There ought to be a law

It is so common to hear, “There ought to be a law.” In fact, the knee jerk response of legislators and citizens alike is almost always to invoke the government to fix things. Since we are too often too busy with our lives otherwise, it is easy to accept government solutions. But if we allow ourselves to be lulled into perpetual indifference, we will find that solutions we don’t like will be forced upon us and our Liberties lost. Many think that we are already there.

Strict adherence to the Constitution of the United States in its original form would limit the national government from infringing on our rights. Yet we have seen many decades of overreaching by Congress and the inaction of states to defend its citizens. There is a new awakening to the proper balance, but it comes after so much expansion of national law that we are now on our heels and reeling.

The fight over individual rights, and the power of states to protect them, began before the ink was dry on the hemp of the Constitution. But the modern era of bloated regulations and taxation began around 100 years ago during the worldwide expansion of socialism. We now have many generations that have grown up inured to the loss of rights and habituated to government solutions. So the first response to each lost liberty is to look for another law to protect us. Now we find that the balance of power is upside down and the leviathan national government disregards its limits with regularity.

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States Powers and Individual Rights: Deriving Governmental Powers

As a member of the Tenth Amendment Center, many might assume that the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is my favorite from the Bill of Rights. However, my favorite is the Ninth:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This affirmation of individual rights secures the concept of natural rights being beyond governmental infringement. That is also the basis of the Declaration of Independence. Stating that we have the rights to Life and Liberty, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish [our government], and to institute new Government …” in the case of abuse of those rights.

Such statements put the right of self government in the hands of individuals. Our form of government, a republic, binds people over a small geographic area, our state, but that government must protect the rights of all inhabitants. The power of the state to pass law comes from those who live in the state. So when states band together into a pact, the Constitution of the UNITED STATES, there can be no implied sacrifice of the power of states, because that power is derived from state citizens. The only limits on powers that can be imposed upon the states by the national government are those specifically listed in the Constitution.

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