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Back Before States' Rights Were Cool...

by Eric S. Peterson
Posted // 2009-08-05 -

The Patrick Henry Caucus’ers in Utah (the subject of a CW online exclusive) are quickly making a name for themselves as a voice for reining in the iron fist of Obama’s growing federal government.The Daily Herald recently reported that Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, one of the founders of the PHC, is looking to craft a bill to allow Utah to exempt itself from Obama’s coming socialist healthcare reform.

But looking back, it should be noted that before the PHC was really up and running there were other groups proposing measures to basically tell the Fed’s to step off.

Immigration comes to mind, for one.  And while plenty of legislators (PHC and non) are now invoking the imagery of founding fathers, stars and stripes, fifes and tri-cornered hats, and who have all been rallying like mad for a proper separation of state and federal powers—that never really stopped them from voting for 2008’s omnibus immigration bill S.B. 81. The one giving the state powers normally reserved for the feds in enforcing immigration laws, and one patterned after an Oklahoma law that is still being challenged for exactly this constitutional question. The argument there of course being that if the problem was not being taken care of by the feds, then it should be left to the states to do something about it. Hmmm, interesting. 

But, hey, if federal law says that immigration enforcement is their deal, why not also support a resolution seeking a federal exemption waiver, so that Utah could constitutionally enact its own guest worker program? Bring undocumented laborers out of the shadows and contributing to the system in a controlled fashion, where they couldn’t be exploited or undercut the existing labor force?

Good move for a states’ righter? Right?

Well, it turns out PHC founder Wimmer voted against that one, but voted for S.B. 81. Go figure.  

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