Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Tenth Amendment, Interposition, and Western Civilization

This post from the Tenth Amendment Center outlines many of the general arguments for "states rights" or I as like to call it federalism. That is the ability of the states under the 10th amendment to check the power of the other branches of government. This is the tact that many states are using to fight Obamacare.  Most of the arguments used in this line of reasoning are often attributed to the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 that opposed the Alien and Sediton Acts.  Anyway, here is a short excerpt from the article and a few comments that follow:

"Throughout its history, the Supreme Court has sided with its co-partners in the federal government more times than it has the states. Relying on the Supreme Court to be an impartial player in intergovernmental disputes is like relying on your ex’s Mother to be your mediator in your divorce settlement.
The supreme court has been missing in action for generations – and congress and the executive are only too happy about this. A better option is nullification. The correct term for nullification is actually state interposition. When the central government legislates outside of its enumerated powers, the state government is obliged to interpose, to place itself in between, its citizens and that unlawful legislation to protect the rights of those citizens."
Sounds kind of radical in a day unprecedented central government power does it not?  Some people even think it is insane. Often times those who do feel this way cite that many slaveowners used "states rights" to defend slavery. What most people do not know is that just as many abolitonists used this line of reasoning to fight against the Fugitive Slave Act. What almost no one knows is that the concept of interposition(or as it is sometimes called; resistance theory) is seen in the Declaration of Independence, other similar writings in the English Civil Wars, and as far back as the Catholic Scholastics. In fact, much of the political theory of Western Civilization is based on the idea of the people being able to nullify unjust laws and depose tyrannical leaders that violate their inalienable rights. I have been very disappointed to see that very few that write on this topic seem to understand that. 

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