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What Is Going on With Calendars?

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How could Chairman Todd Hunter allow HB 1076, by Steve Toth — the “nullification” bill — to get on the general state calendar? Calendars is not a charity booth for clueless tea party members. It’s serious business. This is the worst breach of the way Calendars is supposed to work since Speaker Craddick let Ryan Guillen’s local bill get on Major State, in 2007. I know Saturday was “gun day,” but that’s no excuse.

Here is the caption for the bill:

Relating to certain firearms, firearm accessories and firearm ammunition within the State of Texas; providing an exemption from federal regulation and providing penalties.

I trust that I do not have to explain to readers that the Legislature cannot provide an exemption from federal regulation, about firearms or anything else. Some readers may regard this legislation as harmless, but it’s not. It is calculated to, as Rep. Chris Turner said, to divide and partisanize the House: “[T]his bill is not about the 2nd Amendment. This bill is about saying that we’re making a political statement that we don’t like President Obama and we don’t like what’s going on in Washington, and we can go back home and say we took it to the president.” Which is exactly what it did.

Chairman Hunter should have known what was going to happen. Any high school government student knows that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution overrules actions of a state legislature. This bill had no business being on the calendar. For that matter, it should never have been sent to Calendars by Creighton, chair of the committee on Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility. It is unconstitutional on its face.

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