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South Carolina Bills Would Set the Foundation to Nullify Federal Mask or Vaccine Mandates

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Dec. 16, 2020) – Two bills introduced in the South Carolina House would ban the enforcement of any federal mask mandate and prohibit the state from taking any federal funding connected to a federal mask or vaccine mandate. Passage of these bills would set the stage to nullify any federal maks or vaccine mandates in practice and effect.

Rep. Stewart Jones (R-Laurens) filed House Bill 3126 (H3126) on Dec. 9. The legislation would ban the state or any of its political subdivisions from accepting federal funds “to enforce an unlawful federal mask mandate or unlawful federal vaccine mandate.” The bill includes a detailed definition of “unlawful” mandates that covers virtually any law, rule, regulation, or executive order from any agency or branch of the federal government.

Jones, along with Rep. Bill Chumley (R-Spartanburg) and Rep. Mike Burns (R-Greenville) introduced House Bill 3218 (H3218) the same day. The legislation would prohibit state and local officials in South Carolina from participating in the enforcement of “any unlawful federal mask mandate that violates the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” “Unlawful federal mask mandate” is defined as “any federal law, order, rule, regulation, plan of action, or otherwise which requires a resident of the State of South Carolina to wear a face mask or other face-covering to minimize the spread of COVID-19 or any other infectious disease.” Any state or local official violating the law would be subject to a $2,000 fine.


The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts. A mask or vaccine mandate would be no different. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”

Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” is an extremely effective method to effectively nullify any future federal mask or vaccine mandate because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments. Without state and local enforcement action, the ban would quickly fall apart in South Carolina.

Prohibiting the state from accepting funding related to masks or vaccine mandates is important because that is the most likely pathway the Biden administration would take to try to implement a federal mask or vaccine program. Even the mainstream concedes that a national mask mandate would be unconstitutional and impossible to enforce. Lawrence Gostin, director of Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law admitted as much to USA Today.

“A national mandate is not possible because public health powers belong to the states, not the federal government. The federal government couldn’t implement its own mask mandates, nor could it force the states to do it.”

Instead, Biden has floated the idea of “appealing to governors and local officials.” Funding would almost certainly be used as a carrot or a stick. USA Today reported, “Biden also could require states to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to qualify for certain federal funds.”

A legislative prohibition on accepting such funding would tie the hands of the South Carolina governor and all local officials. With state agencies unable to accept funding and prohibited from enforcing the policies, these two bills together would effectively nullify any federal mask mandate in practice and effect.


The state of South Carolina can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal mask or vaccine mandates. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine.

Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. U.S. serves as the cornerstone.

“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”


Both bills will be officially introduced when the South Carolina legislature convenes on Jan. 12. H3126 will be referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means and H3218 will be referred to the House Committee on Judiciary. Both will have to pass their respective committees by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative session.

Originally appeared in Tenth Amendment Center.

South Carolina Bills Would Take Steps Toward Treating Gold and Silver as Money

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Dec 10, 2020) – Three bills prefiled in the South Carolina House would take important steps toward treating gold and silver as money instead of commodities, and would set the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

Rep. Stewart Jones (R-Laurens) filed all three bills.

House Bill 3377 (H3377) would make gold and silver coins legal tender in the state. Under the proposed law, “gold and silver coins minted foreign or domestic shall be legal tender in the State of South Carolina under the laws of this State. No person or other entity may compel another person or other entity to tender or accept gold or silver coin unless agreed upon by the parties.”

Practically speaking, this would allow South Carolina residents to use gold or silver coins to pay taxes and other debts owed to the state. In effect, it would put gold and silver on the same footing as Federal Reserve notes.

The phrase, “unless agreed upon by the parties” has important legal ramifications. This wording reaffirms the court’s ability, and constitutional responsibility according to Article I, Section 10, to require specific performance when enforcing such contracts. If voluntary parties agree to be paid, or to pay, in gold and silver coin, South Carolina courts could not substitute any other thing, e.g. Federal Reserve Notes, as payment.

