Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bravo, Texas

The Drudge Report says that Texas Governor Rick Perry is expressing support for a piece of legislation that would reaffirm states' rights as provided for by the 10 Amendment to the Constitution. Here is the quote:
“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”

Perry continued: "Millions of Texans are tired of Washington, DC trying to come down here to tell us how to run Texas."
Now, I fully expect the news media to portray Gov. Perry as some right-wing nutcase. I imagine that some will attempt to equate his support for states' rights with slavery and/or Jim Crow. Perry, however, has a very legitimate case. For those who either don't know or can't recall, this is the language of the 10th Amendment:
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.
In other words, if the Constitution doesn't grant the specific power to the federal government, then they don't have it. A quick reading of the Constitution reveals the federal government has an awful lot of functions which the Constitution does not give it the power to perform. This is why the left hates it. If we actually followed the letter of the law the federal government would have to be chopped down, conservatively, to 35 percent of its current size. Suffice to say you could kiss nationalized health care goodbye.

It is useful to remember that the official name of this country is the United States of America. Think about that. We are a union of states located in the region of the world named after Amerigo Vespucci. The term state, especially at the time of the country's founding, was synonymous with being a country. We aren't the United Provinces of America. The country was envisioned as a federation of semi-independent countries that surrendered their sovereignty on matters such as foreign trade, defense and international affairs and agreed to treat their citizens based on the Bill of Rights but would otherwise be left alone.

We're a long ways from that vision.

Update: The Department of Homeland Security thinks that anyone who believes the 10th Amendment means what it says is a right-wing extremist.

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