Tag Archives: Andy Holt

Legislator’s open letter to Obama: Welcome to Rocky Top, We’ll See You In Court

DRESDEN, Tenn., December 9, 2014–

President Obama,

Welcome back to Rocky Top. Polls across the State of Tennessee have consistently indicated strong opposition to amnesty; especially unilateral, executive amnesty which you have chosen to force upon an unwilling populace.  While I am sure you will be greeted with a warm welcome at Mayor Dean’s Casa Azafran Center, I want to ensure that the voice of millions of Tennesseans, which your recent executive order will undoubtedly disenfranchise, is heard. This is why I have initiated a lawsuit against your administration, based on this aforementioned unconstitutional action, in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Mr. President, let me be clear: my opposition isn’t necessarily about immigration, and it’s not about party politics. My opposition is deeply rooted in principle and my constant effort to maintain the delicate balance of power; a separation of powers which has served our nation well for many, many years.

You do not have the power to commandeer state resources to fulfill your roughshod and unwelcome plans for immigration. Not even Congress has that power, as the Supreme Court of the United States has made this explicitly clear in more than 180 years of precedent. The most recent Court decision holding this doctrine being the ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius (Obamacare). Here is an excerpt from the majority opinion to refresh your memory:

“For this reason, ‘the Constitution has never been understood to confer upon Congress the ability to require the States to govern according to Congress’ instructions.’ New York, supra, at 162. Otherwise the two-government system established by the Framers would give way to a system that vests power in one central government, and individual liberty would suffer.”

-But you already knew that.

While many, including myself, maintain that your executive order is illegal, some disagree. After all, “Bush did it!” Let’s say the Court does decide to grant the Executive Branch even more power by upholding your executive action as a constitutionally legitimate power. If your executive order is deemed the law of the land, then such laws are not allowed to mandate state implementation. At that point, based on precedent previously cited, if one dollar of state resources are required to carry out your demands, the anti-commandeering principle gives every state in America the power to render your lawless executive order null and void.

We plan to wage a full scale resistance to your executive action in Tennessee, and I hope that other states will continue to follow suit.

Enjoy your stay, and we soon hope to see you in court soon,

– State Representative Andy Holt (R- Dresden)

Press Release: State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) In Response To President Obama’s December 9, 2014 Visit To Nashville, Tennessee To Discuss Recent Immigration Executive Order

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BREAKING: Tennessee moves to sue Obama over amnesty

NASHVILLE, November 21, 2014– On Friday, in response to President Obama’s plan to take executive action on illegal immigration reform, two Tennessee legislators are filing a Joint Resolution requesting Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) file a lawsuit against the Obama Administration on behalf of the state.

“Article II of the United States Constitution is explicitly clear on the powers vested within the Executive Branch. President Obama lacks the authority to execute even the slightest change in policy. The Constitution delegates President Obama the power to make suggestions concerning policy and nothing more,” said State Representative Andy Holt (R- Dresden) Thursday night after President Obama delivered a prime-time speech announcing his plan of action. “Anything beyond making suggestions is an illegal usurpation of undelegated power, and we simply cannot allow it to go unchecked.”

The two legislators are citing the commandeering of state resources, which would be required to execute the President’s Executive Order, and the lack of enforcement of deportation statutes as warrant for legal recourse.

“President Obama’s moves are a dangerous and insidious display of blatant abuse of power. Tennesseans will not stand for it, and I am here to demand the integrity of our Constitution and our state is protected,” said State Senator Mae Beavers (R- Mt. Juliet). “As state legislators, we have a constitutional responsibility to ensure our state is not illegally commandeered by the federal government.”

Holt and Beavers cite 180 years of Supreme Court precedent protecting state governments from the federal commandeering of resources.

“Illegally assigning millions of illegal immigrants what equates to pseudo de jure citizenship will cost Tennessee incalculable tax-payer dollars,” said Beavers. “Not even Congress has the power to place this undue burden on Tennessee tax-payers, so it’s unclear why President Obama, acting alone, believes he has the authority to do so. Let me be clear– he doesn’t.”

“The United States Supreme Court has been very clear concerning the commandeering of state resources by means of federal legislation and initiatives through coercion,” said Holt. “For more than 180 years the Court has explicitly repudiated such acts of commandeering in Prigg v. Pennsylvania, New York v. United States, Printz v. United States, and most recently in NFIB v. Sebelius.”

