Thomas Gallatin / Feb. 11, 2021

South Dakota Embraces Federalism

Its House GOP wants the state to ignore unconstitutional presidential executive orders.

Joe Biden has signed more than 50 executive orders and actions in just his first two weeks in office, setting a modern record that blows by the past four presidents — combined. It’s not just the number that’s a problem, of course, but the radical leftist content of the orders. And it appears the only thing that may slow down Biden’s EO deluge would be writer’s cramp. The truth is Biden has taken Barack Obama’s “pen and phone” style of governance and put it into overdrive, and Biden’s hardly given it a second thought even as he literally writes off thousands of American jobs.

In light of Biden’s dangerous and overreaching actions, Republicans in South Dakota’s state House have authored a bill that would grant the state government the authority to ignore presidential executive orders deemed unconstitutional. As the bill reads, “The Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council may review any executive order issued by the President of the United States, if the order has not been affirmed by a vote of the Congress of the United States and signed into law, as prescribed by the Constitution of the United States.”

If passed, the legislation would grant South Dakota’s attorney general the authority to exempt the Mount Rushmore State from any presidential executive order or action “that restricts a person’s rights or that is determined … to be unconstitutional.” That may relate to public health emergencies, or it may pertain to regulating natural resources, agriculture, land use, the financial sector (especially regarding environmental issues), and the right to bear arms.

Mark Alexander contends that actions like this are just what is need to move toward a Constitutional Confederation of states. “My proposal,” he wrote recently, “would be to pursue a grassroots-inspired Constitutional Confederation — an alliance of those states that are not urban-leftist mob ruled, whose delegations could assemble to affirm the authority of our Constitution in order to provide broader sanctuary for the Rule of Law it enshrines — in effect, re-ratify our Constitution and reaffirm its supremacy as law.”

Hey, if “sanctuary” jurisdictions can block the federal government from enforcing federal immigration law, surely there’s room for states to actually stand up for the Constitution. Here’s hoping this move by South Dakota catches on across the country as more red states work to protect their citizens against Biden and the Democrats’ power grabs.

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