Arizona Senate Republican: "We Aren't Americans"

Posted on by Bo Vandy (Bovandy)
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There have been some truly interesting attempts to get around the United States constitution but what the Arizona Senate President is doing has got to be one of the most original. During a speech to a gathering of Tea Party Patriots Whackadoos, Russell Pearce proclaimed that his bill which would allow Arizona to ignore any federal laws it does not like because Arizonans were not actually US citizens.

In a rare moment of coherence, Pearce said, "Most of us weren't around when the Constitution was written, but you remember we kind of existed before Congress, the states. We created the Congress, we created the federal government, by contract. Do you know what existed before the Congress? The states." Okay, I may have fibbed a bit when I said he was coherent.

Of course, the bill Pearce is talking about (Senate Bill 1433) makes it clear that Arizona is not leaving the country. After all, if they did that they would no longer receive federal funds that the state desperately needs in order to continue existing as a (somewhat?) effective state government. Pearce continued down his "We aren't Americans" rant and eventually proclaimed through a convoluted explanation as to why this bill is not, in fact, bat shit insane.

"Do you know, you're not a citizen of the United States," Pearce said. "You're a citizen of a sovereign state. The fifty sovereign states make up United States of America, we're citizens of those sovereign states. It is not a delegated authority. It's an inherent authority that states have over the federal government."

Unfortunately for Pearce and anyone else who has merely a passing understanding of how government actually works, the constitution might actually get in the way of this particular endeavor. Most notably, article VI of the constitution, more commonly known as the supremacy clause, seems to settle this very argument:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
In addition, the 14th amendment of that same pesky United States constitution clearly lays out that all people born inside the United States are, in fact, United States citizens. It should also be pointed out that when immigrants do indeed take citizenship exams, they are not being accepted as citizens of a particular state, but rather as citizens of the entire country. At naturalization ceremonies, these people pledge their allegiance to the United States, not to Arizona, nor do they pledge to only abide by the parts of the country they agree with.

Do you consider yourself an American?

12788 views & 33 votes

Debate It! 13

I'm not an American under either definition. But this guy is batshit insane.

Posted By Telanis,

I'm an American and I love my country... but I hate the government! That's probably what he wanted to say. But instead, it came out as incoherent babble. Maybe it was just stage fright?

Posted By Mr.Truther,

i'm canadian :p

Posted By Milodork,

lol, I think the entire State of AZ is on crack. Must be something in the water out there.
Edited:03-27-2011 11:05PM by Rebecca
Reason:removed link

Posted By SungTow,

Could I get clarification on
"anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding"
It seems to me this allows for the states to effectively right out the supremacy of the U.S. Federal laws by adding amendments to their own state constitutions. However I could just be reading it wrong / have a poor understanding of the intricacies of the American legal system.

Posted By amurfin,

Notwithstanding = in spite of
So, "and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." translates to:
The judges in every state shall be bound by the constitution (of the US) in spite of anything in the constitution (of a state) or laws of any state that might contradict the (US) constitution.

Posted By senorita,

This just proves that our public schools have done a really poor job of educating students on the government of our country. Standardized testing leaves little room for things like social studies.

Posted By DebbiePA,

I'm younger than Pearce and I understand how the Constitution works. I don't think that's the problem Debbie

Posted By Bovandy,

Mississippi tried the "Soveign State" argument in the 1960's. It won't work for Arizona either.

Posted By KevinMemphis,

I didn't want to write a whole other article on this as it would be piling on, but apparently Pearce advocated reading a racist email from a fake teacher on the state senate's floor as well.

Dude is just whacked

Posted By Bovandy,

i had a shirt like that; not sure what happened to it. my girlfriend hated it but i thought it was pretty awesome.

Posted By Nate,

the american flag shirt, i mean.

Posted By Nate,

Nate, I'd imagined she burned it.

Posted By Bovandy,

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