Bryant made it clear in a radio interview Monday that believes the bill is about examining how federal laws and orders are unconstitutionally infringing on the territory that belongs to states.
"The Constitution says that those laws that are not specifically designed for the federal government are afforded to the states," he said. "So as our founding fathers believed it, when the Tenth Amendment was put in there at the insistence of the states, is the states do have sovereigns. They elect governors, they elect legislators."
He said the bill is about basic Consitutional law. He said he does not believe Rep. Jeff Smith, the bill's author, had anything else in mind.
"The idea that somehow in 2013 this gentleman would want to recreate a Sovereignty Commission and somehow spy on African-Americans is just ridiculous." Bryant pointed out that African-Americans share power in the high echelons of state government.
Rawstory.com reporter Samantha Kimmey's article from Friday was one of several that compared House Bill 490 (the current bill) and the bill that allowed the creation of the Sovereignty Commission:
It’s not a new idea. In the 1950s, after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that desegregated public schools, Mississippi created the Sovereignty Commission in order to do anything “deemed necessary” to protect the state from “encroachment” by the federal government. It turned into a spying organization that promoted segregation.
Rep. Gary Chism (R-West Point) was interviewed by his hometown paper, the Daily Times Leader in West Point. This is an exerpt, used by permission:
By Friday, Chism was atop the front page on many of the state's newspapers, being accused of resurrecting the old State Sovereignty Commission which was created to block the enforcement of segregation laws in the 1950s and 1960s.
“House Bill 490 has been blown way out of proportion,” Chism told the Daily Times Leader on Monday morning, adding that the controversy made for a “wild weekend” at the state capitol.
Where the State Sovereignty Commission was set up to fight the Federal Government on issues dealing with racial integration, Chism's bill has nothing to do with any issue directly attached to race.
“The President signed 23 executive orders last week, Senator Diane Feinstein wants a ban on all assault weapons, and they are skirting the Second Amendment,”Chism said. “Our point is that this should be a state issue, not a Federal Government issue.”
Chism admits that the bill, which calls for the Lt. Governor to appoint a six-man committee to review Federal laws to see if they have overreached the Federal Government's authority, does not stand much of a chance of passing.
“The bill will not go anywhere,” he said. “This is more of statement.”
Chism says that the House frequently passes resolutions that declare that the Federal Government has overstepped its bounds or that the House rejects unfunded mandates, but these he says never get any attention.
“Lord forbid you file a bill,” he said of the controversy over the weekend.
The bill does not give the legislative committee the power to declare Federal bills unconstitutional.