States' Rights: First US state to pass a state-wide citizen-initiated referendum to force their...

...state legislature to call for an Article V constitutional convention and require its delegation to propose and vote for the adding of the following States' Rights Amendment to the US Constitution:

States' Rights Amendment

SECTION 1. Unless explicitly specified in this Constitution, the federal government cannot do or regulate what the States can do or regulate themselves nor can it mandate the States to do any activity, provide any funding as an enticement to do so, nor can any federal funds be sent back to the States.  This overrules the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.  All federal funds must be solely used for activity done by the federal government alone.

SECTION 2. Article III of the Articles of Confederation does not give the federal government the authority to see to its citizens' general welfare.  In regards to the States, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution is strictly limited to eliminating trade barriers between the States and nothing else.

SECTION 3.  All national parks, preserves, reserves, and monuments are freely returned without any restrictions or mandates to the States and such land seizures by the federal government are no longer permitted.  All federal military bases in the States are turned over to their state-run National Guards.

SECTION 4. All bills introduced in the U.S. Congress must include a statement setting forth the specific constitutional authority under which the law would be enacted.  Failure to identify and prove such authority to a federal judge prior to the bill being introduced to Congress prohibits the bill from being so introduced.  All members of the US Congress must be informed that such is being presented to a federal judge and be given sufficient time and opportunity to challenge the bill on the grounds that it doesn't have such authority.  Either side can seek appeal of the federal judge's decision and the bill cannot be introduced to the US Congress until the matter is settled by the federal courts in the bill's favor.  Any current federal law, law section, regulation, ruling, department, agency, program, job position, bailout, grant or presidential executive order can be challenged by any state governor or publicly-elected state attorney general in the federal courts on the grounds that it doesn't have specific constitutional authority for its existence.

SECTION 5.  All bills can only be introduced to and voted on in the US House on Sundays.  All committee and sub-committee meetings of the US House can only be held on Saturdays.  State assembly members and state senators can run for and serve as US House Representatives in addition to their state offices and term limits cannot be imposed on them as long as they are elected as members of the US House, but they and their staff cannot be paid anything for their services to the US House.  US House congressional districts can only be made of whole contiguous state assembly and state senate districts.

SECTION 6. All States will receive only one vote each in the US Senate and that vote is held and cast by that state's governor, on whom term limits cannot be placed.  Governors and their staff cannot be paid anything for their service to the US Senate.

SECTION 7. This article shall be inoperative unless it has been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States.

[As for Section One above, first, this amendment (and specifically this amendment section) is necessary to entice other countries to join the USA as proposed in the Statehood challenges.  Without this amendment, the people of countries that might be up for joining our country as a state might not want to for fear of too much loss of control over their lives by a faraway federal bureaucracy and fear of being plundered by federal politicians who might look at the new state as something to raid for the benefit of their own state.  This section alone gives back autonomy to the States that the federal government has been steadily trying to subvert since the creation of the federal government.

Second, federal politicians have long been using federal funds to entice and/or force States to do things.  Ronald Reagan threatened withholding federal highway money if States didn't raise their legal drinking age from 18 to 21.  Section One above removes this carrot-and-stick tactic by the federal government to get States to do things.  If we truly want the States to be the "laboratories of innovation", we need to let them experiment and then learn from their successes and failures and, more importantly, those of other States.  Citizens and businesses can then vote with their feet.  If they don't like how one state operates, they can go to another that is more to their liking and this will put pressure on the States to ever improve.  One-size-fits-all imposed by the federal government works against such experimentation and innovation.  [If you doubt this citizen migration would happen, it is already happening due to the States having different income tax rates right now.  The book "How Money Walks: How $2 Trillion Moved Between the States, and Why It Matters" by Travis H. Brown has chronicled it.  What this challenge will simply do is accelerate this voting with one's feet and thus put on more pressure on States to experiment to try to lure citizens from other States to them and keep the ones they have.]
As for Section Two, much of the authority that the federal government has been using to meddle in every aspect of our lives is FICTIONALLY based on the “general welfare clause” and “commerce clause” in the US Constitution.  Federal politicians completely take out of context the following two clauses and say these give them power to do whatever they want.

The “general welfare clause”:

Article III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.

The “commerce clause”:

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3: [The Congress shall have power] to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.

