model bill.

Tennessee has now joined Washington, Kansas, California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri and Indiana in the battle to keep the federal government’s advances against privacy from spreading. The bill introduced by Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) would keep the state from providing water and electricity to an NSA facility or any other federal agency “claiming the power to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant.”

The bill would prohibit the state of Tennessee from taking part in any effort to abuse the Fourth Amendment by ensuring that the NSA does not obtain any local material support, which is fundamental to the smooth operation of their facilities. The bill would also ensure that data gathered without a warrant and shared with local law enforcement agencies, cannot be used as evidence in state court. Any local public University in Tennessee would be prohibited from serving as recruiting grounds to the NSA. The agency would also be kept from using universities as research facilities.

Tenth Amendment Center Announces State Level Action Legislation Model To Combat ObamaCare

Nearly everyone in opposition to ObamaCare worked very hard to stop it before it made its way through both houses of Congress and to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  Once President Obama signed the legislation into law, all of these wound up activists found themselves without an issue to focus on after a year of “debate” over healthcare reform.  Some state officials took it upon themselves to file lawsuits over the newly signed law, while others sought to protect their constituents from the aspects they found to be Unconstitutional.  Today, the Tenth Amendment Center provided another state-level action.  From the press release:

“Now that Health Care reform has been signed into law, the question people ask most is “What do we do about it?” said Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. “The status quo response includes lobbying congress, marching on D.C. “voting the bums out,” suing in federal court, and more. But the last 100 years have proven that none of these really work, and government continues to grow year in and year out.”

“We recommend a different path, one advised by prominent founders such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison - nullification,” said Boldin. Nullification, according to the Center, is the rightful remedy to an unconstitutional act, as it considers the recently-signed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be. When a state nullifies a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or non-effective, within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.

Podcast: Post-HCR Threats, “Control the People,” ObamaCare Impact, Nullification, Hank Skinner case, Guest: Jeff Scott

This week, Brett was re-joined by Jason and UL contributor, Jeff Scott, also from the Jeff Scott Show.

This week’s topics include:

FBI Whistleblower Sees “Great Start” to Ending Domestic Surveillance

Nick Hankoff is a grassroots coordinator at the Tenth Amendment Center and currently serves as chair at the Los Angeles County Republican Liberty Caucus. A former development associate for Antiwar.com, Nick has been covering the nullification movement that has been sweeping the country after Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding the NSA spying programs surfaced. In this guest post, Nick Hankoff outlines what many have assumed to be the best and most effective way to fight the federal government on issues such as the government mass surveillance tactics: nullification.

As the one-year anniversary of Edward Snowden’s liberation of NSA documents fast approaches, no one may refute the success of his stated goal of spurring public debate. “I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself,” Snowden said.

The headlines went out, Sunday morning interviews aired and re-played, yet the story isn’t going away as Glenn Greenwald still claims the overwhelming majority of leaks are yet to be published. The debate is ongoing, but to what end does it serve the public if real reform doesn’t result?

Arizona legislator to NSA: Get out of my state

The fight against the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs has moved to some state legislatures, in addition to the ongoing debate in Washington, thanks to a push by the Tenth Amendment Center, an organization that advocates for federalism.

An Arizona legislator, state Sen. Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City), has become the first legislator in the country to introduce the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which purports to prohibit state and local agencies, including utility providers, from providing the NSA with any material support.

“While media attention is focused on a possible effort to shut off water to the NSA data center in Utah, I’m introducing the Arizona Fourth Amendment Protection Act to back our neighbors up,” Ward said in a statement from the Tenth Amendment Center. “Just in case the NSA gets any ideas about moving south, I want them to know the NSA isn’t welcome in Arizona unless it follows the Constitution.”

The legislation would make information provided by the NSA inadmissible in state courts and blocks state universities from serving as research facilities for the controversial intelligence agency. It would also sanction companies if they cooperate with the NSA.

“I believe the number one priority for national security is defending and protecting the Constitution. Without that, the rest becomes irrelevant. There is no question that the NSA program, as it is now being run, violates the Fourth Amendment. This is a way to stop it,” Ward added.

The Tenth Amendment Center is encouraging other states to follow suit.

Coalition calls on states to stop supporting NSA spying programs

Organizations from varied political backgrounds have come together to launch a campaign that would tackle the NSA spying problem locally. The coalition led by the Tenth Amendment Center believes that the plan they have outlined and hope to get state legislators to support would ensure that the federal government’s efforts to collect phone, e-mail and other private digital data would be undermined.

The website OffNow.org was launched to give the public easy access to what the Tenth Amendment Center wishes to accomplish and how activists believe they can make it work.

