News Release
April 9, 2009
Contact: Alicia Pierce
(512) 463-0103
Perry, Nichols and Creighton call for protecting states' sovereignty

Austin — Today, Gov. Rick Perry joined state Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Rep. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) in calling for an end to federal mandates violating states' rights.

"I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union."

Nichols and Creighton are the authors of resolutions upholding the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which designates all powers not given to the federal government to the state and to the people. The two identical bills are Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 and House Concurrent Resolution 50.

"The Tenth Amendment specifically limits the rights of the federal government in relation to states' rights," said Creighton. "This resolution declares that the State of Texas wants the federal government to stop acting outside its legal authority and return power to the states as our founding fathers intended."

This resolutions follow similar efforts in more than a dozen states around the country. Nichols explained why the resolution is so timely.

"The need to protect the rights of states is nothing new, but in light of the rules and regulations coming from Washington, now is an especially important time to reaffirm the independence of state governments," said Nichols.

Creighton cited a number of recent issues affecting states.

"From restrictions on gun and ammunition sales, to freedom of choice issues, to the Real ID Act, the federal government is passing laws that limit a state's ability to govern itself," said Creighton. "Texas simply wants to send the message that we want to govern ourselves and decide for ourselves how our money is to be spent."

Nichols stressed constitutional background of states' rights.

"You don't have to be a constitutional scholar to understand the 10th Amendment," said Nichols. "It clearly explains that powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people."

The resolution, which if approved expresses the sentiment of the Senate and directs the Texas Secretary of State to forward the resolution to the U.S. Speaker of the House, the President of the U.S. Senate, and all members of the Texas Congressional delegation.

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) is a joint author of SCR 35. The House resolution, HCR 50 has a total of 68 co-authors.