Montana has it right…Can DeWine follow their lead?

LFC Comments by P. Revere: Thanks to Patriot, John Adams, for the comments and the links to a discussion on Critical Race Theory. (CRT) and the 2nd Amendment.

We previously published an article about the Lake County Commissioners passing a resolution declaring their support for the right to bear arms as stated in the U.S. and State of Ohio Constitutions. Although their intentions were admirable, the resolution is largely symbolic. It appears the State of Montana has a better solution.

Does Governor DeWine have the intestinal fortitude to following Montana’s lead? This could be a very defining issue in the upcoming November election. We will reach out to the Joe Blystone and Jim Renacci campaigns to try to get their viewpoints.

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Montana has it right

Written by: John Adams – Patriot
July 17, 2021

[These comments are based on the article from American Greatness shown below]

The basis is that what one state does, many other states can replicate.  It shows the power of what one state may do and initiate that can affect the rest of the country.

An interesting aspect is a reference to what Montana did that other states did not in regards to combating CRT.  Some states passed legislation outlawing CRT.  Montana took a more basic approach.  The Attorney General of Montana was asked for an opinion on whether CRT violates the State of Montana Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

In a nutshell, his long winded review and conclusions effectively illustrate where much of CRT does violate both constitutions.

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https://amgreatness.com/2021/07/15/one-state-can-make-a-difference/

One State Can Make a Difference

Montana’s conservative revolution is a roadmap for Red America.

American Greatness
By Jeremy Carl / July 15, 2021

Excerpts from the article:

Late last month, Montana ended its participation in the extended federal unemployment benefits program. No surprise this event was little noted in the national press, since Montana’s decision to exit the program had a direct effect on fewer than 20,000 people (the total unemployed population of Montana). Yet Montana’s decision had an enormous effect on the country as a whole.

Particularly for those inside the Beltway, it is easy to focus on Washington, D.C. as the only place where policymaking matters. And with an administration desperate to centralize power as it prints ever-growing piles of money with which it hopes to bribe or threaten states and localities, such an attitude is understandable. Recent developments in states like Montana far outside the beltway, however, show how national political innovations can be driven by states with smaller populations far from the beltway swamp and present conservatives with a path for political success. 

When (Governor) Gianforte announced on May 4 that Montana would end unemployment benefits early, not even industry groups had yet announced support for the move.  But soon they followed Gianforte’s bold lead, and by the end of May, 24 states had announced plans to end federal extended unemployment benefits. Leadership in one state with just 0.3 percent of the U.S. population led to a backlash against a stupid national policy that eventually encompassed almost half the country.  

Earlier in the legislative session, the legislature—following a similar act in Arizona—passed legislation making Montana a Second Amendment sanctuary state and Gianforte signed the bill, which meant state officials would decline to enforce federal gun laws. Montana, which has the nation’s highest gun ownership rate, passed what many consider the original Second Amendment-sanctuary law, the Firearms Freedom Act in 2009, which was eventually struck down for technical reasons by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The entire Second Amendment sanctuary movement, which has grown to 17 states and numerous localities in the other 33 states, has grown out of a single early 2000s effort involving a few state senators who each had fewer than 20,000 constituents. 

Unlike so-called “sanctuary cities” for illegal aliens—which simply refuse to enforce federal law without bothering to justify the action by demonstrating the illegitimacy of those laws—Second Amendment sanctuaries base their nonenforcement of federal law on fundamental and historically grounded assertions of American Constitutional rights, making them much more powerful.

Earlier in the legislative session, the legislature—following a similar act in Arizona—passed legislation making Montana a Second Amendment sanctuary state and Gianforte signed the bill, which meant state officials would decline to enforce federal gun laws. Montana, which has the nation’s highest gun ownership rate, passed what many consider the original Second Amendment-sanctuary law, the Firearms Freedom Act in 2009, which was eventually struck down for technical reasons by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The entire Second Amendment sanctuary movement, which has grown to 17 states and numerous localities in the other 33 states, has grown out of a single early 2000s effort involving a few state senators who each had fewer than 20,000 constituents. 

Unlike so-called “sanctuary cities” for illegal aliens—which simply refuse to enforce federal law without bothering to justify the action by demonstrating the illegitimacy of those laws—Second Amendment sanctuaries base their nonenforcement of federal law on fundamental and historically grounded assertions of American Constitutional rights, making them much more powerful.

By repudiating federal overreach, states like Montana can take the lead in forcing the federal government to stop enforcing odious and constitutionally dubious federal laws in places where they are deeply unpopular. Does the Biden Administration want to send troops to Second Amendment sanctuary states to enforce constitutionally dubious, ineffective, and unpopular laws?

But Montana’s national leadership is not limited to its governor and legislature. In the early days of the critical race theory (CRT) debate, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elise Arntzen asked Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen for a legal opinion on whether critical race theory violated the U.S. and Montana constitutions. 

Oklahoma and Idaho had already acted legislatively against CRT, but those states provided little intellectual or legal justification for their actions in the text of their laws. This left CRT supporters ample room to introduce racially divisive and pernicious concepts through holes in the legislative text. Further, by not grounding their legislation in either state or national constitutions, they left their laws more vulnerable to being overturned. 

Knudsen took a far more fundamental approach, demonstrating in a 25-page, closely argued legal opinion that critical race theory was already illegal and in violation of both the Montana and U.S. constitutions and spelled out those violations (as well as permitted non-discriminatory pedagogy on these same topics) in impressive detail. While his opinion can be challenged in court, it provides a very strong foundation for CRT opponents to reference in the future. 

By putting the U.S. and Montana constitutions, rather than mere legislative preference, at the heart of their approach, Montana officials have raised the stakes in the battle and provided a blueprint explaining why CRT is and should be illegal in a way that goes far beyond the states that simply banned the practice legislatively. Again, the actions of a single small-population state created a template for national action.

Of course, none of the successes in Montana (or in larger states such as Florida) suggest that conservatives should give up on national action. But with Biden in the White House, the Right is unlikely to have much success in D.C. in the near future. In contrast, we control many states and localities that can serve as ideal laboratories for our policy ideas. As the successes in Montana show, even sparsely populated states far from the Beltway can help spark a national renaissance in conservative policymaking.

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