by Jeremy Rhymes

State sovereignty is about having the chance to determine our own degree of peace and prosperity, not having them decided by self interested globalists and corporatists in the national government.  State sovereignty is based on the premise that government governs best that is closest to the people.  That’s not an opinion, that’s demonstrable.

If you have a problem with the way your city is being run, you can voice it at a town hall, directly to the mayor and council, or give them a call or even pay them a visit at the office.  It takes a little drive, but you can do the same thing with your state legislators, and, if you bring a few friends, they’ll remember the visit and remember you.  Local and state politicians are typically reachable and manageable, and when they are not we can hold them accountable more easily than federal officials.

Our Founders knew a centralized national government needed limitations and checks, a need they articulated by those placed in our Constitution.  Today the feds feel very little constraint when it comes to what they can do with their power.  Bailing out corporations and banks, imposing universal healthcare, cap and trade, sanctioning a private bank to print our money and loan it to us with an interest rate; you name it, they’ve mishandled it.  There’s very little they are in a position to do well and even those things haven’t been attended with the integrity and responsibility we could wish from men and women we trust with so much.  And what can we do?

The answer is here with us, the People, from which all governmental power stems.  The answer is state sovereignty; recovering enough independence from the federal government to affect national changes through state politics.  Right now the states are virtually powerless against federal mandates and excesses.  Most rely heavily on federal subsidies and grants with strings attached, and our Right to self determination is null and void under such conditions.  If our state cannot respond responsibly to federal initiatives, how can we?

But state sovereignty isn’t a new issue for us here in Oklahoma.  We’ve seen sovereignty resolutions introduced under two governors, in 1994 and 2009.  In 1995 our House passed the Oklahoma State Sovereignty Act in an attempt to safeguard us from unfunded federal mandates.  Each time it comes up there have been obstacles on the state level.  Basically, our state government is more responsive to the influence of the federal government than the people of Oklahoma right now.  The good news is that, unlike politics on the national level, this is something we can change directly.

Making a change will take getting involved in precinct and county level politics, but that is what we should have been doing the whole time to maintain our own self governance.  We have to do more than vote.  Below is a resolution useful for introduction on the local level of party politics.  It asserts State sovereignty and recalls some of the history of similar attempts in our State.  If we’re going to put ourselves back in the driver’s seat, it all starts on the ground, in our neighborhoods and precincts.

Resolution to Strengthen Oklahoma Sovereignty

WHEREAS the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land and Amendments IX and X to that Constitution reserve to the States and to the People all rights not “delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States;” and

WHEREAS the Oklahoma State Legislature passed State Sovereignty Resolutions introduced by State Representative Charles Key in 1994 and 2009, and

WHEREAS the Oklahoma State House of Representatives passed the Oklahoma State Sovereignty Act introduced by State Representative Charles Key in 1995 requiring the escrowing of federal tax funds by the State for the purpose of withholding them in the event of an encroachment of Oklahoma’s Sovereignty, and

WHEREAS Article IV, Section IV of the Constitution of the United States guarantees a republican form of government to each of the several States and

WHEREAS the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma in Section IV-1 declares the separation and distinction of the powers of government, as the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial departments “and neither shall exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others.”

WHEREAS Section V-1 of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma invests Legislative authority of the State in a Legislature, and

WHEREAS Section V-55 of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma prohibits the expenditure of State money without an appropriation by law and that law shall “distinctly specify the sum appropriated and the object to which it is to be applied”, and

WHEREAS Section II-2 lists as an inherent right to all persons “the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry”, and

WHEREAS the United States Congress has passed laws not in pursuance of the Constitution of the United States, such as a health care law requiring individual citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a tax and that law requires implementation of that regulatory program by the State of Oklahoma, and FURTHERMORE has passed laws regulating firearms, requirements for security within Oklahoma’s airports, and the collection of information about Oklahoma citizens beyond the powers delegated by the Constitution of the United States, and

WHERAS Federal Executive Branch Departments have issued regulations mandating expenditures by the State of Oklahoma absent consent by the State Legislature, and

WHEREAS former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry engaged in a Legislative act by submitting applications for federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on two separate occasions in 2009 and 2010 that obligated the State of Oklahoma to the expenditure of funds in particular ways and for a particular period and FURTHERMORE Governor Brad Henry tied the hands of a future Oklahoma State Legislature, and

WHEREAS the State of Oklahoma has entered into “Memorandums of Understanding” with foreign nations, other States, and entities through the actions of unelected State employees, absent Legislative authority,

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Republican Party of Oklahoma calls upon elected officials within the State of Oklahoma, particularly those members of the Republican Party within the state in elected offices to take all  necessary and appropriate actions to protect, strengthen, and maintain the integrity of the Sovereignty of the State, the inherent and Constitutional rights of its people, and to ensure compliance with spirit and letter of laws in pursuance of the Constitution of the United States and the State of Oklahoma, including conducting research studies and investigations, and introducing and providing vigorous support for appropriate legislative measures.

Submitted and Adopted by Precinct #_________, _____________ County, Oklahoma, Congressional District #_____, on _____________(date).”

A lot of people don’t know it, but anyone can write one of these and, assuming they are registered with a party, propose it for inclusion in that party platform.  Even one person has the power to change things on the local level.  That’s why we must start here and work our way up.

Jeremy Rhymes, Intern for Oklahoma Grassroots 2010-2011

Oklahoma Sovereignty Graphics Design by Jan Leonard of Louisiana (she has done similar graphics for Nebraska and Michigan also).  You may contact her here.


R3publicans is pleased to have this feature post by Jeremy Rhymes, an intern for OKGrassroots who has been working on the issue of State Sovereignty while finishing up his education. In that capacity, he has helped draft this resolution and is now sharing with activists in Oklahoma and other states for the purposes of sparking debate and action on the matter. We thank him for his efforts on the State Sovereignty issue and hope through this article that we can all play a part in insisting upon it!


Additional links and references:

Oklahoma Grassroots Presents Resolutions to be Considered for Introduction at Precinct Meetings 2011 – for more resolutions

Scribd – downloadable version of Sample Resolutions for Oklahoma

OK-Safe Precinct: Most Powerful Office

Oklahoma Constitution