07 March 2009

The Feds Grab Power - The States Resist (Sort Of)

With those who believe a centralized government is the answer for everything (despite decades of evidence to the contrary) in full power, those same power hungry politicians are taking advantage of every opportunity to increase Federal power and authority over the states. Here's just two recent examples:




  1. FOCA, as the bill is known, would make federal law out of the abortion protections established in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade ruling. Story here.
  2. The Federal government would be able override states and direct where the lines [for wind power] would go and who would pay for them. Story here.
However, some states are resisting--at least in spirit. Whether the various resolutions will have any impact is yet to be seen. I am very proud that the Commonwealth of Virginia, where many of my ancestors have lived for 400 years, is one of those states at least attempting to tell the Feds to back off:

Resolved:

The Commonwealth by this resolution serves notice to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.

HR 61 State sovereignty; urging Congress to honor the tenth amendment of the U. S. Constitution.


(Delegate Christopher K. Peace is the Chief Patron)

Summary as introduced:

State sovereignty; Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Honoring state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and claiming sovereignty for the Commonwealth under the Tenth Amendment over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 61
Offered February 26, 2009
Honoring state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
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Patrons-- Peace, Fralin, Byron, Cline, Cole, Gilbert, Landes, Lingamfelter, Marshall, R.G., Morgan, Ware, R.L. and Wright
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Referred to Committee on Rules
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WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: "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"; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, the states today are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state of the United States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 4 says that “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican form of government,” and the Ninth Amendment states that ”The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 505 U. S. 144 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS, a number of proposals from previous administrations, and other proposals that may be anticipated, may further violate the Constitution of the United States; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, That the Congress of the United States be urged to honor state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The Commonwealth of Virginia hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States. The Commonwealth by this resolution serves notice to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers. Further, the Commonwealth urges that all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding shall be prohibited or repealed.



Thomas Jefferson was a leading proponent of limiting the scope of the Federal government while Alexander Hamilton was his philosophical opponent:

"Thomas Jefferson's February 15, 1791, opinion on the constitutionality of a national bank is considered one of the stellar statements on the limited powers and strict construction of the Federal Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, a proponent of the broadest interpretation of the constitution based on the implied powers of the Federal Constitution, was the leading advocate for the national bank. Jefferson and Hamilton quickly became outspoken leaders of two opposing interpretations of national government." ~ From the Library of Congress website on Jefferson (I guess Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo is in good company. By the way, DiLorenzo's book on Hamilton is currently #1 in sales ranking in the Constitutional History category on Amazon.)
So, whose philosophy is most prevalent today? Obviously, Hamilton's. And, just as obvious, it's been a total disaster, though that is not preventing power-hungry politicians from following Hamilton's failed theories on the Federal government. How's that working out? At least one CW publisher's opinion is . . . not exactly positive about the new rush to centralizing more and more power in Washington and feeding the beast with more and more taxes.


8 comments:

Shaun Kenney said...

Just curious -- aren't the Virginia Resolutions authored by Jefferson and Madison still in force?

If so, there should be a long line of Revolutionary-era documentation to resist federal intrusion.

Great post!

chaps said...

The States passing these resolutions are on rock solid Constitutional ground. Even so, they had better be careful. The last time any States took the 9th and 10th Amendments seriously, the Federal government started a war that killed over 600,000 Americans.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Shaun:

Yes, but they're only quoted during campaigns or meaningless stump speeches.

Thanks for stopping by!

RGW

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Chaps:

Yes, I know. Hopefully, we all learned something.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

We live in troubled yet, in a way, exciting times.

Spencer

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Yes, the Scripture calls them "perilous times."

Anonymous said...

Dr Paleo-

That almost sounds like the old Chinese curse:

"May you live in interesting times."

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Perilous times...yes, poetic yet so true.

I've crossposted this post of yours, as I have several. I hope that that is all right?

Spencer