Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sovereignty (or Secession?)

We've heard the news. Those rabble rousing ruffians at all those tea parties seem to have gotten Texas all fired up. Now I don't know about secession, that may be going a little too far right now, but the states do have sovereignty and it should be recognized.

I firmly believe that the Constitution grants limited power to the federal government and bestows the balance of power to the states. The 9th and 10th Amendment are pretty clear on this. The following excerpt comes from an article "Can Congress Write Any Law it Wants?" -, and offers some good interpretation.
The Constitution sets forth just 17 discrete delegated powers on matters like currency, interstate commerce, the post office, the judiciary, and national defense. The Constitution also interposed two precise brakes on all federal powers: The Ninth and Tenth Amendments together state that the powers not enumerated in the Constitution as given to the federal government are retained by the people and the States.
The whole purpose of the Constitution is, was, and has been to define the government, to impose restraints on the government, and to guarantee personal freedoms. It specifically diffused power between the States and the central government and, within the federal government itself, it separated powers among the three branches.
It is elementary to state that the Constitution mandates that Congress writes the laws and decides how to spend tax dollars, the president enforces the laws as Congress has written them, and the courts interpret the laws as they have been written and enforced to assure their compliance with the Supreme Law of the Land.
As elemental as this sounds, it is hardly recognizable today. After 230 years, we have come to a point where a president declines to enforce laws he has himself signed, directs his Treasury Secretary to make laws interfering with private contracts, and signs executive orders that invade privacy, restrict speech, and appropriate property. Today, we have a Congress that delegates to the president its power to spend taxpayer dollars and money borrowed in the taxpayers’ names, has written laws regulating the air you breath, the water you drink, the words you speak, and relieving the persons with whom you have contracted or to whom you have loaned money from complying with their agreements. And our courts from time to time have raised taxes, run prisons, re-cast the boundaries of school districts, and declined to right obvious constitutional wrongs committed by the other branches.
So the sovereignty movement rolls on. A majority of the states are working on resolutions, many of which have passed at various levels within the state. These states are from all corners of this country. It is not simply a case of the old south still living in the past. Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, the list goes on. I think the average tea party rabble rouser recognizes that the federal government has gotten too big. It is exceeding it's limits of power. The liberal front would have you believe it is just about the stimulus package and how could anyone be against trying to help our schools and underprivileged citizens affected by this terrible financial crisis. But this issue is much bigger and has been brewing under the surface for some time. The stimulus is just a final straw. The sovereignty movement is proof that many states believe this as well. It has been in motion long before the stimulus. It is time for the federal government to honor the Constitution. If the states and the people are not listened to, who knows how far this could go. It would be a terribly sad day for this country if one of our states ever came to the point of real secession talk.


  1. The last time the federal government trashed the Constitution, encroaching on the Tenth Amendment, we had a Civil War as a result. Many would like to believe that war was precipitated by slavery. But, in truth, slavery was just a by-product issue, underscoring the real issue of states rights, a problem started years before secession became the fuse that ignited the country. I see the same tiny spark, growing stronger, as we speak.

  2. Mr Lincoln acted outside of the constitution in his actions leading up to the civil war. The USA celebrates him as one of our greatest Presidents. While I am glad the Union was preserved in the end, the use of arms against the free people of Virginia, the suspension of the "Writ of Habeas Corpus" and many other actions by Lincoln all flew in the face of our Constitution. Because of these things, I cannot include him in the journals of the greatest presidents while I can admire his tenacity in preserving the nation and his singularly superior writing and oratory skills.

    I'm not sure we will see the same results as when Citadel Cadets were compelled to fire the first shots of the American Civil War against supply ship "Star of the West." Nonetheless, the recent tea parties suggest a widespread national movement of citizens fed up with what is going on and this may well fan the flames of change.

    As for me, give me liberty or give me death!



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