URGENT: On March 21, the Arizona Senate passed SB 1367, the Defend the Guard Act, by a 16-13 vote. The bill has now been transmitted to the House. However, House Speaker Ben Toma has refused to assign the bill to a committee. Contact your state representative, along with Speaker Toma, and urge them to support and pass SB 1367.
Arizona lawmakers are seeking to enact legislation nullifying unconstitutional federal deployments of the Arizona National Guard.
House Bill 2320 (HB 2320), titled the “Defend the Guard Act,” is sponsored by Representative Alexander Kolodin (R-Scottsdale) and cosponsored by nine other representatives and one senator. A companion bill, Senate Bill 1367 (SB 1367) has also been introduced; it is sponsored by Senator Wendy Rogers (R-Tempe) and cosponsored by three other senators. On March 21, 2023, the Senate approved SB 1367 by a 16-13 vote.
HB 2320 and SB 1367 would prevent combat deployments of the Arizona National Guard by the federal government in the absence of a congressional declaration of war or another constitutional reason in accordance with Article I, Section 8, Clause 15, of the U.S. Constitution.
In HB 2320’s legislative findings, it declares:
Although the United States Congress has not declared war in over seventy years, the United States has since gone to war repeatedly at the whim of the executive branch. When unconstitutional actions are taken by the federal government, it is the proper role of the states themselves to take action to remedy the situation as outlined in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798.
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, over 650,000 National Guard troops have been sent to foreign conflicts since 2001, and 45% of the total U.S. forces sent to Iraq and Afghanistan have been National Guard or Reserve troops. If Arizona and other states prohibit unconstitutional National Guard deployments, the federal government’s participation in these foreign conflicts would be severely hampered, therefore limiting the federal government’s ability to further entangle the U.S. in any undeclared wars overseas.
Such a limitation on the federal government’s ability to carry out an internationalist and interventionist foreign policy would be consistent with the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. In his 1796 Farewell Address, President George Washington affirmed, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” President Thomas Jefferson reiterated the same policy in his first inaugural address, advocating for “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”
HB 2320 and SB 1367 are an excellent application of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which states “[t]his Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
Since the federal government’s engagement in endless, undeclared wars — subversion going back decades — violates the U.S. Constitution, it cannot be considered “in Pursuance thereof” and, thus, is not “the supreme Law of the Land.” Unfortunately, over the last several decades, thousands of unconstitutional laws on the federal, state, and even local levels have been created and enforced.
Because of this, state legislatures have a duty to rein in unconstitutional wars and robustly enforce the Constitution and only those laws and actions “in Pursuance thereof.” HB 2320 and SB 1367 are an excellent model for other states to follow.
Urge your state representative and senator to stop unconstitutional foreign wars and defend the Arizona National Guard by supporting and passing the “Defend the Guard Act” (HB 2320 and SB 1367). Additionally, urge them to push back against all other unconstitutional laws at every level of government.
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