Phil Hart: Declaring a State of Emergency

By Cassandra Anderson
November 28, 2011

Idaho State Representative Phil Hart became concerned about the federal government's illegal introduction of Canadian gray wolves in Idaho because they pose a public danger.  The federal government and Idaho agreed to allow a population of 100 wolves into the state, but the Canadian wolf population far exceeds that number now, and is estimated to be 1000 to 2000 wolves that can weigh as much as 140 to 180 pounds.  The federal government mismanaged the wolf program under the Endangered Species Act.

The wolves are now a very serious threat to humans and livestock because they carry disease and tapeworms.  Tapeworms from wolf feces can be fatal to humans; it is especially alarming that tapeworms can remain dormant for 20 years. 

Phil Hart, working with Dane vonBriechenruardt, director of the US Bill of Rights Foundation and a team of legislators including Judy Boyle, devised a creative plan to protect the people of Idaho: legislation was written to declare a State of Emergency to place the power with the State, removing it from federal agencies.  Declaring a State of Emergency can be used as a model for other issues that threaten life and property, and to preserve the 10th Amendment and States' Rights.

Just before the State of Emergency bill was to be signed into law, Congress de-listed the Canadian gray wolves, which transferred control from the federal government to the state.  It appears that the feds may have wanted to avoid a confrontation over the 10th Amendment.

Federal court jurisdiction is limited to federal statutes, so the feds would have had no authority if a State of Emergency was declared under State police power.

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