Monday, April 2, 2012

Defending Our Liberty: Where Are the States?

When the Constitution was being debated and, ultimately, Ratified, the Federalists argued that the primary check on a tyrannical Federal Government (the primary fear of the Anti-Federalists) would be the States.  The Federalists viewed the States as the founders, supporters, and arbiters of the new Constitution and the Federal Government it established, and they believed that the States would protect the Rights of the People from the inevitable overreach of the Central Government.

Not only did they believe that the powers of the Federal Government were "few and defined," and that the powers of the States were "many and undefined," they also believed that the States- being closer to and run by the People directly would serve as a brake on the Federal Government.  They believed that the Federal Government would be rebuked should it overstep its bounds.

A few things changed that: among them the Marbury v Madison ruling in which the Supreme Court decided that largely unaccountable, unelected Judges- whose very authority was granted by the Constitution- should be the sole arbiters of what the Constitution means.  Also President Lincoln's decision that States could not secede from the Union (whatever you think about the Civil war, this was a radical departure from what had been understood up to that point).

Whatever the intentions of those decisions, we are now faced with:
  •     A Congress which regularly over-reaches its granted authority by passing laws which it should have no power to enforce.
  •     A President and Executive Branch which regularly rule by fiat.
  •     An unaccountable Bureaucracy which issues "rules" and "regulations" based less on what is necessary for the smooth operation of the Country, and more on what is politically convenient.
  •     An unaccountable Judiciary which routinely overturns laws which have been vetted and approved by the very people which Constituted the Courts in the first place.
  •     A Culture of "Delegation" in which Congress establishes new Bureaucracies which rule by decree.

At some point, the Rights of the States, as well as the Rights of the People have fallen by the way-side.  We must strive and struggle to regain them.  The first step is to get engaged with your State.  The States are the first and most stalwart defense against Federal Overreach, but they have not acted in that Capacity in generations.  Even when ObamaCare was passed, rather than simply stating that this was a power the Federal Government did not have and refusing to comply, the States "accepted the Premise" and took it to the Courts.  The EPA has just issued new CO2 guidelines which will ultimately cripple (and possibly kill) our single largest source of electrical power- Coal Power Plants.  The correct entities to oppose these offenses against the Constitution are the States.

Even our US Representatives are too remote, and must cater to too many people, to be counted upon to reign in the Federal Behemoth; not to mention the fact they are part of that very monster we wish to vanquish.  So engage with your state Legislators, and with your Governor.  Remind them that the Constitution assumes that the Power rests with the States on behalf of the People, and that you will support them if they will engage with, and attempt to quell, this Federal invasion, and the usurpation of our Liberties.


  1. This is off topic, but I don't comment on Ace (intimidated by the very smart & pithy so I lurk), but I saw your posts on charity and client responsibility. I saw where you started a food pantry in your church. I am a 501c3 agency director and we run 2 pantries in 2 different small communities (they are housed in churches). These are supported by all the churches in the communities and our agency is the clearing house to prevent "double dipping". When someone shows up at any church for help, the minister or secretary refers to our number, taking the burdon off of them in discerning if the "true need" is just food. My job is to make sure the family is receiving all benefits they are eligible for, they are not abusers (of the system), and to generally council them with their problems. We give them small tasks to see if they can follow basic instructions (get their own transportation, bring proof of address, prove that children live there). We have no income guidelines as any family can go into immediate crisis (car wreck,loss of job, divorce, etc...). At times we have them work in the pantry to fulfil the food stamp requirement of hours worked in a week (they do not get paid). We fill out a form for government to document volunteer hours. my point: in March 2009 when Obama started office, all pantries in the country that recieve USDA commodities (we do as it helps with meat, juices,fruits, and other things that are not donated as much)can NO LONGER ask for ANY INFORMATION other than name, plus they can come any time we are open. We usually limit a family to every 30 days. So we now store commodities in a separate room and if they refuse to give any other info, they get commodities only. Kills with paperwork, but worth it as we feel part of our "mission" is to help families become self reliant. We are extremely small and also help with utilities (must have shut off notice)in emergency situations. We do not have a web site but my work e mail is My name is Robin. By the way I live in West Virginia, but originally from Albuquerque, married a man from here many years ago. The reason I tell you this is that in small communities, I see more pride and the need for the people we help do do something to "pay back", than I do in big cities. I have rambled enough, but enjoy your Ace posts and this hit close to my heart. Yep...I am a conservitive social worker in a poor state and know that many people here DO NOT want something for nothing, although about 5-10 percent of all people from anywhere want something for nothing, and these new something for nothing "mandates" from Obama's USDA fulfil that mindset. Again, I always like to read your posts on AOSHQ. Have a good day, and if you need a resource for pantry me.

    1. Thanks, for that. Charity may get its own series of posts in the not-too-distant future, as it's something important to me.

      So far, we've avoided any "Imperial Entanglements" {significant look}. We accept no assistance from any government agency. Even so, we don't ask for anything other than name and number of people in the household, and we do try to limit people to once a month, unless our donations have been exceptionally high.