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Posts Tagged ‘The Utah Specie Tender Act of 2011’

27th March 2011

The administration of this blog has been monitoring the evolving situation in the United States of intrastate legislation among some of the sovereign 50 States to reform legal tender laws. There are some recent developments regarding this interesting and legally complex issue that could have ramifications for the global commodities markets, global business community, APEC, ASEAN, Thailand, and China. To quote directly from Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times, in a post on the TruthAlliance.net website entitled “Utah Senate Passes Gold/Silver Legal Tender Law; Awaits Governor Signature“:

The Utah Legislature on Thursday passed a bill allowing gold and silver coins to be used as legal tender in the state — and for the value of their precious metal, not just the face value of the coins.

In a previous posting on this blog it was noted that the lower chamber of Utah’s government, the Utah House of Representatives, had passed the legislation referred to above, but at that time there seemed to be little information pertaining to the reasoning behind the passage of such legislation. The article cited above is quite informative in its coverage of this unfolding situation. To quote further from the aforementioned article:

The legislation directs a state committee to look at whether Utah should recognize an official alternate form of legal tender which could become a path for creating a formal state gold standard.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, said he has not yet taken a public stance on the bill.

State Rep. Brad J. Galvez, the chief sponsor of the measure, said he views it as a preliminary step on the path toward securing Utah’s business climate.

“If the dollar continues to fall, what this will do will help stabilize the value of the dollar in Utah, so it helps stabilize the economy,” Mr. Galvez, a Republican, said.

While similar legislation has been proposed in nearly a dozen states, Mr. Galvez said that if Mr. Herbert signs his bill, Utah will be just the second state to official recognize the coins as legal tender. Colorado has recognized gold and silver for decades, he said.[sic]

Those reading this posting are encouraged to click on the hyperlinks above to read the text of this article in full.

Clearly, Utah is not the only American State that is taking monetary measures with an eye toward maintaining a comparative advantage in the national and international business markets along with a healthy State economy. It will be interesting to see what position will ultimately be taken by the Governor of Utah as his stance on the issue has yet to be discerned as of the time of the writing cited above. Issues involving the currency within States can have tremendous ramifications and it would appear that due consideration is being taken.

The article was also notable for this blogger as it elucidated a thought from a legislator in Virgina who is advocating for similar legislation in that State. To quote further from the article by Stephen Dinan:

In Virginia, Delegate Robert G. Marshall, a Republican, successfully pushed through a bill — not yet signed by the governor — that authorizes the state to mint gold, silver and platinum coins. He said that there is probably a good market for collectors who would prefer not to have to buy federally minted coins and said state-minted ones would create a backstop against inflation.

“I’m looking at Congress, and I’m looking at what the Chinese are doing, and I don’t have a lot of confidence in what’s going on there,” Mr. Marshall said. “This is one way where Virginia can help our citizens as a security hedge against the inflationary action of Congress.”

This was an interesting insight for this blogger because it provides hope that more legislators on the State level are looking abroad when formulating policies which are designed to have a direct impact upon the lives of State Citizens. Although the United States Federal government’s enumerated powers provide wide latitude in matters of an international character, some international trends can have a significant economic impact upon the economics of a purely intrastate nature. Therefore, in the world in which we now live even legislators at the State level must have an eye on the evolving business and economic dynamics of countries as far geographically afield as Thailand, China, or any of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member states in order to make fully informed decisions regarding the enactment of legislation which could impact those within that legislature’s jurisdiction.

As noted in the quotation above, the Governor of Virginia has yet to sign the legislation pending in that State. Therefore, the ultimate outcome remains to be seen, but one thing remains clear: few lawmakers are taking this legislation lightly as evidenced by the alacrity of these legislatures’ votes and the taciturn position of these States’ respective Governors.

