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A Rational Advocate
"The most formidable weapon against errors of any kind is reason"


State’s Rights – What happened to them?
By A Rational Advocate

The creator’s of our Constitution were so concerned that the Federal Government would usurp the powers of State Government that they included provisions to lessen that possibility.  However, time has taken its toll on these provisions and the politics they had hoped to minimize has reared its ugly head in the Supreme Court to further erode the powers of State Government.
 
Over the years, since the country’s founding, state government powers have been usurped by a number of events.  Of major importance was the enactment of the 16th Constitutional Amendment instituting a national income tax that provided the Federal Government with the complete power of the purse.  This was followed by a variety of government social programs initiated during the tenure’s of President’s Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson that drained the individual state’s ability to finance programs of this nature at the local level.
 
Further erosion came during the civil right’s movement when southern states were slow to respond positively to it and the federal government placed another nail in the coffin of state’s rights.
 
The latest action of the Supreme Court in the Texas Sodomy Law case is not just another case of usurping state’s rights but also of the assumption of power not authorized under the Constitution.  Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, aptly exemplifies this point.
 
“I write separately to note that the law before the Court today "is . . . uncommonly silly." If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources. . . .Notwithstanding this, I recognize that as a member of this Court I am not empowered to help petitioners and others similarly situated. My duty, rather, is to "decide cases `agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States.' " And, … I "can find [neither in the Bill of Rights nor any other part of the Constitution a] general right of privacy," or as the Court terms it today, the "liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions."
 
Clearly then the responsibility to change or abolish this law lies within the powers of the state, Texas in this case, and not with the Supreme Court.  As with Roe v Wade it was not a federal or constitutional issue and should not have been decided by the Supreme Court.  It was just another example of the usurpation of state’s rights by all three branches of the federal government.
 
It is apparent that state’s rights are dead within the coffin in which it lies being nailed tightly shut as time passes.  Is there any chance they can be revived?  It cannot obviously happen unless the electorate addresses the issue forcefully.  It especially lies with those individuals and families who are disturbed by the casual acceptance of life styles that in the past were known to exist but not considered as being acceptable moral behavior.  It is they who must lead the movement to restore the Supreme Court to what it was meant to be under the Constitution.
 
To do this they must gain the election of candidates, especially for the Senate, who support the appointment of Supreme Court Justices who are not prone to take upon themselves the making of laws by judicial fiat.  Although the President makes the appointment, having sufficient votes to confirm a person most likely to be a constitutionalist will determine the direction the Supreme Court takes in the future.
 
 Thus, with the recent precedent breaking filibustering of judicial nominees by the democratic minority, more Senators favoring those nominees who they feel would be strict interpreters of the tenets of the Constitution are essential to stopping its further erosion. There can be no rest until the point is reached where sixty such Senators are ready to invoke cloture on any attempted filibuster of the President’s judicial nominee.
 
Although State’s Rights may be dead at this time there is a chance for revival, to some degree, if there is recognition on the part of those disturbed by the recent decisions of the court that they can do something about it.

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