I’ve had this article from National Review in my tabs for a while, but I wanted to comment on something:
So watch out. If the Obama administration proposes money for states to conduct background checks, according to federal instructions, or “permission” for states to do background checks, according to federal instructions, the governments of the several states should answer with one voice: Absolutely not. Washington should pay for, implement, and be accountable for its own policies
In most cases, states don’t conduct background checks. That is done by the FBI on the federal dime. There are states that do conduct their own background checks and act as a point-of-contact with the federal system. There is little doubt the federal government will make monies available to the states to report mental health records to the federal system. Indeed, such monies are already available. I don’t think that’s really a violation of the principle of dual sovereignty, to merely hold federal money out to entice a state to do something. In Printz v. United States the Court ruled that the federal government may not commandeer state agencies or officers, and in NFIB v. Sebelius, the Court ruled the federal government may also not threaten to cut certain funds in order to coerce states. But it can hold out money as an enticement to do the federal government’s bidding.