Archive for Tribal

Apr
13

VETOed by the Brand

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Today, Governor Brian Schweitzer was true to his word when he said he would take his VETO branding irons to bills that are unconstitutional, frivolous or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of Montana voters.

In a ceremony on the north steps of the Capitol, the Governor was joined by more than 100 onlookers as he took the brands to 7 bills.

The bills the got the brand were:

  • SB114: Which initially would have put sheriffs in charge of federal law enforcement officers, but now had been amended to where it was pointless and would do nothing but clutter our law books
  • HB318: Would put county commissioners in charge of bison management, rather than FWP as it currently is
  • SB109: Would kills jobs in the state and roll back our progress towards renewable energy
  • HB272: Would make it more difficult for the public to acquire land for hunting, fishing and recreating
  • SB159: Would make it harder for homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient
  • HB180: Would eliminate election day voter registration
  • SB306: Would overturn two voter approved laws that restricted cyanide leach open-pit mining and thus would severely damage our rivers, lakes and streams

In addition to these bills, the Governor also held a more traditional veto signing in his office. Here he vetoed the following bills: HB456HB464SB111SB228SB324SB370SB324SB370SB254HB161SB183 and HB542

Rep. James Knox

Rep. James Knox (R-Billings) is Attempting to Redefine the 14th Amendment

Today, the House Federal Relations, Energy, and Telecommunications Committee heard a bill from Rep. James Knox (R-Billings).

This bill attempts to radically redefine the 14th Amendment of our U.S. Constitution. This amendment was added after the Civil War to undo the Dred Scott decision that said that blacks could not be citizens of the U.S. It also states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherin they reside.

Under Rep. Knox’s bill Native Americans, people with dual citizenship and their children would likely no longer be considered Montana citizens. This bill is blatantly unconstitutional and seeks to punish children born in this country, who have a constitutional right to citizenship under the U.S. Constitution.

During the hearing Rep. Knox was clearly unsure of what exactly his bill would do. When questioned about the rights and privileges of being a Montana citizen, he was unable to state which privileges this bill would remove from those affected by the bill.

Perhaps more egregious than his misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment was the offensive and derisive terms he used to refer to the children of immigrants.

This bill is another example of Republicans in the legislature pursing a radical social agenda, that is blatantly unconstitutional, despite their promise to their constituents to focus on jobs and the economy.

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