OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would allow the state to put the brakes on the power of President Joe Biden’s executive orders.
HB 1236 would allow the Oklahoma state legislature to review each executive order and determine if the order should be forwarded to the Oklahoma attorney general, who would determine if it is permissible under the U.S. Constitution.
If the attorney general deemed one of Biden’s edicts to be unconstitutional, the bill appears to direct the Oklahoma attorney general to sue for a court order invalidating the executive order.
On the other hand, if the attorney general decides not to take legal action, the state legislature could conduct a majority vote declaring it unconstitutional.
If the legislature invokes its option to declare an executive order unconstitutional, the statute is unclear whether the Oklahoma government would file suit or the state would simply ignore the order, leaving it to the federal government to enforce or try to take it to court.
HB 1236 states:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the state, county, political subdivision or any other publicly funded organization shall not implement any action that restricts a person’s rights or that the Office of the Attorney General or the Legislature by a majority vote determines to be unconstitutional.
Federal law always trumps state law, but any federal action that is unconstitutional is not a law at all. Thus, HB 1236 raises a series of interesting legal questions.
Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall and State Rep. Mark McBride, both Republicans, introduced the bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the House.
“I think this president has just taken a direct stab at Oklahoma,” McBride told the Oklahoman, specifically criticizing the Biden administration’s energy policies.
The bill now advances to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration.