the kansas senate has adopted a resolution affirming the state’s 10th amendment rights. the amendment supports the repeal of all federal laws that compel the state to do something. some legislators here say that means the proposal supports the repeal of voting rights and civil rights laws. is this the intent of these kinds of resolutions that the states have been considering? do you support the repeal of federal laws, including the voting and civil rights acts?? thank you.
Here’s my response:
As numerous articles and publications on the Tenth Amendment Center website make clear, following the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is the best way to advance the cause of liberty. It’s the best way to protect minority interests. It’s the best way to build a society that lives in peace. Following the Constitution is, sadly, far from what the U.S. Federal Government has done for a long, long time.
With one-size-fits-all solutions forcing everyone in the country into the same lifestyle, economic choices, health care decisions, education systems, and the like, we only guarantee that the country will be divided into competing factions whose sole interest is to take over the entire federal apparatus. This is the opposite of what the founders and ratifiers gave us – a system where the most difficult and the most divisive issues would be kept close to home. That is a system unique in history – where widely differing political, economic and religious viewpoints can live in peace.
For decades and decades “We the People” have allowed the federal government to bend the rules of the Constitution – or violate them – with almost complete impunity. The result of allowing federal politicians this kind of power? Sooner or later you’ll end up with politicians who feel that the rules – the Constitution – don’t apply at all. After a couple decades of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama rule, I’d hope this would ring true to most Americans.
Those vehemently opposed to the strict limits that the Constitution places on the federal government (while Bush was in office, it was primarily R’s, and now with Obama in office, it’s primarily D’s), often resort to scare tactics as a way to deflect from these truths.
In fact, relying on a federal government whose unconstitutional expansion of the interstate commerce clause (Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution) has resulted in the arrest of hundreds of thousands of people each year – disproportionately minorities – for owning a plant – might be the worst organization in America to protect the Constitution and the natural rights of the People. HB2610, currently in Health and Human Services Committee in the Kansas House, is one attempt to right these wrongs on a state level.
The Kansas constitution has been amended many times, including an amendment in 1912 affirming the right to universal suffrage. The Bill of Rights to the Kansas Constitution is also quite explicit – “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thus, it’s my opinion that such concerned talk about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is little more than hyperbole and rhetoric intentionally designed to change the debate from the fact that we live in a nation where the constitution is rarely followed.
I recommend that those in the Kansas Senate concerned about the rights of their constituents introduce and work to pass strict state legislation or state constitutional amendments protecting those rights if they feel the State Constitution is not sufficient to protect those rights.