State legislatures, bolstered by the huge Republican freshman classes that were swept into power from New Hampshire to Montana last year, have intensified their attacks on federal authority in the name of states’ rights...In Kentucky, the State Senate is expected to take up a bill this week declaring the state a “sanctuary” from meddling by the Environmental Protection Agency.
In Arizona, the State Senate approved a measure this month that would exempt all products made and consumed within its boundaries from federal interstate commerce laws.
The Montana Legislature is considering a bill that would allow the state to nullify federal laws that protect endangered species. And in Georgia, a bill that would override federal monetary regulations by requiring banks to accept payment in gold or silver has survived two readings in the State House of Representatives.
“There’s been a kind of ramping up,” said Michael Boldin, the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, a research and advocacy group in Los Angeles. Last year, Mr. Boldin said, many of the bills were simply statements of dissatisfaction or intent. This year, he said, the bills are armed with teeth and recommended penalties. The Arizona bill, for instance, would make it a felony for anyone who tried to enforce federal commerce laws.
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