South Carolina could become the fourth state to recognize gold and silver as legal tender. Utah led the way, reestablishing constitutional money in 2011. Wyoming and Oklahoma have since joined.

The effect has been most dramatic in Utah where United Precious Metals Association (UMPA) was established after the passage of the Utah Specie Legal Tender Act and the elimination of all taxes on gold and silver. UPMA offers accounts denominated in U.S.-minted gold and silver dollars. The company also recently released the “Utah Goldback.” UPMA describes it as “the first local, voluntary currency to be made of a spendable, beautiful, physical gold.”


Taxes on gold and silver erect barriers to using gold and silver as money by raising transaction costs. House Bill 3378 (H3378) would effectively exempt gold, silver and platinum bullion from state capital gains taxes. Passage of this legislation would eliminate a significant barrier to using gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundational step for people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

South Carolina has already repealed the sales tax on gold and silver. That removed one barrier to using gold and silver in everyday transactions. Passage of H3378 would remove another barrier.

With the passage of H3378, South Carolina would take a step toward treating gold, silver and platinum as money instead of a commodity. As Sound Money Defense League policy director Jp Cortez testified during a committee hearing on a similar bill in Wyoming in 2018, charging taxes on money itself is beyond the pale.

“In effect, states that collect taxes on purchases of precious metals are inherently saying gold and silver are not money at all.”

Imagine if you asked a grocery clerk to break a $5 bill and he charged you a 35 cent tax. Silly, right? After all, you were only exchanging one form of money for another. But that’s essentially what South Carolina’s capital gains tax on gold and silver bullion does. By eliminating this tax on the exchange of gold and silver, South Carolina would treat specie as money instead of a commodity. This represents a small step toward reestablishing gold and silver as legal tender and breaking down the Fed’s monopoly on money.

“We ought not to tax money – and that’s a good idea. It makes no sense to tax money,” former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul said during testimony in support an Arizona bill that repealed capital gains taxes on gold and silver in that state. “Paper is not money, it’s fraud,” he continued.


Stewart also prefiled House Bill 3379 (H3379). This joint resolution would create a study committee to determine the feasibility and efficacy of the establishment of a bullion repository in this state to store gold, silver, and other metals for the state’s reserves and for investments. The committee would be required to issue a report of its findings to the General Assembly by January 15, 2022.

South Carolina has a model it could follow. In the summer of 2015, Texas Gov. Doug Abbot signed a law creating a state gold bullion and precious metal depository in his state. The depository received its first deposits in the summer of 2018. The facility will not only provide a secure place for individuals, businesses, cities, counties, government agencies and even other countries to store gold and other precious metals, the law also creates a mechanism to facilitate the everyday use of gold and silver in transactions. In short, a person will eventually be able to deposit gold or silver – and pay other people through electronic means or checks – in sound money.

A state gold repository also creates an avenue toward financial independence. Countries around the world, including China, Russia and Turkey, have been buying gold to limit their dependence on the U.S. dollar. University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus said a state depository can serve a similar function for Texas.

“This is another in a long line of ways to make Texas more self-reliant and less tethered to the federal government. The financial impact is small but the political impact is telling, Many conservatives are interested in returning to the gold standard and circumvent the Federal reserve in whatever small way they can.”

The Tennessee legislature passed a resolution declaring support for the creation of a gold bullion depository in the Volunteer State back in 2016, but never followed up with any legislation. If South Carolina does create a study committee, it will be imperative to follow up with further legislation to actually establish a repository once the report is issued.


The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” Currently, all debts and taxes in South Carolina are either paid with Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) which were authorized as legal tender by Congress or with coins issued by the U.S. Treasury — very few of which have gold or silver in them.

The Federal Reserve destroys this constitutional monetary system by creating a monopoly based on its fiat currency. Without the backing of gold or silver, the central bank can easily create money out of thin air. This not only devalues your purchasing power over time; it also allows the federal government to borrow and spend far beyond what would be possible in a sound money system. Without the Fed, it the U.S. government wouldn’t be able to maintain all of its unconstitutional wars and programs. The Federal Reserve is the engine that drives the most powerful government in the history of the world.

Passage of H3377 would reestablish gold and silver as legal tender in the state and take a step toward that constitutional requirement, ignored for decades in every state. Passing H3378 would remove one of the tax barriers that hinder the use of gold and silver as money.

Passage of both bills would also begin the process of abolishing the Federal Reserve system by attacking it from the bottom up – pulling the rug out from under it by working to make its functions irrelevant at the state and local levels, and setting the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve monopoly by introducing competition into the monetary system.

Constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene said when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.

“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”

Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people. Nullifying the Fed on a state by state level is what will get us there.


All three bills will be officially introduced when the South Carolina legislature convenes on Jan. 12. H3377 will be referred to the House Judiciary Committee. H3378 and H3379 will be referred to the House Ways Means Committee. Each bill will have to pass committee by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.

Originally appeared in Tenth Amendment Center.

Medical Freedom: Rescind Guidance on HCQ

I have great concern that the information regarding successful treatments of COVID-19 is being suppressed and thwarted by tech giants, bureaucrats, and the medical-industrial complex in general.

We should ask the question, who does it benefit to not allow the free flow of information so that the People of South Carolina have all the tools necessary and possible to beat COVID-19?

The State of South Carolina should FIGHT for FREEDOM in medicine to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and SAVE LIVES. I believe that it is critical that these decisions be left to doctors and patients.

Please join me in calling on Governor McMaster, the State Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Pharmacy to rescind the “Joint Guidance Regarding Prescribing and Dispensing of Hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and Azithromycin” from March 25th, 2020 which discourages the prescribing of these medicines.


Fetal heartbeat will stand up in court

As state Rep. John McCravy has fought for the adoption of a stringent abortion ban in South Carolina, he’s called upon his Christian faith and conservative values to champion the cause.

But on Tuesday, at the start of a Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee meeting that spent the day hearing public input on the Greenwood Republican’s H. 3020, which would effectively outlaw abortions after six weeks, the lawmaker adopted a different strategy.

“I’ve been an attorney for 35 years and I started out as a staff attorney for the Supreme Court of South Carolina, I’ve argued cases in every court in South Carolina, I’ve argued federal cases, and I’ve had a case go up to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, so I’ve had a chance to have some appellate experience,” McCravy said. “We believe that first of all, the informed consent provisions of this bill are clearly constitutional. No lawyer would argue that they are not.”

The “South Carolina Fetal Protection from Abortion Act,” which moved through the House last year, would make significant changes to existing law that would essentially bar abortions in the state.

Key provisions of the measure include:

• Requiring testing for a fetal heartbeat by ultrasound prior to an abortion being performed, and if one is detected, prohibiting the procedure

• Allowing a mother to see the ultrasound and notifying her if a heartbeat is detected — modifying existing informed consent law

• Advising a mother of the probability of a successful delivery once a heartbeat is detected; and

• Creating exceptions to the law in cases of an ectopic pregnancy or if a mother’s life is in danger or if a woman is the victim of rape or incest.

Because a heartbeat can be heart as soon as six weeks into a pregnancy, H. 3020 would drop the current threshold as to when an abortion can be performed to that level from its current 20-week ceiling.

“We believe that first of all, the informed consent provisions of this bill are clearly constitutional. No lawyer would argue that they are not,” McCravy said. “There’s also a consensus among medical experts, scientists, lawyers and ethicists that the standard of viability has changed, that we now know many more things about the unborn child that we did not know in the 1970s.”

State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, asked McCravy how many other states have similar laws on the books.

