Founders and Framers to current feds: MYOB*

United States Constitution
Amendment X

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.

This is an issue that has disturbed me for years. The ever-expanding grasp of government—especially the Federal Government—in assuming powers not even remotely within the scope of the Constitution is something that the electorate seems perfectly willing to allow (or in many cases, encourage, as long as the feds use those powers in ways that fit the agenda of some).

Indeed, it is the mark of statist socialism that control of the individual by the state (for ends that meet the desires of the statists in power) is a Very Good Thing, regardless of what some musty old piece of paper may actually say.

And that is why allowing statists of any stripe to wield power is a very bad thing. It results in situations like the ACLU strongarming school districts into eliminating invocations at graduations (“Don’t do it or we’ll institute a very expensive Establishment Clause suit—which the Feds will pay for on our end” etc.). It results in tax laws that reward those who spend their money where the statists want money spent… and pays unproductive members of society for their votes to keep the statists in power.

And it results in courts, including a SCOTUS, that will impose a Federal law where the Constitution gives the Federal government no power, such as in the case where the SCOTUS issued a fiat this week essentially nullifying the laws of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington concerning the private cultivation of and personal medical use of marijuana.

SIDEBAR: This post is not an argument for marijuana use, so don’t twist my words into a support for getting high.

The Framers—and the State Legislatures that ratified the Constitution with its first ten amendments understood clearly and unequivocally what James Madison articulated; that

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Our current Federal Government—in all branches and at all levels—just does not see it that way. And so we have this abortion of a ruling—a 6-3 ruling, at that!—illegitimately inserting the Federal Government into purely State matters… and there’s no “tea party” in Washington D.C. to echo the response of those who would make Declaration to a despot in earlier times that

…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Nah. Who cares, right?

The Tenth Amendment, along with the First and Second Amendments, was once seen as a bulwark against a Federal Government acreting undue power and becoming despotic. But these “guarantees” are only as good as the citizenry allows them to be.

“In Germany, they first came for the communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics. I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up.”–Martin Niemöller

I’m not ready to join some wacko cult or rebel “militia.” But I do recognize that the Founders and Framers of our nation “[threw] off such Government” and “provide[d] new Guards for their future security” over fewer abuses than Americans just consider a normal way of life today.

Free? Ask Martha. (Just scroll down a ways.)

*MYOB=Mind Your Own Business