Both legislators believe the need for reform exists, but that it must be delivered by legal means.

“Our immigration system is wrecked, and I doubt anyone denies that. However, we are a nation of laws, not men, and we must work together to resolve these issues while maintaining the integrity of our Republic,” said Holt.

Holt will draft and sponsor the House Resolution, and Beavers will carry it in the Senate. 


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Common Core: Tenn. introduces legislation prompting State to dismantle program

NASHVILLE, November 19, 2014– On Wednesday, according to a press release, Tennessee State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) introduced a resolution in the Tennessee House of Representatives that seeks to clarify Tennessee’s position on Common Core and dismantle the de facto federal education program.

“A few weeks back, I asked my constituents what issues were most pressing to them. A full repeal of Common Core landed inside the top five. This resolution is a direct response to those calls for action,” says Holt. “Our parents and local school boards know what is best for our children, not federal bureaucrats that have never stepped foot in Tennessee’s 76th House District.”

The resolution commends activists and parents in Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Oklahoma and North Carolina for successfully fighting off Common Core’s implementation, and parents in other states like Tennessee that are entangled in a battle paralleling that of “David and Goliath”.

“I want to ensure parents and activists in Tennessee know that I hear them loud and clear, and I want them to know how appreciated they are. This is for each and every one of them,” says Holt.

The resolution cites the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) move to repudiate Common Core.

“Even the RNC is coming out strongly against Common Core by encouraging legislators to immediately dismantle the program,” cites Holt.

The resolution (full text below) reads, in part:

“The Tennessee General Assembly, in conjunction with the governor and the department of education, should be the next such state to remove the Common Core standards from implementation.”

Holt is running a petition in order to engage residents inside of his District. 

“So far, in the last three weeks alone, more than 500 people have signed the petition to help us stop Common Core. This is a crucial step in ensuring that Tennessee has official direction with regard to where we stand on Common Core, and I’m going to ensure their voices are a part of this resolution.”

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Rep. Andy Holt: Tennessee Resolution To Dismantle Common Core by BFCLLC

BREAKING: Tennessee files historic legislation; Takes aim at state’s NSA facility

NASHVILLE, January 22, 2014–  As eight states have introduced legislation to keep the NSA out of their borders, Tennessee’s newly introduced legislation packs the strongest punch yet.

The bill is known as the “Tennessee Fourth Amendment Protection Act”. State Senator Stacey Campfield (R) and State Representative Andy Holt (R) are the Senate and House sponsors. The bill was drafted and lobbied for by the Tenth Amendment Center, a national think-tank, which seeks to impede unconstitutional federal laws, regulations and entities on the state level.

“We have an out of control federal agency spying on pretty much everybody in the world. I don’t think the state of Tennessee should be helping the NSA violate the Constitution and the basic privacy rights of its citizens – and we don’t have to,” Campfield said. “This bill may not stop the NSA, but it will darn sure stop Tennessee from participating in unjustified and illegal activities.”

Campfield’s comments hold strong warrant. The NSA has been operating directly underneath the nose of many Tennesseans without them ever knowing. A long-standing secretive NSA computing facility calls Oak Ridge, Tennessee home. According to NSA researcher James Bamford, the NSA runs most data it gathers “from code breaking to word captures,” through computers at it’s facility in Oak Ridge.

The Tennessee Fourth Amendment Protection Act (Senate Bill 1849) will impede the NSA by “refusing material support, participation, or assistance, to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, or order which purports to authorize the collection of  electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person, place and thing to be searched and seized.

From a practical standpoint, the legislation covers four major areas.

• Prohibits state and local agencies from providing any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction. Includes barring government-owned utilities from providing water and electricity.

• Makes information gathered without a warrant by the NSA and shared with law enforcement inadmissible in state court.

• Blocks public universities from serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds.

• Disincentivizes corporations attempting to fill needs not met in the absence of state cooperation.

Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey provided the following statement:

“When Sen. Ward in Arizona announced a few weeks back that she planned to introduce the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, it was a novelty. People had this attitude like, ‘Oh, that’s cute. But it will never amount to anything.’ Today Tennessee makes the eighth state considering action to refuse cooperation with the NSA, including two states with physical facilities within their borders. And mark my words – more are coming. Big ones,” said Maharrey.

“James Madison said several states refusing to cooperate with officers of the union would create obstructions the federal government would not be willing to encounter. As more states get involved in this campaign, it it will create obstructions. This is not symbolic. We intend to make the NSA stop violating the Constitution.”

The Multiprogram Research Facility (MRF) sits discreetly on the East Campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Inside this top secret facility, NSA researchers work to build High Productivity Computers. The goal: make machines fast enough to crack encryption.

Numerous sources report the MRF will work in tandem with the data storage center in Bluffdale, Utah. The super-fast computers in Oak Ridge could conceivably break the encryption on reams of data stored in Utah, making its contents accessible to the NSA. This includes data of Americans vacuumed up by the spy agency.

A partnership between the University of Tennessee and Battelle runs the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. UT-Battelle’s contract ends in 2015, but the DOE has already declared its intent and started the process to extend it. That process will take some time and the proposed legislation could stop it.

Many co-sponsors of the Act have come forward to show their support for the legislation including State Rep. Courtney Rodgers (R), Rep. Tilman Goins (R), Rep. Sheila Butt (R), Rep. Terri Weaver (R), Rep. Jeremy Fasion (R) and Senator Mae Beavers (R). No Democrats have signed on as sponsors yet.

State Rep. Joe Carr (R) signed on as a co-sponsor to the Act this morning. Carr is Tea Party candidate currently running a campaign to unseat US Senator Lamar Alexander (R).

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Tennessee Moves to Legalize Hemp

NASHVILLE:  The hemp root seems to be growing deeper into the South. State senator Frank Niceley (R) is currently in the process of drafting legislation that will allow TN to follow in the footsteps of KY by bringing hemp to Tennessee. Kentucky was the first state to re-legalize industrial hemp. Niceley will wait until KY moves forward to see how successful they are in the endeavor before introducing his bill in the next legislative season. Niceley says, “The first flag of the Revolution made by Betsy Ross was woven from the strongest fabric availible, hemp.”

State Senator Frank Niceley (R), A Farmer From Strawberry Plains, TN.
Picture: State Senator Frank Niceley (R), A  Businessman & Farmer From Strawberry Plains, TN.

State representative Andy Holt (R) is assisting Niceley in the journey to legalize hemp. Representative Holt tells us:

“Let me start off by saying that I am the farthest thing from a weed-smoking hippie. I am simply an advocate for strong & sound agricultural policy, and this is one issue that should be addressed so that Tennessee Farmers can begin participating in a new and potentially thriving market. There are innumerable products that can be derived from hemp and I am an advocate for bio-based product development where a balance of symbiotic benefit can be achieved by those in production agriculture and those buyers of products that can be effectively and economically produced with the use of industrial hemp fiber. It’s a win, win. We diversify the agricultural opportunities of the Southeastern United States and supply a locally derived product, or product substitute, to individual or industrial consumers.”

Niceley has a rich history of introducing bills that nullify federal laws, which he views unconstitutional. He introduced a bill to nullify the United Nations within the state of Tennessee. He has also introduced legislation to nullify the 17th amendment and restore the constitutional election process of US senators in Tennessee. He is a bit of a hero to local Tenth Amendment advocates.

If successful, Tennessee will still endure backlash from the feds. Hemp has been illegal to cultivate in America since the late 1930s. In Kentucky, US senators Rand Paul (R) and Mitch McConnel (R) have promised support from D.C.. However, Tennessee may not be so lucky in getting support from their two US Senators as they are consistently at odds with their constituents. In fact, US senator Bob Corker (R-TN) came out strongly against Niceley’s attempt to effectively nullify the 17th amendment in Tennessee because it would have meant a more difficult re-election process for the embattled senator. Many noted this was the first time Corker had ever gone out of his way to be involved in state politics, which drives home the issues of the 17th amendment for Niceley.

Supporters of Niceley and Holt have set up an “Industrial Hemp for TN” Facebook page for Tennesseans to stay interacted with the legislators’ progress. Niceley and Holt are expected to have an influx of grassroots support for their legislation.