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It’s About Time: US Sues California Over Cap-and-Trade Treaty with Quebec!

If this is Successful: Sue Some More – Maybe All the Cities Still in ICLEI!

This is encouraging news – and let me tell you, we need amid the lies about health care by the Dems (Sheila Bynum-Coleman joined the lie about pre-existing conditions this week) and the joke about impeachment.

Today, the US Justice Department sued the State of California for a cap-and-trade pact with the Canadian province of Quebec for violating the Constitution:

The United States today filed a civil complaint against the state of California, several of its officers, the California Air Resources Board, and the Western Climate Initiative Inc., for unlawfully entering a cap and trade agreement with the Canadian Province of Quebec.

“The state of California has veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter into an international emissions agreement.  The power to enter into such agreements is reserved to the federal government, which must be able to speak with one voice in the area of U.S. foreign policy,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “California’s unlawful cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec undermines the President’s ability to negotiate competitive agreements with other nations, as the President sees fit.”

YAY! Absolutely right! Now the media will probably try to make this into an anti-climate issue. From CNN:

In a statement Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, slammed the cap-and-trade suit as “political retribution” and another example of the Trump administration’s “abysmal record of denying climate change and propping up big polluters.”

“For years our state has proudly participated in a number of environmental partnerships that tackle the devastating effects of climate change to our health and economy. This latest attack shows that the White House has its head in the sand when it comes to climate change and serves no purpose other than continued political retribution,” Newsom said.

But the Constitution is clear, so let’s go into the Sanders the Blogger vault for some gems about another obscure clause of the Constitution (since it has nothing to do with the Trump hotel, back to the Archives you go!) [emphasis mine]:

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing 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.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

I have written on this before, mostly in an earlier partial victory over that multi-national policy-making entity no US local government can legally join: ICLEI. (I also wrote a law review article [alas got to pay] on the very ICLEI issue.)

It is a suit that should have been brought January 21, 2017. But better late than never. I hope the courts rule with a clear voice. States CANNOT conduct foreign policy. And maybe the next warning letter will be sent to various local governments: Get OUT of ICLEI and you got 90 days or we sue you, too.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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