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Message to the ACLU: The 10th Amendment is Part of the Bill of Rights!


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Here’s a surprise for you – a significant inspiration for the activist methods here at the Tenth Amendment Center came from the American Civil Liberties Union.  Yes, you heard that right – the ACLU.

Back in 2005, the Bush Administration got the REAL ID Act slammed through Congress – and a lot of people from all across the political spectrum were pretty upset about it.  The ACLU was clearly part of that.  In fact, in September of 2005, they registered a domain name which is still active today – realnightmare.org.

By January of 2006 (or possibly even before), they were already leading the charge nationally to oppose the previously passed federal act.  Their new website was live and offering a LOT of good information about the problems with REAL ID.  One of the most interesting sections of that website was part of their main header navigation – a button called “in the states”   Here’s the text from that page as it stood on January 18, 2006:

The Real ID Act does not directly change driver’s licenses – instead it threatens the states by stating that the federal government will not accept their citizens’ IDs unless the states change their laws.  As a result, the Act cannot enter into effect unless the states change their laws and appropriate funds. This page will monitor and track such legislation, and other developments within the states.

Interesting.  Unless I’m mistaken, it sounds to me like the ACLU was recommending that states refuse to comply with the REAL ID Act of 2005.  And, in fact, many states followed that advice over the next few years to some great effect – and the ACLU tracked those actions on that very page.

For those of you who follow our work here at the Tenth Amendment Center this probably sounds quite familiar.  On our legislative tracking page and through our state model legislation – this is pretty much what we do today.  We encourage people to get active locally.  We encourage states to refuse compliance with unconstitutional federal acts.  And we provide model legislation on various issues to help in this process.  Our goals?  To render as many unconstitutional federal acts null and void – or simply unenforceable – in the states.

And whether the issue is mandates, or regulations, or monetary policy, or the TSA – this method has been gaining more and more traction, and even major media attention, over the last few years.

Fast forward to today – in sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA, the US Federal Government has committed one of the worst attacks on your liberty in the history of this country.  I never thought I’d see the day when George Bush, John Ashcroft and the PATRIOT Act seemed “moderate.”  They weren’t, of course – but in comparison to what Barack Obama signed on December 31, 2011, they’re not even close.

Within days of that so-called law being signed by Obama, a number of good people, including Blake at the Rhode Island Liberty Coalition – started working on draft legislation to reject this unconstitutional monstrosity at the state level.

And today, within just a few weeks, already two counties have passed resolutions denouncing the act.  Three states are considering binding laws to help nullify the act – and we have firm commitments from many others around the country to consider the same in the very near future.

So what happened when Rhode Island State Representative Dan Gordon reached out to his state’s ACLU chapter on this?  He tweeted about it on January 30:

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