HB 461 would allow Idaho lawmakers to nullify federal laws, regulations, or U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Sound impossible? Well, it is. The proposed law would directly violate the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, it violates the Supremacy Clause, which establishes that the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties constitute the supreme law of the land (Article VI, Clause 2).
But, that didn’t stop 29 Idaho Representatives from voting today (2/19/18) in favor of HB 461, a bill contradicting Article VI, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which all Idaho lawmakers are sworn to uphold.
Aside from the colossal waste of time and taxpayer dollars pushing a bill that would likely die in federal court, why should Idaho sportsmen care? Rep. Paul Shepherd (R-Riggins) didn’t hide that the intent of the bill was to avoid certain regulations put in place to sustain what is left of Idaho’s salmon and steelhead, and keep water a decent quality. Consider that 29 legislators were willing to support the bill so they could do away with any U.S. laws that benefit fish, wildlife, and the habitat they rely on. What laws would go next? Farm Bill? Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (Pittman-Robertson)? Migratory Bird Act? Sportfish Restoration Act of 1950 (Dingell-Johnson)?
The bill was defeated on the merits mentioned above. Below is a picture of the House vote tally.