Alaska Joins The Fight Against Federal Encroachment

AK Senator John Coghill

AK Senator John Coghill

The Last Frontier state, Alaska, has now joined in to say that they will not allow the NDAA to be implemented on it’s 663,268 sq mi and some 731,000 citizens. This is one of the latest states to fight back against the NDAA, the attack on the 2nd Amendment, the REAL-ID Act of 2005, and even the Authorization for Use of Military Force (the authorization from Congress in 2001 that has been used as a justification for the War on Terror).

Alaska’s monumental bill SB75 was introduced by Alaska Senator Coghill on 11 March 2013.

This bill seeks to prohibit the use of Alaska state assets to aid or implement a multitude of federal encroachment that may violate any of the first ten Amendments. Specifically it mentions a person’s right to bear arms (2nd Amendment), a person’s right to due process (5th Amendment), the REAL ID Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-13, Division B), National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (secs. 1021 and 1022, P.L. 112-81), National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (secs. 1021 – 1028, P.L. 112-239), and lastly the Authorization for Use of Military Force (P.L. 107-40). This bill is seeking to limit any Alaska funds, facilities, equipment, services, or other resources of a state agency to be used to strip its citizens of their rights but also to continue to participate in much of the War on Terror that has been ongoing since 2001.

Senator Coghill’s district has a strong base of libertarians and Constitutional Conservatives. Many of them have reportedly encouraged the Senator to introduce legislation that protects against federal overreach. He does not expect much resistance from his colleagues and believes that he may be able to garner bipartisan support. In his press release he is quoted to say, “Federal laws are very difficult to enforce without any help from the State” and also “we will defend Alaskans and their rights.”

Below are some action items you can do.

  1. Contact the Alaska Senate State Affairs Committee members – (Chair) Dyson, (Vice-Chair) Giessel, (Members) Coghill, Stedman, and Wielechowski – and urge them to pass it through committe.
  2. Find Senator Coghill on Facebook, friend him, and thank him for taking the initiative to protect his citizens from the Federal Government. Or alternatively, write or call Senator Coghill to thank and encuorage him.
  3. Write your Alaska Senator here to encourage them to co-sponsor or vote YEA on SB75.
  4. Log into LegiScan and track the bill’s progress.

5 Responses to “Alaska Joins The Fight Against Federal Encroachment”

  1. 17 March 2013 at 11:28

    Alaska receives more federal dollars than it pays, a point which has been widely covered, as in this article which appeared in The Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08/americas-fiscal-union. So, before we rush to get the federal government out of our business, it seems to us that this fact ought to be addressed. Further, and we say this as staunchly proud gun owners, per capita Alaska ranks 3rd in gun deaths – and there is a direct correlation, state to state, between sensible gun laws and fewer deaths on the one hand, and fewer laws and more deaths on the other. So, again, before we rush to dismiss sensible legislation aimed at making gun ownership safer and more responsible… Or is the goal to pass Mississippi and become #1?

  2. 17 March 2013 at 18:18

    Mr. and Ms Donarchy, thank you for responding to my blog. In reference to the federal dollars, I am unsure of your point. The federal government collects and then divvys monies up between the states. This is their prerogative. The state money that is used to help the federal government is an entirely different subject. It is even moreso a entirely different subject – aren’t we talking about Alaska saying that they will not spend state money to help the federal government enforce specific laws that the Constitution allows them to nullify via the Tenth Amendment?

    As for firearm laws the debate isn’t on how to make the world safer, it is how do we decide who is allowed to own a firearm. As far as I know, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and in it still stands the Second Amendment which allows any law abiding citizen to obtain and own a firearm. The courts have ruled that this is a right that can only be taken away by the court, not by some agency or random gun Executive Order. you must be proven incompetent or proven to have lost your right for you to lose your Second right. How exactly is this bill or any bill like it trying to set up a bed of more innocent deaths?

