Members of an Oklahoma conservative group were in a surly mood Wednesday after President Barack Obama's re-election, with the head of the group urging legislative leaders to fight the “thug-booted federal government” and the national health care law.
Several members attending the noon meeting of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee insisted their guest speakers, House Speaker Designate T.W. Shannon and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, continue to oppose the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
“If there is no place that we're willing to draw a line in the sand, I would urge you to get your knee pads out … so that the thug-booted federal government can step on you and start walking all over you,” said Charlie Meadows, the group's chairman.
Others in the group of about 125 said lawmakers should continue to fight the nation's health care law, which was upheld this summer by the U.S. Supreme Court. They also said they want lawmakers to pass legislation banning Sharia law. Voters in 2010 passed state questions allowing Oklahomans to opt out of the health care law and to outlaw Sharia law.
Shannon, R-Lawton, and Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said separate federal court rulings have limited lawmakers' options. They said GOP lawmakers would discuss developing key legislative issues at caucus meetings later this year. The four-month session begins in February.
“Our state constitution says that we must abide by federal law,” Bingman said. “The federal law is the law of the land.”
“Not an unconstitutional law, sir,” a man shouted at the Senate leader.
Members criticized Bingman for the Senate's failure to pass a bill that would have prohibited foreign laws from being enforced in Oklahoma courtrooms; the measure passed the House of Representatives in 2011 and was patterned after State Question 755, which 71 percent of the voters supported in 2010. A federal appeals court in Denver upheld in January an injunction against the state question and said it likely is unconstitutional. The court ruled that the rights of an Oklahoma City Muslim man likely would be violated if the ban on Sharia law would take effect.