Attorney Michael Peroutka
May 7, 2014
More than 40 years ago, the Congress of these united States enacted something called the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972. These amendments to previous enactments and their progeny have come to be known as the federal “Clean Water Act.”
Under this act, and later refinements and fine-tuning, these enactments have led the various states, including my state of Maryland, to enact measures which enforce the standards and requirements of this Act. The enforcement of these standards and requirements, of course, require the creation of state level bureaucracies and, since the bureaucrats need to be paid, the people of Maryland have to be taxed and, in some cases, fined to pay for these enactments.
This, in turn, has led counties, including Anne Arundel County, where I live, to create their own bureaucracies. These bureaucracies are staffed by bureaucrats who, of course need to be paid, so our county taxes (and fines) go up so that our county bureaucrats can submit reports that comply with what our state bureaucrats require so that they can turn around and satisfy the demands of the relentless federal bureaucrats at the EPA, which administers this Act.
Ostensibly, all of this is necessary because the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries were not meeting some standards invented and amended, and re-amended by various levels of bureaucrats.
Now, as part of this foolishness, the Anne Arundel County Council has decided to tax the rain.
Mr. Dick Ladd, the District 5 Councilman, says that this new tax is necessary so that the latest requirements that (pardon the pun) “flow” from this 40-year-old federal act can be met by our county.
When Mr. Ladd voted for what is known as the “Rain Tax,” he said he did so “with pleasure.” I take this to mean that Mr. Ladd was “pleased” to add a multi-billion dollar burden on the people of my county by voting for a measure that our Council Chairman called the “greatest single tax increase in county charter government history.”
Here’s why this is a national story and why you, wherever you live, need to pay attention. The original federal act which started this chain reaction – this “flow” of taxes and fines – is not law. In fact it is null and void and of no effect. To prove this, please search your copy of the Constitution of the United States. Look under Section Eight of Article One and see if you discover some authority for Congress to enact laws regarding the environment or regarding water or regarding the rain. You won’t discover such authority because it is not there.
So, what is known as the “Clean Water Act of 1972” has no Constitutional underpinning – no support – and is, therefore, not THE LAW. There is no reason, therefore, for the State of Maryland or for the County of Anne Arundel to comply with any standards or requirements published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or any other federal agency or department. The EPA and its grand edicts likewise create no obligation on the part of my county or your county or any county in America.
Way back in 1776, the Founders of America knew this truth and spoke this truth. They called these kinds of actions on the part of Parliament “pretended legislation.”
Please remember that Acts of Congress are not necessarily binding on the states.
Let me say that again. Acts of Congress are not always binding on the states.
When are they binding? Simply stated, they only are binding if they are lawful, that is when they do not conflict with the Constitution and with the Law of Nature and Nature’s God. When they are not lawful, they are “pretended legislation,” and the States are supposed to declare them as null and void and of no effect in the state. This is the Doctrine of Nullification.
Nullification of invalid federal actions is the duty of state officials, particularly the Governor. In Maryland, for example, we look to Martin O’Malley to protect us from the tyrannical collusion of all three branches of the federal government. However, if the governor fails to nullify these lawless enactments, then the local officials, such as the County Council must stand in the gap and nullify this villainy.
But, the statements of Mr. Dick Ladd, Councilman of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, indicate that he either doesn’t know his duty or for some reason, he refuses to do it.
We believe that local officials need to know the difference between real law and “pretended legislation.” And when they encounter the noxious fraud of “pretended legislation” they must resist its effect by declaring it to be null. They must not aid and abet the lawlessness of other government officials.
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Michael Anthony Peroutka Esq. is a former Presidential candidate and co-founder of Institute on the Constitution (IOTC) an educational outreach of his law firm that presents the founders “American View” of law and government. IOTC has produced thousands of graduates in all 50 states with a full understanding of the Biblical principles on which those founding documents are based.
Michael is a graduate of Loyola College and the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Website: Constitution IOTC