“Do you know if any state that has passed a similar bill has gone into effect? Is it current law, or is it in current litigation,” Kimpson asked. Nine states have given approval to “fetal heartbeat” legislation, and all have been challenged in court.

McCravy said the issue is ripe for review by the United States Supreme Court.

“There’s a strong likelihood, we believe, that the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t overturn Roe v. Wade, they can change the viability standard to be measured by the heartbeat, which now has been proven by medical science to deliver a 90 to 95% probability of safe delivery,” McCravy said. “As we all know from a constitutional standpoint there are many, many cases decided in district court that are overturned by the Supreme Court, so until it gets to that point, we’re not going to have an absolute reading on it.”

McCravy wasn’t the only Lakelands-based witness to testify Tuesday.

“While not the beginning of life, the heart is a universally recognized indicator of life. In frantic elements and situations, we often hear, ‘can you find a pulse, is their heart still beating?’” said Greenwood pastor Tony Foster. “This is because science has already shown us a way to determine if someone is alive. The heartbeat bill stops discrimination against our preborn babies in the womb.”

Foster said he was particularly troubled by the more than 20 million black babies whose lives have been terminated since the early 1970s, drawing a question not only from Kimpson, but from state Sen. Mia McLeod, D-Columbia. Both are also black.

“When you mention that you’re in favor of this bill, you talked about the atrocities that would result, do you think it’s an atrocity for our legislature not to fund programs and support for the women and men who are giving birth? We talk a lot about heartbeats and life, and its interesting to me that we can be pro-life one day and pro-death the very next day,” McLeod said.

Foster said he is concerned with life at all stages and wasn’t able to testify in favor of the General Assembly passing landmark hate crime legislation last year because he was on a ministerial trip to England.

State Rep. Stewart Jones, R-Laurens, whose House District 14 includes a portion of Greenwood, said lawmakers have a moral imperative to adopt legislation such as H. 3020.

“It’s not about the state deciding, it’s not about the individual deciding, but it comes down to the issue that we as individuals in society have to stand for life. The basic premise of government is that we are going to protect and defend life,” Jones said. “I’m asking this body to stand for 3020, advance this cause Let’s protect and defend life. Give people the ability to have that self-determination.”

County Council votes against allowing Syrian refugees into Laurens County via US Refugee Resettlement Program

Laurens County Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday night for a resolution declaring their opposition to refugees arriving and living in Laurens County.

The resolution also opposes the United State Refugee Settlement Program and agrees with the rejection of state funds to assist in the program.

Council members Stewart Jones, David Pitts, Joe Wood and Keith Tollison voted for the resolution. Council members Diane Anderson, Garrett McDaniel and Ted Nash voted against the resolution.

The resolution states that the United States cannot properly screen all Syrian refugees assigned to live in the United States. It places a moratorium on all immigrants that are not properly screened by the U.S. government.

There are currently no plans for refugees to be placed in Laurens County. The closest location is Spartanburg.

Economic development was the other emphasis in the Tuesday night meeting with the council voting unanimously to approve all projects.

Council approved a third and final reading of Project Yak, an amendment for development and enlargement of a multiple county industrial park in Joanna. This expansion will create 13 more jobs in Laurens County.

Council approved third reading of the Brawo fee agreement in lieu of taxes that includes an $8 million expansion.

Second reading approval was given to Project Container, a $20 million investment that will add 60 jobs in Northern Laurens.

A resolution was approved to extend the investment period for Ceramtec. This is a $5 million investment scheduled for Jan. 2016. Ceramtec has invested over $48 million over the last few years.

In other business, a resolution of commendation was approved for Sally Lancaster’s 30-years of service as County Auditor.

Council approval a submission of PC Pharmacy Professor Tommy Johnson to the governor for an appointment to the Laurens County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

Councilman Stewart submitted a proposal to continue meetings to set guidelines and qualifications for assistance for private providers to participate in the County EMS program. An amendment was made and passed in a 6-1 vote.

Originally appeared in