Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; March 19, 2013:
Tennessee Constitution under full attack by Establishment Republicans…
Increasingly, the evidence is coming into the “sunshine” that Establishment Republicans, like Haslam, Ramsey and Harwell, are working hard to impair, infringe or destroy our rights as citizens under the Tennessee and united states Constitutions. This attack is not limited to their assault on the 2nd Amendment or the 10th Amendment.
We have seen laws passed with the fanfare of these Establishment Republicans that reduce your ability to get reasonably compensated if you are injured or die in a job related accident – and more are pending. We have seen laws passed that impose serious limits on what a jury or a judge can award as factual damages if you are injured – thereby violating the constitutional separation of powers. We have seen laws passed that provide special protections to the Establishment Republican’s “masters” in insurance and medical fields but which do not apply equally to all citizens (i.e., due process violations). We have seen laws passed merely because of political correctness which violate the fundamental right of freewill.
We have seen issues arise such as Sen. Beavers’ and Rep. Butt’s bill under the 10th and 2nd Amendments to push back on the federal government but those bills were resisted at the apparent mandate of leadership through the “mouth” of leadership loyalists like Sen. Brian Kelsey and Sen. John Stevens or Rep. Vance Dennis. We can not let it be forgotten that legislators like Kelsey, Stevens, Overbey, Dennis and others would rather surrender all rights under the constitutions than to draw a line in the sand as a matter of state sovereignty and tell the federal government – which is our servant – NO MORE.
Last week, we have seen yet another Establishment Republican / RINO leadership attack on our rights. The attack comes in the form of SJR2. SJR2 is a move by Establishment Republicans to deny us as citizens our rights to elect – truly elect – our appellate and Supreme Court judges in Tennessee pursuant to the plain language of the Constitution. This is CRITICAL because if the legislature and the governor have in fact turned against us and our rights under the Bill of Rights then it may be that the courts – as the checks and balances against the other two branches of government – will become the battleground for protecting our rights under the Constitution. For that option to be effective, courts, as the Founders intended, should be accountable to the people through the election process. Establishment Republicans seek to destroy the separation of powers and change the constitution so that the courts – the third co-equal branch – are selected and appointed by the governor and the legislature rather than the people. If so, then to whom do YOU think the courts will be accountable when there are constitutional challenges to the acts of the governor or the legislature?
When SJR2 was on the House floor last Thursday, several Republicans (not in leadership) wanted to speak against the evil plan to destroy yet more rights of the citizens. Here is the report of Rep. Courtney Rogers who was prepared to speak against destroying the rights of the people to select the third branch of government:
On the House Floor:
Last update I wrote about SJR2, the resolution that proposes to make a new method of judicial selection constitutional that still deprives you of your right to vote for your supreme and inferior court justices. I concede that it is better than what is in place now — because it does transfer the power of selection from a committee that is entirely unaccountable to you, directly to both the Governor (power of appointment) and the legislature (power of confirmation). My objection is that it consolidates more power in the hands of government rather than restoring that power to yours. Why do I write about this again? I am doing so because of what transpired on the house floor when SJR2 was introduced for its third and final reading. The significance of the third reading is that this is when a proposed constitutional amendment is discussed and then voted on. It must pass by a two-thirds vote — to be placed on the ballot to be voted on by the people to accept or reject. We spent nearly 30 minutes on the floor debating whether a license plate should be illuminated or not when your headlights are on. When SJR2 was brought up, there were literally two seconds from introduction to the slam of the gavel. There was absolutely no discussion on an issue of this level of importance. I was going to speak from a different view — not the view of the legal community, which is very much heard in the halls downtown, but from the view of an average citizen — which is heard not so much. Rep. Rick Womick had also planned to speak. We both had our hands up — I stood up — even shouted, but the gavel beat me. It was like the Geico commercial where Mutombo (from the Congo that last played for the Houston Rockets), slams a box of cereal out of the hands of the kid trying to throw it in the shopping cart and then waves his finger at him. Whether the house majority agrees or disagrees — whether you agree or disagree with the amendment is not the issue at present. You should insist that thoughtful deliberation on issues such as this be permitted — regardless as to whether or not the ‘votes are there’ or regardless as to how much time could be saved. Intent can neither be confirmed nor denied (i.e. did they not want discussion for fear it wouldn’t pass?) — so I must stick with fact. The fact is, no discussion was permitted. I find it entirely unacceptable — as should you.
Each legislator has an equal vote, an equal right to be heard, to oppose, to support, to amend and to debate on any legislation on the floor. However, with Republican Super Majorities, those who would stand to support and defend the rights of the citizens against the nefarious desires of Establishment Republican leadership are discouraged or disallowed from speaking. They are intimidated by their party leadership. They are taken to the “woodshed.” They are called “fringe.” The interests of their constituents are ignored, suppressed and marginalized. Those citizens and districts which have elected constitutional conservatives are essentially disenfranchised as citizens by leadership.
To preserve and protect the Constitution —
Haslam must be reformed or he must go.
Ramsey must be reformed or he must go.
Harwell must be reformed or she must go.
Finally, we must “de-select” many incumbents who gladly drink the Kool-Aid of the Establishment Republicans and replace those who put “party first” with constitutional stewards who will put the constitutions and the people ahead of the “cocaine” offered to them in the context of partisan position and perceived power by the existing leadership of the Establishment Republican party.