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State Sovereignty: Follow Up

05/05/2009

Lest anyone misunderstand, my previous piece, State Sovereignty: The Final Hope, was not meant to be an expression of desire for secession from the union by any state.  The actual intent was to clarify that the states set up the federal government, the states set the parameters for its organization, the states granted and limited its powers, and the states have the power to reign it in.  The question is, will they?

There were a few Governors who initially resisted the stimulus funds offered by the federal government.  They stood initially on principle before succumbing to public pressure.  Some rationalized the taking of some of the money after originally telling us how it didn’t come without strings attached.  I’m not sure whether or not any leaders held out completely.  It was a chance for true leadership to stand up and say, “Enough, we will not be participants.”

If the states will not stand up to the federal government, the trends will never be changed.  Both major political parties have been enlarging the size of government and increasing the debt and deficit.  We cannot expect any substantive change to come from within.  We the people are fairly powerless once the election is completed.  Party politics trumps serving the people once they get to D.C. and their collection of form letters.

The states could very well amend the Constitution should they wish to do so, whether that be to add an amendment or to repeal one.  Three-fourths of the states, thirty eight, can call the convention to deal with such issues.  The details are laid out in Article V of the Constitution.  It is apparent that the Founding Fathers planned for the possibility of the government being non-responsive to the people.

Article V – Amendment

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

The states have allowed the federal government to pass legislation and rule from the bench regarding areas that should have been state issues.  They have allowed the government to grow out of control.  The result is being seen as the government is now dictating to private industry as to how their business should be carried out from having company officers terminated to removing standing from investors.  Threats and retribution by the government toward companies and individuals is a step too far.  The states need to take back the power they have ceded to the federal government.  The Founding Fathers were rightly concerned about a centralized government becoming too powerful.  The things they warned of are coming true before our very eyes.  Our last hope is to elect state and local leaders that will stand up to the federal government or succumb to the whims of D.C.

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