September 11, 2001, was a day that changed our world forever. We will never forget the brave souls who lost their lives that day, both in the initial attacks and in the heroic rescue efforts that followed.
This week, as we look back on this somber anniversary, we honor our pledge to never forget. We remember the attacks. We remember the anger, confusion, and fear most of us felt that day. We remember too how in the days and weeks after the attacks, our country experienced a unity of purpose as well as a shared sense of loss. Our political divisions felt less important as we worked to recover, both physically and emotionally, from the deadliest terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in our country's history.
On this 20th anniversary, we honor those who died, but let us also remember the unparalleled bravery, selflessness, and courage we witnessed that day. It has been said (though not by Alexis de Tocqueville) "America is Great because America is Good." We saw America's goodness and its greatness on 9/11 and in its aftermath. Today, in a time of great division and national strife, that's also something worth remembering.
President Biden's Unconstitutional Actions
I have said repeatedly that vaccine mandates have no place in a free society. Beyond that, the federal government is now attempting to impose such mandates on the entire country.
The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
The U.S. Constitution does not give the federal government authority to mandate vaccines or to force businesses to mandate them.
Idaho must take immediate action to oppose Biden's unconstitutional overreach. I am renewing my call for the Idaho Legislature to come back into session and address these important issues. We have no time to waste.
No Secret Registries in Idaho
Every Sheriff in Idaho has sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Idaho and United States Constitutions. So how is creating a confidential registry of Idaho Citizens consistent with defending your Rights under our Constitutions?
I asked the Blaine County Sheriff about the County's Vulnerable Person Registry and expressed concerns about creating such a confidential list of citizens that has no mechanism to inform them they are on the list. Of particular concern is that the online form asks if the individual has access to firearms.
I am currently in correspondence with the Blaine County Sheriff's Office regarding this issue.
The precedent set by secret registries tracking firearms ownership has the potential to become incredibly dangerous, especially if, at some point in the future, a Sheriff is in office who has a less favorable attitude toward the Second Amendment or who seeks to expand the scope of the list.
I'll keep you posted.
Fourth Education Task Force Meeting
The fourth education Task Force Meeting occurred on Thursday August 26 in the Lincoln Auditorium. The bulk of the meeting was dedicated to public testimony.
At the end of the meeting, a list of recommendations (see below) was voted on by the Education Task Force.
You can see the recommendations below. I've greatly enjoyed working with this fantastic group of citizen volunteers who worked tirelessly to help make Idaho education better. I look forward to continuing our work per the recommendations.
Education Task Force Recommendations
Modify TITLE 33 EDUCATION, CHAPTER 1 (STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION) by repealing section 33-138 and 33-139 and replace it with new language, conforming to the Idaho State Constitution, which relates to racist or sexist concepts being taught in public schools.
Recommend to the State Board of Education and the Department of Education that they identify and resolve administrative rules which are in conflict with Article 9, Section 6 of the Idaho Constitution.
Make recommendations to the legislature to develop laws which prohibit the use of federal grant funds, including but not limited to, the proposed Biden Rule (CFR 34), which promotes the practice of Critical Theories, or any educational model which promotes race based stereotypes and biases, or makes claims that any particular race or American system is inherently racist.
Invite members of the Senate and House Education Committees to work with members of the Education Task Force to develop more specific policies for the upcoming legislative session.
Submit written testimony to the State Board of Education in response to their proposed policy on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion requirements within Idaho's institutions of higher education.
The Education Task Force supports education choice for Idaho parents. One example of education choice is that the Legislature should direct the State of Idaho to establish an Education Savings Account (ESA) for each school-aged child in Idaho. With an ESA, each parent/legal guardian of a school-aged child receives a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts - accessible via debit card - with restricted uses. Permissible expenses may include enrollment in a public charter or district school, private school tuition, tutoring services, homeschooling expenses, online learning programs, community college costs, saving for college, or other approved customized learning services and materials.