Federal politicians today say that the “general welfare clause” gives them the right to see to the welfare of all US citizens.  It doesn’t.  It only meant the States coming to the aid of each other in time of war and foreign threats.  As for the “commerce clause,” federal politicians say this gives them the right to dictate whatever they want to businesses and even the individual.  It doesn’t.  With regard to the States, it was specifically created ONLY to eliminate trade barriers between the States.  The States, which had previously existed as separate colonies, did have trade barriers between each other.  As James Madison, viewed by many as the father of the Constitution, said,

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negociation [sic], and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

But power-hungry federal politicians cannot stand the idea that their powers are so limited and, most expansively under Franklin D. Roosevelt and his “New Deal”, have simply pretended the above clauses don’t mean what they say or what the Founding Fathers said they did.  Federal politicians feel they need to have a say in everything.  They say it is to help society but that’s a lie.  They just want power over everything and everyone.  They want as much power as they can get because it is the only thing that serves their insatiable egos.  The States’ Rights Amendment ends this unconstitutional power grab by the federal government once and for all.
As for Section Three, this has long been the result of the tyranny of eastern States over western States.  Nevada and Alaska are the clearest examples of this.  The federal government controls 84.5% of the State of Nevada and 69.1% of the State of Alaska.  In Alaska, that is over 250 million acres!  That is equal to more than TWICE the combined size of all of the Eastern Seaboard States (from Maine to Florida)!  The rest of the nation does not have a right to dictate how those in a state can use their property.  If state residents want to keep a national park as a park, they can make it a state park.  Same goes for federal preserves, reserves, and monuments.
As for federal (active-duty and reserve) military bases in the States, there is NO reason why they have to be run as federal land.  They can just as easily be run by that state's National Guard, which can then allow active-duty and reserve military personnel to use and operate them.  And think of the message this currently sends to the States and their residents.  Currently, the federal government acts as military occupiers in the States.  Active-duty and reserve military personnel should instead view themselves as guests in the States.  And the States can then decide how much land each military base actually needs.  Federal politicians don't really care about how much land they grab from the States for military bases.  State politicians will.  State residents then have more of a say and control over the use and development of their land and can FAR more wisely manage it than some bureaucrat in Washington DC.
As for Section Four, there needs to be an established course to prevent unconstitutional bills from being introduced to the US Congress AND for recourse for the States to fight against federal government over-reach.  This section clearly spells that out.
As for Section Five, this will enable US House Representatives to be part-time and help reduce its cost to taxpayers.  This section also greatly sweetens the deal for state assembly members and state senators to vote for the amendment as it will give them a real good chance to get federal political power and not be held to term limits imposed on them by their state while serving the US House.  As for state assembly members and state senators and their staff not being paid for services to the US House, this will save the federal government some money and acknowledges that they are already being paid by their states to be their state assembly member or senator and for their staff.
As for Section Six, first, removing term limits on governors for whom those have been placed by certain states is simply sweetening the deal to get those governors, former governors, and current US Senators in that state to work to get this amendment passed.  Additionally, term limits is anti-democratic shallow thinking, as explained in the SOCIETY: Term Limits challenge.
Second, not paying governors and their staff anything for their service to the US Senate will save the federal government money and acknowledges that governors and their staff are already paid by their states to be their governor and the governor's staff.
Third, who better to represent a US state in the US Senate than the state's governor?  Unlike current US Senators, governors have power over their state governments, write budgets for them, deal with their state legislature, and are viewed as their state's top elected official.  They are truly focused on their states and its best interests.  More importantly, they don't feel powerless like US Senators who feel the only way they can affect change is through federal law.  Governors can affect change at their state level as both someone who signs into law or vetoes state legislative bills and, of those bills made into law, oversees their administration ... which US Senators cannot.  US-Senate-vote-empowered governors will be able to see the bigger picture and can thus better decide what is best dealt with at the federal or state level.  The US House of Representatives will always try to have the federal government do and regulate everything but this new governor-filled US Senate will be able to block such federal over-reach and return power to and protect the powers of the States.
Lastly, currently the US has a bad way of training its future Presidents.  The two most common paths for US Presidents is as either US Senators or governors, but this means each lacks the experience of the other.  US Senators have experience dealing with federal/international issues and the federal government but lack chief executive experience in running a large governmental body.  US governors are just the opposite.  This section corrects that as it will be VERY likely that, after this amendment is added to the US Constitution, only governors will be serious contenders for the Presidency.  The US will then benefit by having much more well-rounded and experienced people taking on that office.]

Future Challenges: For the following Future Challenges #1 - #13, they are good for each US state. First weekend mega-concert with at least 30 bands to hold a pro-States' Rights Amendment rally:

1) In their state.  [Due to the anti-Big Government (e.g., anti-Obamacare) and pro-independence nature of the States' Right amendment, expect Country & Western bands to jump on board for these mega-concerts and even form complete mega-concert touring groups of 30+ C&W bands that hit all of the fifty States one after another.  In those states that allow citizen-initiated state-wide referendums, expect petition signature drives to be a big part of these concerts to get the necessary signatures.  Some of the touring groups of bands might even just initially focus on such states to get those referendums on the ballots of those states.  And then on Election Day, expect concerts to be done and then only allowing those who have "I've voted" stickers from the election booth locations to be allowed in.  The concerts informing their audiences between songs the current tally of the votes on the referendum.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are a concert promoter doing one of these rallies, contact us and we'll try to get Jack to your rally.  Please contact us as far in advance as possible so we have a better chance of working your rally into Jack's schedule.  We might even be able to film your rally as part of an upcoming YouTube or TV special.]

2) Where either a state assembly member or state senator of that state appears on stage, speaks to the audience, and is in favor of the amendment.

3) Where a state assembly member AND a state senator of that state appear on stage, speak to the audience, and are in favor of the amendment.

4) Where at least 10% of the state's legislature (both assembly members and senators) appear on stage, at least a few of them speak to the audience, and all are in favor of the amendment.

5) Where at least 25% of the state's legislature (both assembly members and senators) appear on stage, at least a few of them speak to the audience, and all are in favor of the amendment.

6) Where at least 50% of the state's legislature (both assembly members and senators) appear on stage, at least a few of them speak to the audience, and all are in favor of the amendment.

7) Where at least 60% of the state's legislature (both assembly members and senators) appear on stage, at least a few of them speak to the audience, and all are in favor of the amendment.

8) Where the leader of the state assembly appears on stage, speaks to the audience, and is in favor of the amendment.

9) Where the leader of the state senate appears on stage, speaks to the audience, and is in favor of the amendment.

10) Where BOTH the leader of the state assembly and the leader of the state senate appear on stage, speak to the audience, and are in favor of the amendment.

11) Where the state's governor appears on stage, speaks to the audience, and is in favor of the amendment.

12) Where one of the state's US Senators appears on stage, speaks to the audience, and is in favor of the amendment.

13) Where BOTH of the state's US Senators appear on stage, speak to the audience, and are in favor of the amendment.

The below are not about any weekend mega-concert rally.

14) Each state does the original challenge gets to claim to have won the original challenge.  [38 states are needed to call a constitutional convention and to pass amendments to the US Constitution so this challenge wants to encourage each state to jump onto the bandwagon.]

15) Each state whose state legislature passes the original challenge without being forced to do so by a state-wide citizen-initiated referendum.  [Many states do not allow their citizens to instigate state-wide citizen-initiated referendums and this future challenge is to encourage those states to do the above.  Since state legislatures will gain more power by passing the above by taking away such power from the federal government, this won't be that hard of a sell.]

16) First US House Representative to submit the above amendment to the US House for a vote.  [For this future challenge and the next one, any congressperson who says they are pro-states' rights, this is the surest way of proving that they are.]

17) First US Senator to submit the above amendment to the US Senate floor for a vote.  [Do not make the very likely wrong assumption that any US Senator will oppose the States' Rights Amendment for fear of losing their job.  You can never get elected as a US Senator without possessing a MASSIVE ego.  An ego that would love even more power, influence, and prestige that the governors will then have due to this challenge's amendment.  The amendment will literally double their political power in the US Senate AND give them the power of the governor of their home state.  Powers they will naturally believe they can win in an open and free election against the incumbent governor in the next gubernatorial election after this amendment is added to the US Constitution.  After all, they have already shown they can win a state-wide election so their thinking they can win the governorship isn't really out of the realm of possibility.

And if this amendment does pass, across the nation, you will witness the most competitive gubernatorial elections in the US history with incumbent governors fighting off not one but both of their state's former US Senators for the governor's mansion.  And 1 in 3 odds are really great odds for anyone to think they can win in such a situation.  The odds are even better if one of the three are not from the same political party.  Then the odds will be at most 1 in 2 in the primary and then 1 in 2 in the general election.  If the US Senator is the one of the three from the different party, the odds then are just 1 in 2 in the general election.  Great Las Vegas odds in either case.  The only thing that would hold them back is a lack of confidence in themselves, but, again, never underestimate a politician's ego or desire for more power and prestige.
As for governors fearing the above US Senators defeating them at the polls, I doubt a SINGLE governor will think this way.  First, they will be the incumbents in the election, which is always the best position to be in an election.  Second, we are, again, talking about a battle of egos and very few egos are as big as those held by governors.  The egos of US Senators are themselves massive but no publicly-elected governor in US history has ever been a shrinking violet.  Instead, the governors will love the idea of increasing their power and having an active say in the federal government as opposed to being mere puppets of it.]

18) First Congress (both US Senate and US House) to pass the above States' Rights Amendment and get it signed by the US President and then sent to the States for ratification.

First radio talk show hosts to champion this challenge and:

19) Who lives in a state that allows citizen-initiated state-wide referendums, helps organize the referendum, promotes the referendum on their show, and, live on her/his show, helps personally deliver all the required petition signatures to put it on the next election ballot to the state government office that the petition signatures must be delivered to.

20) Who lives in a state that does NOT allow citizen-initiated state-wide referendums; helps organize a state-wide petition that collects enough signatures to get the referendum on the ballot in another state; promotes the petition drive on their show; and, live on her/his show, helps personally deliver all the required petition signatures to their state's governor.

21) Organizes, promotes, and emcees a pro-States' Rights weekend mega-concert rally in the state which the host currently calls home.

22) Organizes, promotes, and emcees 10 pro-States' Rights weekend mega-concert rally in the state which the host currently calls home.  Each of the 10 rallies must be in a different city in that state.

If you would like to discuss this challenge with others, click here to go to this challenge's discussion forum.

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