State Rights vs Federal Power 8 replies

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#1 8 years ago

I said I'd make this thread, and here I am. The Prop 8 thread brought up the question of State rights in regards to marriage, so I thought I'd make a neat little thread to gauge what everyone thinks about the subject.

So, what powers do you think the Federal government should actually have? Do you take a strict approach to interpreting the Constitution or a more lax one, specifically in regard to where the powers of the Federal government begin and end?

Some relevant parts of the U.S. Constitution. (pulled right from Index Page - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net with handy definitions for those that need it.)

Article 1 Section 10

  • No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
  • No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
  • No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Amendment 9- Construction of the Constitution The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment 10- Powers of the States and People The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.



SeinfeldisKindaOk

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#2 8 years ago

The closer people are to the powers that represent them the better. I favor more power going to the states rather than those powers being held by the federal government. That being said, some states have not done a great job managing themselves and I do think there should be some federal jurisdiction over the states.




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#3 8 years ago
Afterburner;5225110 So, what powers do you think the Federal government should actually have? Do you take a strict approach to interpreting the Constitution or a more lax one, specifically in regard to where the powers of the Federal government begin and end?

You actually still believe that the government, justice system and law enforcement follows the constitution (on both federal and state level)? I suppose they do use it...

...for blowing their noses, wiping their bums, and cleaning ball sweat off of their perineum(s).




Commissar MercZ

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#4 8 years ago

I am all for federal management systems, but I find that people who seem to be the loudest about states' rights don't do it so much for the principle so much as they want their politicians to have a virtual dictatorship in their state (*cough* Texas *cough*)

John C. Calhoun's arguments for states' rights I think still lies in line with the same arguments today, more of "we don't want the gubmint interfering with our policies, but we want the gubmint to keep other states that don't hold our views from practicing their sovereignty"




NiteStryker

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#5 8 years ago

I think the states should have more power, so that if you dont like something, you have 49 other places to find something you do.




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#6 8 years ago
The closer people are to the powers that represent them the better. I favor more power going to the states rather than those powers being held by the federal government. That being said, some states have not done a great job managing themselves and I do think there should be some federal jurisdiction over the states.

While I agree with this view on a general basis, there are many things with which I do not agree in it. The federal government as an institution is oddly far better at protecting the rights of individuals due to it's nature. By being more disconnected it can retain a certain overview that individual states can not.

On top of that institutions that have a certain effect nation wide should fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government - marriage being an example. While parts of these institutions can and should be delegated towards lower self governance bodies, it should be done in an order of secondary legislature that is derived from the primary body of federal one.

Of course I know that the situation in the US is completely different, but taking a look back at history - from the austrian hegemony to the soviets, it was rarely the federation which tended to be the instigator of vast repressals of freedoms of certain groups. It was lower governance bodies. And from these higher institutions were than won.

Similarly if we look at the US, the federation tends to be quite ambivalent and in many ways more equestrian than the states, which have a far worser regard when it comes to protecting the rights of the people.

Is a certain segregation of the federation, the states and in state self-governance bodies required? Definitely. It is important for a legal state. But in the end, the core of the power should lie with the federation as it does not apply policies state by state but nationwide.

Think of the federation as the state of the states.

To be honest I'm somewhat amazed by the american view at times. It seems that they see the federation as some sort of evil government that is after them, with the states being the good angels which are no government at all. The truth is, but are in many ways the same. And the states are still too large to be an actual good representation of the people most of the time. For this you have to go at least one step lower.




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#7 8 years ago
NiteStryker;5225706I think the states should have more power, so that if you dont like something, you have 49 other places to find something you do.

And if all of the states adopt shitty policies locally? Love it or leave, I imagine...




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#8 8 years ago
Jeffro;5225776And if all of the states adopt shitty policies locally? Love it or leave, I imagine...

...wouldn't that be the same situation if the Federal gov. adopted a shitty policy. At least you have 50 chances for a state to create a good policy and not just one shot with the federal gov.




NiteStryker

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#9 8 years ago
Jeffro;5225776And if all of the states adopt shitty policies locally? Love it or leave, I imagine...

If all other 49 options suck, then you are screwed, because no local options (mexico or canada) would be more suitable. So I suppose one could go to the moon?