Arizona Makes Secession
ARIZONA SECESSION MARTIAL LAW
Sat Jan 10 00:31:52 2004
Arizona makes secession preparations State resolution
creates 'insurance policy' against martial law
By Julie Foster
An Arizona state legislative committee has approved a resolution
calling for the dissolution of the federal government in the event that it
abolishes the U.S. Constitution, declares martial law or confiscates firearms -- scenarios some say are not unrealistic. Critics of the resolution, however,
call the measure a "total waste of time."
Rep. Karen Johnson, a Mesa Republican and chair of the House
Committee on Federal Mandates and States' Rights, authored the
resolution which the committee approved 3-2. Only the committee's
vice-chair, Republican Rep. Gail Griffin, abstained from voting.
Specifically, House Concurrent Resolution HRC
2034 outlines the origin
of the United States, emphasizing the Sovereignty of the
States and their constitutional right to "establish a new federal government for themselves
by following the precedent established by Article VII, Constitution of the
United States, in which nine of the existing thirteen states dissolved the
existing Union under the Articles of Confederation
and automatically superceded the Articles."
It also articulates constitutional violations committed by the
federal government as justification for the measure, saying "...
the fifty current principals, or signatories, to the ["The
have done well in honoring and obeying it, yet the federal agent has,
for decades, violated it in both word and spirit. The many violations
of the Constitution of the United States by the federal government include disposing of federal property without the approval of Congress,
usurping jurisdiction from the states in such matters as abortion and
firearms rights and seeking control of public lands
within state borders," says the resolution.
By adopting HRC
2034, Arizona states its intention to dissolve the current federal government with the approval of 34 other states and, in essence,
start over. Participating states would re-ratify and re-establish the present Constitution "as the charter for the formation of a new federal government,
to be followed by the election of a new Congress and President and the reorganization of a new judiciary," in keeping with the
original intent of the "founding
Individual members of the military will return to their
respective states and report to the governor until a new
president is elected.
In addition, each state will assume a prorated portion of the national
debt and will own all land within its borders. After the new government
is formed, the remaining 15 states will be permitted to join the revised
union upon application, as was the case with the original union.
A three-year veteran to the Arizona Legislature, Johnson told
the Sierra Times the resolution is "insurance policy."
"If the federal government declares martial law or attempts
to confiscate guns, the states shouldn't have to put up
with that,"she said.
Joseph Stumph, well-known author and historian,
testified in favor of the resolution at the hearing.
"We're proposing that if things get as bad as they could get, that these
states won't allow the federal government to put us into a one-world government," said Stumph, who is publishing a similar proposal
in his home state of Utah. "I don't expect we'll get 35 states to sign on.
The American people are not educated enough on this yet," he added.
The resolution was introduced Jan. 26, and now needs to be approved
by the Arizona House. Should HRC 2034 successfully complete the
legislative process, it will appear on the November ballot for voter
approval. But one legislator does not think
the measure will be taken seriously.
Rep. Bill Brotherton, a Democrat member of Johnson's committee,
called efforts to promote the bill a "total waste of time."
"Obviously ... one of the more important issues we have is mental health
in this state," Brotherton said mockingly. "I wonder if we are going to have
a bill on the grassy knoll next to decide who shot Kennedy."
Johnson said she was asked by several Maricopa County residents
to look into preventing the federal government from asserting power not authorized by the
federal and state
Constitutions. To Johnson, the resolution
is a watered down, limited version of the "Ultimatum Resolution,"
written and promoted by Stump.
Johnson said HRC 2034 was introduced in response to recent actions
by the Clinton administration regarding the Grand Canyon. On a recent trip
to the landmark, President Clinton declared three new national monuments, threatening the property and livelihood of ranchers in the region.
Fears of martial law and firearm confiscation are mere "conspiracy theories"
to some, but in light of the elaborate preparations government made for
potential Y2K problems -- including a ready-to-sign executive orde
giving Clinton the equivalent of dictatorial powers --
"these fears have become real possibilities,"
according to Johnson.
Johnson also made it clear that the action of possible secession should
only take place if the federal government suspends or violates the
Constitution without approval from the state.
"There may be times when the nation may be at war, and such steps
may need to be taken. But the states should have a backup plan
if necessary," she said.
Arizona is not alone in its fears. Johnson noted other legislators in other
states are considering taking similar steps.
Despite her current success with HRC
2034, Johnson is not relying solely
on non-binding resolutions to ensure state sovereignty. She has been joined
by a coalition of six other Arizona state representatives, private ranchers
and other states' legislators in a lawsuit filed against the federal government.
The lawsuit is an attempt to reverse creation of the Grand Canyon-
Parashant National Monument, which covers more than 1 million
acres of land, roughly the same amount as
Grand Canyon National Park. The group
says national monument status will affect use
and access to its private property,
which will be surrounded
by the federal property.
It also asks the court to find the 1906 Antiquities
Act, used to create the Parashant monument, unconstitutional.. The coalition's lawyer claims the president "has taken the act to the point of actually abusing the rights of
people in the West."
The act gives Presidents emergency authority to protect threatened federal
lands or "objects of historic and scientific interest," but lawyer
Lana Marcussen said that in using the act for a
non-emergency case, the president has gone too far.
See Henry Lamb's column:
Repeal Antiquities Act!
Julie Foster is a staff reporter for WorldNetDaily