BREAKING: Okla. Senate passes amendment to opt out of federal hate crimes protections

  • metta

    Posts: 39077

    Mar 12, 2010 6:38 PM GMT

    BREAKING: Okla. Senate passes amendment to opt out of federal hate crimes protections

    http://www.dallasvoice.com/instant-tea/2010/03/11/breaking-okla-senate-passes-amendment-to-opt-out-of-federal-hate-crimes-protections/


    So if you live in Oklahoma, please contact your representives now!
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Mar 12, 2010 7:46 PM GMT
    I am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
  • metta

    Posts: 39077

    Mar 12, 2010 7:58 PM GMT
    I was wondering the same thing. I don't think that they can.....but would like to know for sure.
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    Mar 12, 2010 8:17 PM GMT
    [Republican State Senator] Russell said because the government has decided to intervene on issues of morality, he is worried that religious leaders who speak out against any lifestyle could be imprisoned for their speech.

    “The law is very vague to begin with,” Russell said. “Sexual orientation is a very vague word that could be extended to extremes like necrophilia.”

    Russell said he is also concerned if someone is attacked and killed for his or her sexual orientation, the suspect could pass the blame onto a religious leader who preached out against the lifestyle of the victim who was attacked.


    1. The Republican Party has repeatedly attempted to legislate its own version of anti-gay morality into law, particularly mirroring Christian fundamentalist beliefs, and indeed, with some considerable success. Is that not also "intervening on issues of morality"? Hell, they campaign on their moral superiority, and their moral agenda for the US.

    2. Necrophilia is a crime, that is more often committed by straight males on female corpses. It is not a term that in any way relates to sexual orientation, and would therefore be outside Federal hate crimes protections in the first place. A bigger red herring could not have been thrown into this discussion.

    3. "The suspect could pass the blame onto a religious leader..." As opposed to passing the blame onto the victim, as is often successfully done with the "gay panic" defense. It's apparently acceptable to this Senator for a religious leader to preach physical harm against gays, without any repercussions.

    The evidence continues to mount of the evil contained in the contemporary Republican Party. And before the usual bleating starts about "not EVERY Republican is like this" and "you're generalizing" and "yeah, but the Republicans have the better tax plan" the salient point is that these anti-gay, anti-human rights actions are routinely coming from Republican lawmakers.

    And yet few influential Republicans condemn them. This is what the Party, as a collective political entity has become. To defend & support Republicans you must defend & support typical Republican actions like these; they are inseparable.
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    Mar 12, 2010 8:37 PM GMT
    It sounds like this jackass, and other jackasses in the OK Senate are pushing a bill that would forbid state or local officials from asking for Federal assistance in LGBT hate crimes and actually require local authorities to destroy any evidence the state collects relevant to such cases. It's pointlessly vicious and nasty, because I presume a victim of such a crime would apply to federal authorities in the first case. It is a alleged violation of a federal law that is taking place, Right?
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Mar 12, 2010 8:46 PM GMT
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
    Its called states rights. The 10th Amendment.
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    Mar 12, 2010 8:48 PM GMT
    Oh man, this pisses me off! I used to volunteer at the Equality Center in Tulsa that's now fighting this. I promise you, Oklahoma gays have endured a lot and they are vicious... I bet this won't go through. I know too many queens with rifles and a thirst for republican blood. I'm not condoning such actions, but like I said... some of those OK gays aren't putting up with it anymore. Glad I'm not there for this! It's gonna get ugly.
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    Mar 12, 2010 8:50 PM GMT
    JP85257 said
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
    Its called states rights. The 10th Amendment.
    oh really? like segregation? icon_rolleyes.gif
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Mar 12, 2010 9:00 PM GMT
    ActiveAndFit said
    JP85257 said
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
    Its called states rights. The 10th Amendment.
    oh really? like segregation? icon_rolleyes.gif

    Im just stating a fact, Asshole.
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    Mar 12, 2010 9:27 PM GMT
    but how? i just read up on the 10th amendment, and i am not clear on how/when/why the supreme court nullfies federal laws to protect states' rights. it seems inconsistent at best.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 12, 2010 9:27 PM GMT
    There has been controversy over this "States Rights" issue for a long time
    and it has been reconciled that States Rights shall not supercede Federal Law
    To allow States to make any law that it wants
    would make a mish-mash of veritable potentates .... little countries in their own rite
    The Federal Gov't must be the superceding body
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    Mar 12, 2010 9:35 PM GMT
    JP85257 said
    ActiveAndFit said
    JP85257 said
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
    Its called states rights. The 10th Amendment.
    oh really? like segregation? icon_rolleyes.gif

    Im just stating a fact, Asshole.



    there's also such a thing as the supremacy clause which states that any state law that is preempted by the U.S. Constitution or a federal law or treaty, the state law cannot be enforced.

    Given that the hate crimes bill is federal law, a state cannot "opt out" of it by means of passing laws which conflict or render them null and void.
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    Mar 12, 2010 9:50 PM GMT
    Interesting that the OK legislature doesn't know what it can and can't do. Should be fun to watch the backlash when the feds step in and enforce the US Constitution.
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    Mar 12, 2010 10:00 PM GMT
    I have Russell pegged as another republican closet queer, anyone else?
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    Mar 12, 2010 10:04 PM GMT
    JP85257 said
    ActiveAndFit said
    JP85257 said
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
    Its called states rights. The 10th Amendment.
    oh really? like segregation? icon_rolleyes.gif

    Im just stating a fact, Asshole.
    Don't shit yourself, I am just stating a fact also.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Mar 12, 2010 10:05 PM GMT
    JP85257 said
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
    Its called states rights. The 10th Amendment.


