Resolution would create a panel to review federal overreach

A study commission to recommend what reaction the State of Louisiana should take to instances of what the panel finds to be overreaching by the federal government was stripped of most of its language Saturday morning as a state Senate panel was reminded that many of the proponents’ complaints had been settled long ago.

“There was a war 150 years ago,” state Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, reminding the resolution’s sponsor, state Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, of the Civil War, which was won by a federal government supported by a majority of the country’s population.

Crowe’s Senate Concurrent Resolution 113 detailed arguments, often forwarded by tea party groups, that the federal government has violated its promises in the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that Congress has overstepped its constitutional authority outlined the Commerce Clause.

Murray pointed out that the end slavery, advances in civil rights, even the ability for women to vote came through the same authorities that SCR113 criticized. He moved to defer the legislation. State Sen. Jonathan Perry, R-Kaplan, objected.

Crowe said his intent was not to undermine advances, such as the Voting Rights Act. He agreed to strip out the offending language in the six-page resolution, everything after line 6 on the first page and pages two through four.

SCR113 would create the Louisiana Balance of Powers Study Commission with eight members named by the state Senate President and the Speaker of the House, serving without compensation but being paid per diem and reimbursed expenses. “The commission may review any and all existing agent federal statutes, mandates or executive orders and recommend nullification of any bill that is unconstitutional to the legislature,” according to the resolution.

The state Senate and Governmental Committee then advanced without objection SCR113 to the full Senate for further consideration.