In just the last few months, legislatures in five states -- Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota -- have passed resolutions asserting their sovereignty and asking the federal government to "cease and desist" from meddling in their business. Similar measures are pending in about two dozen other states, including seven out West.
"There's a lot of people in the federal government saying: 'Do this. You must do that. We're the boss,' " said Republican state Rep. Brad Klippert, co-sponsor of sovereignty legislation pending in Olympia, Wash. "That's not true."
Several Republican governors, including Sarah Palin in Alaska, Mark Sanford in South Carolina and Rick Perry in Texas, have gone beyond symbolism, turning down a portion of federal stimulus funds -- and rejecting the strings attached -- as a way of expressing their independence from Washington. That has sometimes meant going to court and fighting fellow lawmakers eager to accept the money.
The latest movement appears aimed at Obama, who, in just a few months, has increased the size and scope of the federal government more dramatically than any president in decades.
Advocates deny that, citing a litany of grievances that include the No Child Left Behind education bill, which imposed strict federal testing requirements, and the Real ID law, which dictates costly national standards for driver's licenses. Both were signed by President George W. Bush.
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