According to the coalition, the piece of legislation they have written to be used as a model, the 4th Amendment Protection Act, would keep state and local governments from being required to help the National Security Agency to implement spying programs within their districts.

Local agencies would not be required to assist the NSA with the delivery of natural resources the facilities that run these programs require to function properly.

The idea came about when reports concerning Utah’s NSA data collection center using up to 1.7 million gallons of water per day made the news. While the state of Utah is the second driest state in the United States, it still provides a great amount of water to a facility run by the federal government to collect phone and Internet data, but does it have to?

Nullify Now: The Case for State Action

Michael Boldin is the executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center, established in 2006 in response to endless attacks on liberty from both major political parties.

Want to stop the sociopaths in Washington DC?

Ron Paul told you how.  Judge Napolitano is on board.  Tom Woods provides intellectual firepower to back it up. And today, I’ll share six steps to get you started.

Obviously, it will take some work.  But what should a liberty lover actually do? March on DC? Lobby Congress? Support a campaign in the 2016 presidential election?

Answer: No. No. And, no.


Ron Paul said nullification would “reverse the trend and stop the usurpation of all the powers and privileges from the states to the federal government.”

The game-plan is right in front of you. It’s nullification.

That bears repeating: if you want to stop federal thugs, Ron Paul advises you to nullify.

I can’t think of a stronger endorsement for libertarians than this powerful statement from the man who brought the principles of liberty to the mainstream.

Think about it.  Nullification isn’t just an interesting theory or some historical oddity for study.  It’s a method Ron Paul himself endorsed as a path to “stop the usurpation of power.”  That’s serious business, and a call for you to take action.


What is nullification?  In order to share a plan of action, you must first understand what nullification is.  When Thomas Jefferson called it the “rightful remedy,” he didn’t specifically define it.

Tenth Amendment Center: Texas TSA anti-groping bill dies

Last ditch efforts to save a bill that would restrict the TSA’s ability to conduct invasive pat-downs in the Lone Star State failed Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday evening, the Texas Senate ignored an amended House bill that lowered the threshold TSA agents would have to meet  from “probable cause” to “reasonable suspicion” and passed its own version of the anti-groping legislation (SB29) 19-11. Senators promptly adjourned, leaving representatives just one day to consider the legislation.

The House passed the second reading of the Senate bill 106-27, with 16 representatives absent Wednesday morning.

But with the end of the special session looming, House members had to vote to suspend the Texas Constitution’s three day reading rule and allow a second vote on SB29 later in the day. Several representatives left after the second reading, and the vote to suspend the rules fell short of the 4/5 majority needed on a 96-26 vote.

Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said lawmakers failed in their obligation to interpose and protect Texas citizens from federal overreach.

“It’s a state’s duty to stop the TSA, because the TSA is never going to stop itself.”

TAC communications director Mike Maharrey expressed frustration with the political games played by some Texas lawmakers, but remained optimistic, noting the proposed legislation put the TSA issue in the national spotlight.

“This bill jump-started the debate. We may have lost this battle, but it’s just the first salvo in the war,” he said. “The American people are sick to death of standing around in their socks at the airport while blue-shirted agents grope their children and grandmothers. These people aren’t making us safer. They are stealing our dignity, along with our constitutional rights. This isn’t the last you will hear on this issue.”

House GOP declines funding for more body scanners

While it seems they believe that it’s perfectly fine to have roving wiretaps and sneak-and-peek searches, House Republicans have denied a request by the Department of Homeland Security to fund more full-body scanners:

The Transportation Security Administration’s request to expand its controversial body scanner program was rebuffed this week by a Republican-led House committee.

The $40.6 billion Department of Homeland Security 2012 budget released this week by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee denies the request from President Obama to provide TSA with $76 million to buy 275 more scanners.

The measure includes $7.8 billion for the TSA, which Republicans said was a $125 million increase from current levels but $293 million less than the administration’s budget request. But the much-maligned body scanners were a no-go.

That’s not the end of the TSA backlash. The Texas House of Representatives have passed legislation that would make the controversial pat-downs illegal:

State Representative David Simpson (R) Longview said that protecting his 16-year-old daughter is just one of the reasons he introduced House Bill 1937.

“We’re saying it’s unreasonable to touch someone’s private parts as a condition to travel without probable cause,” Rep. Simpson said.

The controversial new measure is headed to the Senate after passing in the House.  If the bill becomes law, it would be a Class A misdemeanor in Texas if a security officer intentionally touched a person’s private parts—even on top of clothing.

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