Friday, November 25, 2011

Opinion: Alamar Judgment Unconstitutional?

By Rich Smith

The order from federal Judge Lynn Winmill, for Boise County to tax its residents in an amount over the state 3% cap, makes my head spin.  Not having a law degree, it looks to me as another case of Federal vs. State rights and one that will keep lawyers collecting fees for years to come. The feds keep trying to supersede State laws, as in the Arizona immigrant laws or the California marijuana and marriage laws approved by voters--and now Idaho State taxation law.

It is up to the Supreme Court to unravel these contradictions, but if one reads the U.S. Constitution, there is little doubt as to who has the power to do what. Amendment 10 specifically states that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The powers of Congress are enumerated in Article 1 section 8, and nowhere therein do the feds have the power to regulate health, marriage, or limit a state to regulate its own internal commerce and issue licenses. The feds cannot supersede state law or void judgments issued by state courts (read Article 4 section 1).

In the Alamar case, a federal judge is attempting to supersede state law that places a cap of 3% on county tax increases. Should not federal Judge Winmill’s order be challenged as unconstitutional? The administration will probably cite their right to regulate all commerce as given to them in Article 1 Section 8, but this power is limited to regulate commerce with foreign nations and between states, not with individuals or intra-state commerce. It will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court agrees with the administration’s expanded interpretation of the commerce law in the Obama Health case before the court this spring.

1 comment:

  1. YES! Thank you, Rich, for voicing what is also my concern!