Attorney General Eric Holder is zeroing in on a recent “federal nullification” bill that the Kansas governor signed into law, and has made clear that he will bring the full weight of the U.S. government to bear on the state.
Ever since President Barack Obama began taking advantage of the tragic shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., more than half of the states have at least initiated plans to nullify any new federal gun laws. Kansas was one of those states.
Kansas SB 102, the Second Amendment Protection Act, bans federal agents “from regulating guns and ammunition manufactured and stored within Kansas state lines,” according to The Hill.
One day after the act was overwhelmingly approved by both chambers and signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback, Holder sent a poison pen letter to the governor, stating in no uncertain terms that the law was unconstitutional.
“The United States will take all appropriate action, including litigation if necessary, to prevent the State of Kansas from interfering with the activities of federal officials enforcing the law,” Holder wrote to Brownback.
“In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, S.B. 102 directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional,” Holder continued.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a former constitutional law professor, helped craft the statute.
“This is definitely a case that could make it to the Supreme Court,” Kobach said. “There is nothing symbolic about this law.”
Gov. Brownback shot back to Holder, in part:
The right to keep and bear arms is a right that Kansans hold dear. It is a right enshrined not only in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also protected by the Kansas Bill of Rights…The people of Kansas have repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed their commitment to protecting this fundamental right. The people of Kansas are likewise committed to defending the sovereignty of the State of Kansas as guaranteed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution…”
Holder’s heavy-handed tactics is nothing new. He’s sued states in the past over both immigration enforcement and voter ID laws, all to mixed results. Now that he’s adding state gun control laws to the mix, we’re beginning to see that he’s an equal opportunity plaintiff.
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