Those States Rights

College of Political Knowledge

Civics Series

I would like to take a closer look at the whole states rights thing and what it means to the country today.

  • States’ rights refer to the political rights and powers granted to the states of the United States by the U.S. Constitution.
  • Under the doctrine of states’ rights, the federal government is not allowed to interfere with the powers of the states reserved or implied to them by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • In issues such as enslavement, civil rights, gun control, and marijuana legalization, conflicts between states’ rights and the powers of the federal government have been a part of civic debate for over two centuries.

The debate over states’ rights started with the writing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. During the Constitutional Convention, the Federalists, led by John Adams, argued for a powerful federal government, while the Anti-federalists, led by Patrick Henry, opposed the Constitution unless it contained a set of amendments specifically listing and ensuring certain rights of the people and the states. Fearing that the states would fail to ratify the Constitution without it, the Federalists agreed to include the Bill of Rights.

In establishing American government’s power-sharing system of federalism, the Bill of Rights’ 10th Amendment holds that all rights and powers not specifically reserved to Congress by Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution or to be shared concurrently by the federal and state governments are reserved by either the states or by the people.

In order to prevent the states from claiming too much power, the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) holds that all laws enacted by the state governments must comply with the Constitution, and that whenever a law enacted by a state conflicts with a federal law, the federal law must be applied.

Here is a sticking point for me.

Federalism…..in the beginning of this country it was a brilliant idea that helped bring the country together as a single unit…..it was the only way to get all 13 colonies to sign on to a national government…..however today the concept is driving the political divisions that are running rampant….each state has become its own tiny ‘duchy’ within the bigger empire.

I gave my thoughts on federalism recently on my op-ed blog, Gulf South Free Press……https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2021/03/15/does-federalism-remain-a-good-idea/

The biggest obstacle to any substantial progress in our country is the bicameralism that we live under….I feel we would be better served today with a unicameral system of government…..again my thoughts on this topic……https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2021/03/08/thoughts-on-unicameralism/

Sorry about that but I got a bit off topic….my bad!

The biggest drag on our country is the whole concept of states rights which was outlined in the 10th amendment……for those ignorant on the US Constitution…..In American government, states’ rights are the rights and powers reserved by the state governments rather than the national government according to the U.S. Constitution.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

That is a very simplistic look and leaves open a whole array of opportunities for abuse…..like voter suppression, cultural BS, and labor oppression.

The authors of the Constitution were experts in the use of language, and in the construction of legal documents. Under any form of statutory construction, the use of the comma followed by the word “or” presents an alternative to the previous phrase. And the Constitution also clearly differentiates between the states and the people. The use of the word “people” in that last phase presents an alternative to the powers of the states – the power of the people, not of individual states.

The use of the word “people” in the Constitution, from the “We the People” of the Preamble on, means all the citizens of the United States separate from whatever identity they may have with individual states. There was a draft of the Preamble that used the words, “We the States,” but it was changed to emphasize the nature of he Constitution and its effects. The Constitution was intended by the founders to be a compact among the people of the United States, not between the federal government and the state governments, or among the state governments. The people are citizens of the United States, not of individual states.

(Dan Riker)

The Constitution provides for the states to maintain some rights and responsibilities, but none that can trump those of the federal government. The Constitution clearly states that it, and federal laws adopted under it, are the supreme law of the nation. The Constitution provides for no means of changing it except by amendment; no means of dissolution of the union; no right for any state to withdraw from the union; no right for any state to wage war against any other state; no right for any state to engage in foreign affairs; no right to determine, or grant, citizenship; no separate citizenship of states; no right to restrict the rights of citizens to vote.

10th Amendment means that the reserved power is shared between the states and the people. It does not create a body of absolute “states’ rights.” It means that states have the power to act where the federal government has not, and when such acts will not conflict with federal laws or responsibilities.

Destruction from within.

Then there is everybody’s hero Bubba Clinton as president he screwed things up royally with his lame ass vision of redefining Federalism….his program only added to the climate of division…..Clinton did nothing positive for the Party or the country…the only people that benefited from his presidency were his corporate masters….and his legacy is still screwing the country.

His new ideas on Federalism went something like this….

1–establish national goals and allowing states flexibility in choosing means to achieve..

2–waiving national guidelines to enable states to design approaches to problem solving rather than following national guidelines.

3–helping states learn from other’s successes

I would say the GOP has learned Clinton’s ideas all too well.

Right now there is only one way to change this slide into the past…..and that is through a change in the amendment and that would take a Constitutional convention and that will never happen in today’s political climate.

For now we will remain a plot of land with several duchy that have NO interests in a strong nation….only on petty issues that does not strengthen this nation in any way.

It will remain a country of individual good as opposed to the common good….on which this country was originally founded.

We are today betraying the original intent by the Founders and that betrayal is destroying this country from within.

I do not see this division ending in my lifetime…..a sad demise of the original intent.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”