Tag: Jason Overstreet
By John Stark
State Rep. Jason Overstreet, R-Blaine, has introduced legislation that would make it a felony for state or local officials to cooperate with the U.S. armed forces in the investigation or detention of citizens and legal residents.
(Overstreet is also one of four sponsors of H.B. 1111, which pushes the state to sell off its lands “not being actively used for forestry.” But it doesn’t stop there: It also authorizes the state to acquire “forested” federal lands by condemnation, and then sell them to the highest bidder. Would that include national parks? The bill doesn’t say yes and it doesn’t say no. Overstreet has not responded to requests for comment on this bill, and in any event it appears dead.
Even if the state were to enact such a bill, University of Washington law professor Robert Anderson says it would not be effective in getting control of federal lands. During the Sagebrush Rebellion years, Nevada did pass a similar law attempting to wrest control of federal holdings within that state, but the law was struck down by the federal courts. There is no legal foundation for state confiscation of federal lands, Anderson said.)
But back to the detention bill, H.B. 1581. It got a hearing before a House committee Thursday, Feb. 21, but appears unlikely to come to a vote, according to a press release from House Republicans. Here is the text of the bill, which was co-sponsored by State Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, and several others. Here is a summary.
In the press release, Overstreet says the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act violates the right to due process.
“Washingtonians are guaranteed the right of due process in both the U.S. and Washington State Constitutions,” Overstreet said. “Upon signing the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the President tacitly acknowledged that he now has the ability to deny this right through indefinite detention, but in his signing statement promised us he will not exercise it. The U.S. Congress and President have overstepped their constitutional authority. The Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act seeks to preserve the rights of Washingtonians so brazenly tossed aside by Washington D.C.”
The National Defense Authorization Act got bipartisan supp0rt when it was passed by Congress, according to this tally by Project VoteSmart. But in recent months, there has also been bipartisan concern about encroachment on civil liberties in the fight against terrorists, although that concern is focused more on drone strikes than on detention policies.
State Rep. Jason Overstreet, R-42nd, has introduced a bill that would prevent any local or state official from assisting in the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens and legal residents in Washington state in most circumstances.
Overstreet’s bill, HB 2759, is entitled the Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act.
It was motivated by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 31. Overstreet argues that section 1021 of the act makes no specific exclusion for United States citizens and lawful resident aliens for conduct occurring within the United States. Even though President Obama acknowledged he had the authority to indefinitely detain citizens and legal aliens, and said he would not exercise that authority, many people believe it remains incredible that he would be given such unconstitutional powers in the first place, Overstreet said.
“Winning the war against terror cannot come at the great expense of eviscerating the unalienable rights recognized by and protected in the United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution,” Overstreet said in a press release. “Undermining these constitutional rights serves only to concede to the terrorists’ demands of changing the fabric of what has made the United States a republic, granting the greatest number of people the greatest amount of freedom.”
Perhaps some people who were attacking Overstreet’s gold legislation will give him some applause for this one.
Via email, State Rep. Jason Overstreet has provided some additional information on the Gold and Silver Legal Tender Act that he is sponsoring in this session of the State Legislature.
Here is Overstreet’s email:
“The Gold and Silver Legal Tender Act was proposed to give citizens of the state of Washington access, if they so choose, to sound money in accordance with the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 10. Section I of the Act states that “The legislature intends to provide a choice…and does not intend to compel a person to tender or accept gold or silver.” Section 5 also states that “The use of gold and silver is strictly voluntary…”.
“The Act recognizes Federal, domestic and foreign specie gold and silver coin, the fair market value of which is to be established using “the common standard of the dollar as provided for in the U.S. Constitution.” The Coinage Act of 1792 defined the dollar as 371.25 grains (troy) for fine silver. “The state treasurer must post daily the value of fine silver and the proration to gold per the average closing prices…”.
“To speak to your question: “Does the Act propose that the state mint its own gold and silver coins?” The Act does not propose that the state would mint its own gold and silver coins, rather that it “…provide its citizens with gold and silver coins as an alternative currency.” An amendment has been prepared to clarify that the Act would “allow its citizens to use” gold and silver coins.
“Most people know intuitively that their purchasing power is diminishing, but don’t know why. With our fiat paper Federal Reserve note currency, every time the Federal Reserve prints another note, the value of existing notes is debased, ultimately driving prices higher and higher. Past Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan understood well the implications and reasoning behind leaving the gold standard, writing an amazing primer on why governments choose to leave the gold standard. The work is titled: “Gold and Economic Prosperity”.
“George Washington said it best: ‘Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.’”
End Overstreet email.
Apparently the law is being amended to change that language about “providing” citizens with coins. I’m still not 100 percent clear on that, and I’ve asked Overstreet for further clarification if possible.
No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
–Article I, Section 10, U.S. Constitution
Raise your hand if you knew that was in the Constitution.
State Rep. Jason Overstreet, R-Blaine, knew it. Now he’s doing something about it. He is one of three sponsors of H.B. 2731, the 2012 Gold and Silver Legal Tender Act of Washington state.
I have emailed Rep. Overstreet for some clarification and explanation. At first glance, it almost sounds as though the bill would call for state coinage of gold and silver, but I may be misinterpreting its language.
As I interpret it, the bill would not go so far as to outlaw paper money, and would uphold everyone’s right to continue to use paper money if they choose to do so. But it would also make sure that state residents who prefer gold or silver could conduct their business in bullion if they choose.
Whatcom County Treasurer Steve Oliver said he’s bewildered. Just months after state voters decided it was time for the state to get out of the liquor business, Oliver said, ”we’re seeing a proposal to create a state bank and a state gold exchange … We’re putting the state back into highly competitive businesses.”
Beyond that, Oliver is not thrilled at the prospect of having to accept gold in payment of taxes. How does he make sure the gold presented for payment is real? How does he secure it?
He also agreed that he probably won’t really have to worry about it.