State senator supports nullification bills of federal laws - FOX Carolina 21

State senator supports nullification bills of federal laws

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The South Carolina State House in Columbia. (File/FOX Carolina) The South Carolina State House in Columbia. (File/FOX Carolina)

Many are familiar with the debate surrounding healthcare and gun control, including U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan who recently organized a listening tour on the Second Amendment.

"Fighting for their Second Amendment rights and fighting against this federal government intrusion," Duncan said.

And like Duncan, Sen. Lee Bright, R-District 12, believes the federal government needs to butt out of gun control and what he calls other states' rights.

"I think this fear of guns is something we need to address as a society because it's not the guns that create the problem," Bright said.

So, he along with other lawmakers are supporting nullification bills which are designed to supersede federal laws and regulations. However, Sean O'Rourke, a communications studies professor at Furman University, said the state won't win.

"Whatever they end up passing in those areas will not have the weight of the law. And that's because of the Supremacy clause of the federal Constitution, and then after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment, which provides the federal government certain powers of the states," O'Rourke said.

He has a law degree and studies South Carolina politics and explains why a nullification bill against healthcare could fail.

"The state's not going to be able to nullify that because the Supreme Court has already ruled on the Affordable Care Act and deemed it to be a constitutional use of federal authority," he said.

However, he calls the debate over gun control an interesting notion.

"At this point we don't know what would be passed. We know there was an assault weapons ban already in place earlier in the 90s," he said.

O'Rourke said lawmakers are making a symbolic statement, but Bright said he's fighting to make those nullification bills law.

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