Standard Excellence logoThis Week in Liberty News, the weekly news journal is a collection of stories I have run across throughout the week that affect your liberty in Oklahoma, Texas, and the national scene.

Oklahoma and Texas

Water battle makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court

Oklahoma wins a lawsuit in a unanimous Supreme Court decision to deny Texas its request to take water from the Red River. From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday denied a Texas agency’s bid to go into Oklahoma to obtain water, dealing a major blow to a fast-growing region in North Texas plagued by drought.

The Tarrant Regional Water District, which supplies water to 1.7 million Texans, including residents of Fort Worth, had sought water from a part of the Red River’s watershed in Oklahoma. The Texas agency claimed it had a right to the water under the Red River Compact, a congressionally sanctioned agreement that allocates water rights among states where the river flows.

But Oklahoma has denied the Texas agency’s bid to cross the state border to take its allotment of the river’s water, citing Oklahoma law that effectively bars the supply of water to out-of-state applicants.

A unanimous court held that the Red River Compact doesn’t allow Texas to trump Oklahoma’s sovereign right to control its own water supplies.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt called the ruling a major victory for the state. “Texas does not have the right to come into Oklahoma and take our water,” he said. “This unanimous decision will affect all Western states governed by multistate water compacts, and will protect Oklahoma’s ability to control this vital resource for generations to come.”

Texas previously had offered to purchase this water. If the water is available for potential purchase, it cannot also be available for free.

Cherokee County vice-chair disagrees with state chair on philosophy of liberty

Cherokee County Republican vice-chair Qadoshyah Fish has a disagreement with the philosophy of newly elected state party chair Dave Weston, as pointed out on the Cherokee County Republican Party blog. During a recent town hall meeting, Weston stated “True freedom is doing what you ought to do. False freedom is doing what you want to do.” Fish argues liberty and freedom are “extremely basic, fundamental concepts,” and stated in an interview that “true liberty is to be able to do as one pleases, so long as they are not causing harm to another individual.”

Chairman Weston has begun a series of town hall meetings which will be held throughout the state of Oklahoma this year. A tentative date of Saturday, August 24 has been set for Oklahoma County’s meeting, to be held at Olivet Baptist Church.

Private Bradley Manning in midst of WikiLeaks trial

A trial against Oklahoma Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is now in recess until June 25, the Huffington Post reports the US Government’s case is focusing heavily on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. If Government prosecutors build enough of a case that Assange conspired with Manning in some way, this may imply they intend to file a conspiracy charge against the organization.

Around the US

Farm bill fails

Congressman Jim Bridenstien on C-SPAN

Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) was the only representative from Oklahoma to vote against the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, H.R. 1947.

The Food Stamp — I mean Farm Bill failed to pass the House Thursday, being defeated 234 votes to 195. First district Congressman Jim Bridenstine was the only Oklahoma representative to vote against the measure. The Texas delegation also showed strong Republican support, with 19 voting in favor (and two Democrats). Five Republicans and ten Democrats voted against it.

Arizona passes Medicaid expansion

Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer succeeded in passing a Medicaid expansion for her state, after having stated her opposition to Obamacare. Arizona State Senator Kelli Ward responded on Twitter saying, “Tyranny rears its head in Arizona.” Clearly, this is a divisive issue, and one which will determine the ability of the federal government to implement the Affordable Healthcare Act. Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida are among 14 states which have rejected the costly expansion.

Opponents point out how many Americans will be left without Medicaid insurance by refusing to cooperate with this provision of Obamacare, while proponents of the refusal hold that the costs of implementing it are too much. The Supreme Court has also confirmed the authority of states to control their own Medicaid programs.

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