Another red state gets more brazen, here with a bill that if signed into law by Utah’s Governor would let them pick and choose which federal laws to follow or ignore. And if that sounds mental to you, then you probably don’t live in a red state and don’t vote Republican.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
A bill creating a process to give legislators the power to order state officials and agencies to ignore federal laws and regulations was approved by the Utah House of Representatives on Friday.
The House passage follows Gov. Spencer Cox’s endorsement of Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to defy the Supreme Court and supplant federal authority over the southern border.
The process SB57 from Sen. Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton, would work like this: If lawmakers believe an action or regulation from the federal government would harm the state, they could introduce a resolution opposing the federal mandate. If that resolution is passed with a two-thirds vote in both the Utah House and Senate and signed by the governor, then state agencies and officials would be directed not to implement or ignore federal authority until a court orders the state to comply.
Ok, so that sounds insane. But can they get away with it? Probably….not.
In broad terms, the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause says federal law usually takes precedence over state law. That was why the Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration in the dispute with Texas over enforcement at the border. The justices ruled that Texas could not stop federal agents from removing a wire barrier Texas installed to stop migrants from crossing into the state. On Wednesday evening, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ramped up tensions between the state and the federal government by announcing he would effectively ignore the decision from the court.
It remains to be seen if they can argue for some sort of state’s rights exemption, if you want to call it that. Or if Spencer Cox, Utah’s Governor, would even sign such a bill into law. He does seem sympathetic to it, however.