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Nullify Unconstitutional Wars With Maine Bill SP 423

Alert Summary

Members of the Maine Legislature are seeking to enact SB 423, which would nullify unconstitutional federal deployments of the Maine National Guard.

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Members of the Maine Legislature are seeking to enact legislation nullifying unconstitutional federal deployments of the Maine National Guard.

Senate Paper 423 (SP 423) is sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey (R-Auburn) and seven state representatives. On April 3, 2023, the bill moved to the full Senate for a pending vote, as it received divided support in committee.

It would prevent combat deployments of the Maine 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, Clauses 11 and 15, of the U.S. Constitution.

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 Maine 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.”

Importance

SP 423 is 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.” SP 423 is an excellent model for other states to follow.

Urge your state representative and senator to support SP 423 and to push back against all other unconstitutional laws at every level of government.

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Please help stop unconstitutional foreign wars — and enact SP 423 — by contacting your state representative and senator. Urge them to faithfully abide by the U.S. Constitution and to reject all laws or actions that violate them.

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