Lawmakers pass bill to create “nullification of federal laws” committee

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A bill that would make it easier for North Dakota to ignore federal law got the green light on Wednesday.

House Bill 1282 narrowly passed the chamber Wednesday afternoon. It would create a 14-member committee on “nullification of federal laws.”

The group would be authorized to bring an executive order or federal law before the legislature to let the chambers decide whether those laws should be enforced.

Bismarck Republican Rep. Rick Becker assured the House that the committee wouldn’t determine whether a law was constitutional — simply whether North Dakota should enforce it. He emphasized the importance of state’s rights and his support of the 10th amendment.

“I swore an oath to the four pages of the constitution, not the 67,000 pages of the federal register. The constitution is sacrosanct. It’s four pages, it’s entirely different. I did not swear an oath to all of the other garbage that comes forth from the swamp in D.C.,” Becker said.

The next step for the bill to become law is approval in the Senate and eventually the governor’s signature.

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