From my colleague Jim Galloway at Political Insider:
“In an apparent nod to state sovereignty, Senate Republicans will require members of their chamber to recite the pledge of allegiance to the state flag of Georgia every morning they gather – after a daily devotional and a pledge to the U.S. flag.”
A pledge to the state flag?
The requirement was adopted last week in Macon at a meeting of the GOP Senate Caucus, the same meeting in which Republican state senators Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers led a successful coup against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, stripping him of many of his powers.
Williams, as Senate president pro tem, and Rogers, as majority leader, now have a lot more authority over Senate operations. It surely isn’t coincidental that Williams and Rogers were also co-sponsors of a radical states’ right resolution I wrote about last year:
“The resolution goes on to endorse the theory that states have the right to abridge constitutional freedoms of religion, press and speech. According to the resolution, it is up to the states to decide “how far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged.”
The resolution even endorses “nullification,” the legal concept that states have the power to “nullify” or ignore federal laws that they believe exceed the powers granted under the Constitution….
Finally, the resolution states that if Congress, the president or federal courts take any action that exceeds their constitutional powers, the Constitution is rendered null and void and the United States of America is officially disbanded. As an example, the resolution specifically states that if the federal government enacts “prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition,” the country is disbanded.”
The timing of the state allegiance requirement and the circumstances under which it was adopted make it pretty clear that it’s more than just a feel-good gesture. It is intended to be an act of protest, a politically freighted pledge to a radical and aggressive notion of states’ rights that at least some in the Senate, and many in the state, may not share.
But it will be required nonetheless.