    Actually, the 10th amendment disproves your claim. The tenth amendment states that states have the right to govern themselves in issues where there is no federal law. Hate Crime legislation is a federal law so states have no say in not abiding by it, as stipulated by the correct reading of the 10th amendment. The amendment clearly refers to powers delegated by the constitution, and Congress has the authority to pass federal law that all states must follow according the constitution. It's a neglectful and selective reading to think the 10th amendment only grants states the right to govern without talking about the conditional element of federalism.
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    Mar 12, 2010 10:06 PM GMT
    KyleAD saidInteresting that the OK legislature doesn't know what it can and can't do. Should be fun to watch the backlash when the feds step in and enforce the US Constitution.


    it's not surprising to me at all. I paged at the Oklahoma State Capitol when I was in high school. I lost all respect for my state legislature when I delivered some paperwork to the floor for a representative wearing a cowboy hat (which is supposed to be illegal inside the Capitol), boots and a bolo tie. To make it worse, he was spitting chewing tobacco into a styrofoam cup.

    So yeah, it doesn't surprise me if they don't know what the fuck they can and can't do.
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    Mar 12, 2010 11:24 PM GMT
    abm1985 said
    KyleAD saidInteresting that the OK legislature doesn't know what it can and can't do. Should be fun to watch the backlash when the feds step in and enforce the US Constitution.


    it's not surprising to me at all. I paged at the Oklahoma State Capitol when I was in high school. I lost all respect for my state legislature when I delivered some paperwork to the floor for a representative wearing a cowboy hat (which is supposed to be illegal inside the Capitol), boots and a bolo tie. To make it worse, he was spitting chewing tobacco into a styrofoam cup.

    So yeah, it doesn't surprise me if they don't know what the fuck they can and can't do.


    Well perhaps they can start using those arms that the 2nd Amendment allows and draw a line in the sand and start shooting
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    Mar 13, 2010 12:21 AM GMT
    calibro said
    JP85257 said
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
    Its called states rights. The 10th Amendment.


    Actually, the 10th amendment disproves your claim. The tenth amendment states that states have the right to govern themselves in issues where there is no federal law. Hate Crime legislation is a federal law so states have no say in not abiding by it, as stipulated by the correct reading of the 10th amendment. The amendment clearly refers to powers delegated by the constitution, and Congress has the authority to pass federal law that all states must follow according the constitution. It's a neglectful and selective reading to think the 10th amendment only grants states the right to govern without talking about the conditional element of federalism.



    see, that's what i was thinking upon reading up on it... what is the point of a federal government if it can't govern federally???
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    Mar 13, 2010 3:52 AM GMT
    MadeNUSA said

    Well perhaps they can start using those arms that the 2nd Amendment allows and draw a line in the sand and start shooting


    You really have no idea how the government works, do you?
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    Mar 13, 2010 3:56 AM GMT
    Photobucket
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 13, 2010 3:59 AM GMT
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?


    They can't and they will find out one way or the other.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 13, 2010 4:04 AM GMT
    JP85257 said
    irishkcguy saidI am not a lawyer, so can somebody explain to me how a state can opt out of a federal law?
    Its called states rights. The 10th Amendment.



    Fine. Then they'll realize how much federal dollars they're going to lose out on with new federal legislation. In the end, it's about the money. It always is. That's how the drinking age was increased to 21 and that's how the legal DUI limit was lowered to 0.08% BAC. It all ties in to money and the states are going to find out the hard way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 13, 2010 4:57 AM GMT
    Well, I won't be a lawyer until I graduate in May, but here's how this stuff works:

    No state has the authority to ignore a federal law. The hate crimes bill that was recently passed is federal, and therefore Oklahoma will have to enforce it whether they want to or not. The 10th Amendment gives all powers to the states that are not specifically granted to the federal government. Unfortunately for the Oklahoma lawmakers, the recent hate crimes bill was passed as a federal law. They may choose to try to ignore the new law, but in the end if someone were to challenge the state's lack of enforcement of it the state will lose. Then it will be up to the feds to step in enforce the policy.

    Think of how California defies the federal law prohibiting the sale of marijuana. Cut and dry, the state ignores the federal mandate, but the feds have chosen not to step in and enforce it. The same could happen if the government were to choose not to enforce the new law, but such a decision is very unlikely to happen.

    In short, the Okla. Senate's decision has done nothing but show how much of a bunch of assholes they are. When push comes to shove, their little opt out will be overturned as unconstitutional in court. Nice try fellas, but you're not going to be getting out of this one no matter how hard you try.
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    Mar 13, 2010 5:04 AM GMT
    blueblur -
    You're correct that this can't be enforced, but the decision COULD still have the impact the pols who supported it were seeking.
    It's an election year, after all, and the chances that this was all about Republican politicians trying to posture for their anti-gay constituents, seems highly likely.
    Maybe, they're hoping this will ensure their reelection.
    In OK, that's highly possible.