States’ Rights vs. the Supreme Court

Tom Woods explains that States can nullify (invalidate) unconstitutional federal laws, even if they are endorsed by the Supreme Court. In 2005, one State made a law that the federal government opposed and it went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court predictably ruled that the state law was subordinate to “superior”…


Tenther Radio Episode 12: GOP Post-Debate Special Live Event

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In this special edition of TRX: Tenther Radio, hosts Michael Boldin and Lesley Swann cover the GOP Debate held at the Reagan Library in Southern California. They first welcome Jason Rink for a live remote from a debate viewing party from the infamous Brave New Books in Austin, TX. They talk about the abuse of executive power and executive orders from both Republicans and Democrats alike, the need to abolish the TSA, and more. Covered in the debate coverage were quotes from Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. We’re also joined for a live remote from Nick Hankoff at a debate viewing party in Simi Valley, just outside the Reagan Library.


Book review: Federalism: A Normative Theory and its Practical Relevance

Federalism – distribution of power in a federation between the central authority and the constituent units (as states) involving esp. the allocation of significant lawmaking powers to those constituent units.

Most academic examinations of federalism tend to focus on the U.S. system and the structure established by the Constitution.  But in his recently released book Federalism: A Normative Theory and its Practical Relevance, political science professor Kyle Scott take a broader perspective, not only looking at the practical structure of federalism, but seeking answers to a more basic question: why federalism in the first place?

Scott roots his analysis in the bedrock of political philosophy, building his argument on the works of thinkers including Althusius, Aristotle, Plato,  Locke and Tocqueville.  Most modern political thinkers advancing the idea of limited, decentralized government tend to focus on principles of individualism. Scott comes at things from a different angle. While not completely rejecting the idea of individual sovereignty, Scott argues that people simply cannot coexist without associating, and that through these associations, people have responsibilities and obligations to one another.  Scott makes the case for federalism, arguing that large centralized government replaces local associations where consensus building, problem solving and compromises naturally occur. This leaves people isolated, clinging to a radical individualism, looking more and more to centralized power structures to solve their problems.