This issue is coming to the foreground of the national political spectrum at a time when the legal issues surrounding the issue of same sex marriage and interstate Full Faith and Credit Clause interpretation versus the Federal-State sovereign relationship in the context of same sex marriages legalized and solemnized pursuant to the laws of sovereign American States is coming to the attention of the United States Federal Appellate Courts in the form of cases which have the potential to directly contravene the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). In an American Immigration context, Federal legislators such as Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York have continued to push legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) which would allow the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to adjudicate petitions for same sex “permanent partners” of United States Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents in the same manner as different sex couples.  How the issues associated with legal tender reform and the issues associated with Full Faith and Credit for State recognized same sex marriages will be resolved remains to be seen, but clearly such issues will remain noteworthy as time goes on.

For information related to these issues please see: US Visa Thailand or Same Sex Visa.

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21st February 2011

In a peculiar series of events, it would appear that some of the various United States are pondering the re-introduction of precious metals as a means and method of paying State government fees and other fees related to matters arising in an intrastate context. It would appear as though the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking the lead in this matter by proposing measures which could eventually lead to the State government adopting precious metals as the means of payment for State government services.

To quote directly from Jason Hamlin on the website marketoracle.co.uk:

In what could be the financial shot heard around the world, the state of Virginia is considering the establishment of a joint subcommittee to study whether the Commonwealth should adopt a currency such as gold or silver to serve as an alternative to the currency distributed by the Federal Reserve System in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System.

This blogger found the proposed Virginia legislation using the Virginia.gov website. In order to understand where the States derive their authority to adopt precious metals for purposes of intrastate governmental fees it may be best to quote language from the proposed legislation directly from the Virginia.gov website:

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States in Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 71, 76-78 (1869), and Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701, 706 (1884), has ruled that the States may adopt whatever currency they desire for the purposes of performing their sovereign governmental functions, even to the extent of adopting gold and silver coin for those purposes while refusing to employ a currency not redeemable in gold or silver coin that Congress has designated “legal tender”;

Those who understand the United States Constitution will no doubt be aware of the fact that the power to regulate intrastate affairs matters is not derived from the Federal government (nor the Supreme Court), but from the inherent sovereignty of the States themselves. The Supreme Court’s opinion on the matter is used to provide laypeople with insight regarding the Supreme Court’s position on this issue. As of yet, this legislation is still pending. However, those interested in this matter are well advised to check out the links above to find out more about the actual provisions of this legislation and the ramifications thereof.

It would appear that Virginia is not the only American State to ponder the adoption of precious metals as an alternative payment method for intrastate matters. Recently it came to this blogger’s attention that the state of Utah has seen similar proposed legislation. To quote directly from an article by Alex Newman on the website thenewamerican.com:

Under the proposed legislation, introduced late last year for the upcoming legislative session, the state government would be authorized to collect and return taxes and fees in precious metals. Additionally, Utah’s government could use gold and silver in connection with any intrastate transaction. But of course, it would be entirely up to citizens whether they preferred to use precious-metals coins or U.S. dollars…

In 2009, Federal legislation (H.R. 4248: Free Competition in Currency Act of 2009) was introduced by Representative Ron Paul which would have provided more currency options to those in the jurisdiction of the United States of America. However, this legislation failed to be enacted. To quote directly from govtrack.us:

This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that haven’t passed are cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session.

As the United States of America is composed of 50 sovereign States as well as the Federal government the Federal legislature would be required to pass legislation regarding currency usage for matters falling under the Federal bailiwick, but State matters are dealt with exclusively by State legislatures. Clearly, the ultimate outcome for State legislation such as that noted above has yet to be determined. However, it would appear that there is more support for adopting precious metals for payment of government fees at the State level compared to the Federal level. That said, the future of both issues is uncertain.

Should legislation similar to that noted above be adopted by one or more of the United States, then this could have tremendous implications for the political-economies that compose the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or are geographically located within Greater Asia. Companies from Asia doing business in the USA may need to make some currency adjustments should business interests compel presence in a State which has adopted specie or precious metals as a method of paying State government costs and fees.

For related information please see: Stock Exchange Mergers

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