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Utahns Channel Their Inner Secessionists

The folks running the show in Utah have been watching what other red states have been doing, and apparently are jealous. They want you to remember that the Beehive State has plenty of crazies, too. And to prove it, Gov. Spencer Cox (R-UT) has signed into law the Utah Constitutional Sovereignty Act.

The newly-minted law does exactly what you think it does. It reserves the right for Utah to ignore any federal law or dictate that it does not like. Here is the key portion of the actual bill, in case you are skeptical:

The Legislature may, by concurrent resolution, prohibit a government officer from enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of a federal directive within the state if the Legislature determines the federal directive violates the principles of state sovereignty.

You can read the whole bill here, if you want.

We seem to recall this very issue coming up before. Almost 200 years ago, the people of South Carolina were cranky about tariff rates, and announced that they were entitled to "nullify" any federal directives they did not like. The Palmetto Staters backed down in that particular historical moment, but finally put their ideas to the test a few decades later. As you may have read, they, along with the other 10 Confederate States, lost that little dust-up, thus establishing that the Constitution's supremacy clause really is supreme.

We presume that the Utahns are just making a statement, as they are prone to do with bills of this sort. On the other hand, these days, you can never be sure. Certainly, the red states flirt with the idea of civil war far too often, and with far more seriousness, than is healthy for the country. (Z)

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