Democratic leadership in the legislature recently released "The Terrible Ten," their list of ten frivolous and unconstitutional bills.
Much has been said about the number of unconstitutional bills that Republicans ahve introduced this year. Some reports indicate that nearly 100 bills have serious questions of constitutionality. These bills waste precious time during a short legislative session and more importantly waste the taxpayers' money.
These bills are the most clear examples that Republicans in the legislature have abandoned the goal of bringing jobs to the state and moving the economy forward, and instead have pursued an unconstitutional social agenda.
Below is "The Terrible Ten":
—James Knox (R-Billings) wants to redefine the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution by requiring certain individuals born in our nation to apply for citizenship. One legislator’s attempt to make himself a U.S. Supreme Court justice, HB 392 could rewrite nearly 150 years of judicial precedent and discriminate against Native Americans and children of immigrants.
—Derek Skees’ (R-Whitefish) 1861 flashback would let a handful of legislators nullify any federal law passed since the signing of the Constitution. Slavery, child labor, and universal voting rights could all be up for debate again.
—Liz Bangerter (R-Helena) would allow sex discrimination in insurance coverage–discrimination the Montana Constitution explicitly forbids.
—Jason Priest (R-Red Lodge) overreaches legislative responsibility when he attempts to force duly elected statewide officials to do his bidding by joining the national lawsuit against Healthcare Reform. SB 106 is not just a clear violation of the separation of powers, but a clear statement that every Montanan does not need or deserve health care.
—Greg Hinkle (R-Trout Creek) would like to give each county sheriff authority over national security investigations. SB 114 would leave anti-terrorism efforts up to dozens of uncoordinated sheriffs, a favorite of extremist groups across the country.
—Tom Burnett (R-Bozeman) wants to criminalize state employees for complying with federal law.
—Verdell Jackson (R-Kalispell) wants to invalidate laws prohibiting insurance company abuses. In addition, he too would like to criminalize state employees.
—Krayton Kerns (R-Laurel) would end the Endangered Species Act in Montana, putting critical wildlife and habitats at risk. He would like to wipe out the law, along with rare species.
—James Knox (R-Billings) wants to give funds to unaccredited learning institutions, instead of fulfilling the state’s constitutional obligation to provide every child with a quality education.
—Art Wittich (R-Bozeman) would prohibit Montana from complying with federal health care reform, violating the Supremacy and Commerce Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.