As reported here in the Thicket back in February, there is a movement afoot in many states to enact resolutions asserting state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And according to the "Tenth Amendment Center," resolutions have now been introduced in 33 state legislatures although a few of those states have completed regular sessions, so some of them are now stalled.
My colleague Karl Kurtz, the Atlas upon whose shoulders The Thicket rests, has tracked these resolutions and wrote a very interesting post here recently about general memorializing of Congress by resolution. Yesterday, Karl was invited to provide some background for a piece being put together by Bill Tucker, a reporter for CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight show, about the state sovereignty resolutions. Karl did a nice job providing perspective, and the eventual piece included a lengthy soundbite from Karl. See the whole story here: Lou Dobbs Tonight.
The story accurately portrays a movement by some of the nation's 7382 state legislators to send a message to Congress about federalism. But what annoyed me was the misleading lead-in by the host. Mr. Dobbs sets up the pre-produced video by saying,
He follows by saying that 28 states are considering sovereignty legislation, but his first two lines strongly imply that at least half of the states have passed, or endorsed, the sovereignty resolutions. It may seem to some like a subtle distinction, but anyone who works in and around legislatures knows that filing a bill or resolution is far different than getting it passed. It remains to be seen if the sovereignty efforts will catch fire and begin to pass, but it is not accurate to say that 28 states are "fed up with Washington." What we do know is that at least one legislator in 28 states (apparently 33 states at this point) is fed up enough to drop a resolution in the proverbial hopper. That's a far cry from getting a majority of their legislative peers to support the resolution.