One Size Fits All?

With state elections fast approaching, it is time find out where our legislators stand on state sovereignty and the limits of federal power.  In the 1830’s similar debates occurred on the floor of the senate regarding unconstitutional tariffs (Tariff of Abominations) and the sale of federal lands within state boundaries.  What started out as discussions on particular issues ended in intense debate over federalism, state sovereignty, and unchecked powers by the general government. 

At the core of the debate was the clash between two distinct theories of the Constitution:  the nationalists view of a single sovereign people, a modern unitary state were power comes from a central authority, or the compact theorists who believe the United States  had been formed when the thirteen original states each acting in its own sovereign capacity ratified the Constitution through STATE ratifying conventions rather than some single American people.


Who Decides: part one

The Denver post reported this morning that US District Judge Roger Vinson ruled the Health Care Reform law was unconstitutional.  Read the complete article here, but here are some excerpts I want to cover.

The judge’s ruling produced an even split in federal court decisions so far on the health care law, mirroring enduring divisions among the public. Two judges had previously upheld the law, both Democratic appointees. A Republican appointee in Virginia had ruled against it.

We have, it seems, turned the United States Constitution into a political football.  Where elections determine the interpretation of the constitution, and we are ruled by the whims of the electorate instead of by law.  The difference can simply be illustrated as a lynch mob vs. a jury trial.  The constitution ‘should’ protect us from power grabs from either party, including the Patriot Act and Real ID passed by Republicans, but we have allowed ourselves to be docile while we await the decision of our betters.