And the police state rolls onTennessee
Sure enough, we learn that this is precisely Farr's intention:
While their search for contraband cigarettes continues, state Department of Revenue agents also are seizing beer brought into Tennessee to avoid one of the highest malt beverage taxes in the nation.
“If, as part of our cigarette tax enforcement, we continue to see alcohol is also a major problem, we’ll talk about addressing that,” Farr said. “We are not now targeting beer-only purchases.
“But if someone purchasing cigarettes (out of state) has also purchased beer, we will confiscate it,” he said.
So Farr will further violate Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 6 of the Federal Constitution, which states:
No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.
In the modern era, it can easily be gleaned that this clause applies to vehicles bringing personal cargo to and from the State of Tennessee (remember that there were no cars in 1787). If Tennessee withdrew from the Union, she would have every right to force the payment of duties from citizens bringing what would be foreign goods into Tennessee. So long as Tennessee is subject to the Federal Constitution however, she in only free to punish smugglers who are reselling goods illegally, not those who purchase legal goods and travel legally into the State using those legally purchased goods for private purposes.
Simply put, Reagan Farr does not believe that the law applies to him or to his government department. Further, by his approval of these methods, Governor Phil Bredesen believes that his administration is above the law and not subject to it unless it suits him. The tactics of the revenuers are reminiscent of the Gestapo or the KGB, the mentality behind it is the same.
Those of you who are concerned about the threat to liberty posed by the PATRIOT Act should be equally or more concerned about this-this impacts everyday citizens right now. The government that thinks itself above the law is well on its way to becoming a tyranny-yet because this is a Democratic administration, I fully expect that the liberals and Democrats who are (rightly) railing against the wartime abuses of the federal power to give the Bredesen administration in Nashville a free pass.
Labels: Tennessee politics