The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Steve Erdman
47th District State Senator 

Straight Talk From Steve


The rights guaranteed to us by the United States Constitution and the Nebraska State Constitution are currently under assault. A very factious and contentious spirit has arisen in our country and in our culture today which seeks to undermine our most basic rights as children of God and as American citizens. This attempt to undermine our constitutional rights emanates from both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government in Washington, D.C., and so it demands a response from our state.

Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte has decided to rise up to this challenge by crafting and introducing a response in the form of a legislative resolution. LR 107 was written to protect Nebraskans against government overreach at the federal level. Sen. Groene’s resolution has already been co-signed by at least 31 Senators in the Nebraska State Legislature, so today I would like to tell you about what that resolution says.

LR 107 confronts the Biden Administration’s expressed intention to restrict our Second Amendment right to keep and to bear arms in unconstitutional ways. The Nebraska State Constitution clarifies that the right to keep and bear arms includes purposes such as self-defense and recreational use. Article 1, Section 1 of the Nebraska State Constitution says, “…the right to keep and bear arms for security or defense of self, family, home, and others, and for lawful common defense, hunting, recreational use, and all other lawful purposes, and such rights shall not be denied or infringed by the state or any subdivision thereof.” So, the argument that guns are only to be used for hunting fails at the constitutional level.

LR 107 also confronts the Biden Administration’s actions which seek to punish traditional religious beliefs about the sanctity of life and sexuality. The resolution reminds lawmakers that these rights are guaranteed to all Americans in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Nebraska State Constitution further clarifies in Article 1, Section 4 that “All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.” This means that whatever a person believes about abortion and sexuality is no business of any governmental entity.

LR107 also expresses distress over proposed federal legislation which is designed to usurp the process of conducting elections, which the U.S. Constitution explicitly left to the discretion of the individual state legislatures in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. Proposed legislation in Washington, D.C. seeks to eviscerate protections such as voter identification, periodic updating of voter files, and restrictions against ballot harvesting. In addition, proposed federal legislation also seeks to take the right and privilege of redistricting away from state legislatures.

LR 107 also protests the goal of the executive branch of the federal government to restrict the private use of at least 30 percent of America’s lands and waterways by 2030. To the contrary, the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution affirms that “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The appropriating of 30 percent of America’s lands and waterways constitutes a gross violation of the Fifth Amendment as well as our most basic American principle of owning private property.

LR 107 also objects to the notion of vaccine passports being imposed on all American citizens. Federal mandates which restrain a person’s right to peaceably assemble, to travel about, or to engage in commerce violate a person’s individual right to liberty, especially in regards to making decisions about one’s own health and the health of one’s own family. The federal government has no right to tell you or anyone else in your family what you must inject into your own body.

Last Thursday, Sen. Meghan Hunt of Omaha tried to kill LR 107 by making a motion to recommit the resolution to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, where she knew it would die in committee. Fortunately, the motion failed by a vote of 14-25-1. I look forward to advancing this resolution all the way to the Governor’s desk. I co-signed this resolution in order to help preserve our most basic and fundamental rights and to protect the integrity of the U.S. Constitution and the Nebraska State Constitution.


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