JBS CEO Art Thompson spoke at the recentNullify Now! event in Phoenix and brought up an interesting point about how vocabulary and the choice of words can be used to frame a point of view. He correctly pointed out that supporters and opponents alike generally use the term states’ rights as opposed to states’ sovereignty.
On the face it may not seem like much of a difference but when you look at the meaning of the two words, you see that there is actually a big difference in terms of interpretation.
At the time of the writing of the Constitution, rights were considered natural rights; something that we have and are inalienable. In other words, rights were not endowed by a law or government, rather they were self-evident. Today, on the other hand, what is looked upon as a right is something that is given to us through the government or by law. So, by today’s definition, states’ rights are derived from the federal government. This flies in the face of what the writers and ratifiers of the Constitution had in mind, otherwise, what is the point of the Tenth Amendment?Details