  3. 17 March 2013 at 19:22

    Thanks for the response KK. Our point is this: Alaska accepts more money from the Federal government than it pays. That is Alaska’s prerogative; we (Alaskans) could choose to not accept this money. While there are of course a number of factors involved, it does seem problematic to have an attitude of “take” when it suits us and then to turn around and threaten to obstruct the federal government through non-compliance and lack of support when it does not. It appears to us that a majority of Alaskans are not aware that we receive more in federal aid than we pay out. This is something people who want to have an informed debate Should understand and acknowledge.
    Amendment II, like all the rest of the Constitution, is subject to ongoing interpretation. It is a living document. Circumstances and perceptions change, and with that change have come changes in interpretation of the Constitution that have sometimes been sweeping. Slavery, personal privacy, and views on many (most?) other matters have changed over time. The Founders did not attempt to cover every situation; nor did they attempt to see perfectly into the future.
    As to Amendment II: it was written at a time when this country did not have a standing army and predates much of the weaponry now available. Back to our original point, Everything in the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, is necessarily subject to interpretation. Everything. Since we now have a standing army, it could be argued that the phrase, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…” has been overcome by historical events. Similarly, when Jefferson et al were writing about “arms” the weapons they knew of were single shot muzzle-loaders. Do you think they would now wish to include nuclear bombs in citizen arsenals, or do you suspect they’d wish to stipulate that nukes are going too far? Determining what is rational for our society is permitted by our Constitution and has been an American tradition for over 200 years.. I hope we can agree on that. Sincerely, Jack & Barbra

  4. 18 March 2013 at 18:47

    Barbra & Jack Donachy, I totally agree that if you are going to not want to give money to the federal government that you shouldn’t be taking it either. It is hypocritical. My only point is that in a Union/Republic the two forms of government – Federal and State – are two different beasts. And that furthremore, that this bill is aimed at blocking Federal encroachment on the Bill of rights – namely those Federal laws that could be construed to violate the 2nd or 5th Amendments. Isn’t the bulk of this bill for this and the money issue is secondary?

    As for the Second Amendment being living I am not sure it can be said to be living. Any time we examine old law we must always examine what the writer’s (and voters) intentions were in writing the bill. I believe we have numerous reports from the framers and writers of the Second Amendment as well as many comments from early politicians on the issue as to why they included the Second. The Second is the only Amendment that specifically forbids the government to interfere – shall not be infringed. George Mason, who helped author the Second, said during the Convention, “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

    So it seems pretty clear to me that the authors of the Second wanted all citizens to be able to be armed. They didn’t offer any stipulations as to who was allowed or who was worthy of a firearm, or how people had to store weapons, or what government agency had to “check” to see if you were OK to own. It simply states that if you were a citizen that you were allowed to own. And contextually, they wanted it to stop a tyrannical government as they were currently escaping.

    If this was their intent and they were direct with their words, then what right do we have to re-interpret something that was clearly defined? The rest of your questions (i.e. slavery, musket loaders) to me are off-topic. All men were created equal. In this also government and people (which We The People were the government in this country) to mean that government and People were to be on equal ground. The government had muskets- so did the People. I personally think that the Founders would be horrifed to see that the government has a military that absolutely dwarfs what the government allows its People to have.

    Speaking of slavery, one of my guest writers on my blog here posted just the other day about slavery that might interest you.

  5. 5 DJ
    21 March 2013 at 17:40

    @Mr. and Mrs. Donachy,

    Where do you get the idea that the Constitution is a “living document”? If this were true the founding fathers would have (a) stated as such somewhere in the text and (b) left out the method for altering the document (Article 5).
    Regarding the Second Amendment, James Madison stated,

    “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

    Any attempt by the federal government to regulate the arms owned by the citizenry would show a lack of trust on the part of the federal government. Regulation at the federal level cannot remove our God given rights. If you (or anyone) desire to change or regulate our natural rights it requires an amendment to the Constitution. Regarding your comment “Do you think they would now wish to include nuclear bombs in citizen arsenals, or do you suspect they’d wish to stipulate that nukes are going too far?” is an interesting question. A nuclear bomb is not “arms” it is a bomb. While militarily bombs fall into the armament category, logic dictates that a “bomb” is not “arms”. One of the reasons the founding fathers ensured the federal government could not remove our right to bear arms is because the idea is for the citizenry to be the ultimate check on a tyrannical government. If the average citizen cannot be as well armed as our military how are we to stop federal force from controlling every aspect of our lives?
    Regarding your statement “Determining what is rational for our society is permitted by our Constitution and has been an American tradition for over 200 years…” I disagree. Our Constitution was designed to limit the scope of government; rationality is something that was left to the several states and the people residing in each state. Evidence to this is in the language of the ninth -The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people- and the tenth -The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people- amendments to the Constitution. Clearly the people (We The People) have jurisdiction as to what is rational.

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