What is States' Rights? Part 3.
by Mike Crane Morganton, Georgia
Our Rights are like a cookie, no matter how big the cookie and how small the bites, eventually you run out of cookie"
In Part 1 of this series a concept was presented that runs a bit contrary to
current public conception – that the term States' Rights can be used more
for partisan benefit than a true effort to protect the God-given Rights of the
people. Part 2 demonstrated that as early as 1801 incursions attacking American Liberty had already started and have continued to this day. In fact - in the 210 years since 1801 these incursions have grown into a rout.
From a definition (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia® Copyright © 2007) definition of federated government:
" … The distribution of powers between the federal and state governments is usually accomplished by means of a written constitution, for a federation does not exist if authority can be allocated by ordinary legislation. …"
Today it would be laughable to state that the federal government does not create "new" authority from not only legislation but also judicial edict and historically has also used armed aggression. One does not have to look very far to find examples of federal government laws that are obviously beyond the scope that any of the Founding Fathers or Framers of the Constitution of 1787 could have conceived.
look at such an example that most sane citizens would agree is an example of the
central government (The United States) that denies (as opposed to guaranteeing)
a citizen's God-given Rights; is certainly on questionable grounds for being
within delegated powers; and is somewhat stupid to boot.
was a farmer in Ohio. The Secretary of Agriculture in 1940 established his grain
quota as 11.1 acres under the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1938 based upon
regulating inter-state commerce. He grew 23 acres and used all of his grain to
feed his livestock or his family.
law and case summary deals with "grain quotas" laws passed by Congress and
signed into law by the President - to regulate inter-state commerce. The
farmer grew an extra 11.9 acres for use on his own land. This was deemed to be a
violation of the federal government "quota" established to regulate inter-state
commerce and he was fined. The Supreme Court (Wickard
v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)), sided with the government of which it is part – in effect placing usage of
private land for personal consumption into the realm of inter-state commerce and Congressional regulation even if the resulting product never leaves
a citizens property!
this case all three branches of the federal government have in effect greatly
expanded their "power" to regulate inter-state commerce delegated in
Article I. Section 8:
Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and
with the Indian Tribes;
To make all
Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the
foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the
Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
certainly not obvious that grain grown on a farm and never leaves the farm is
Commerce among the several States! The following excerpt from the
referenced Supreme Court decision confirms that this legislation was an
expansion of the power in the Constitution:
The present Chief Justice has said in summary of the present state of the law:
'The commerce power is not confined in its exercise to the regulation of
commerce among the states. It extends to those activities intrastate
which so affect interstate commerce, or the exertion of the power of Congress
over it, as to make regulation of them appropriate means to the attainment of a
legitimate end, the effective execution of the granted power to regulate
three branches of the federal government from my perspective generated an
expansion of their regulatory authority in this case as they can do in any case
where the three branches so decide.
issue being presented here is not whether or not such laws are
good or bad. The issue is whether or not the federal government has become the
judge of what it can and cannot do. It does not matter if you are a
"conservative", "liberal", "middle of the road", Republican, Democrat or just
don't give a hoot. American Liberty is not a political position - it is a form
of government whose primary purpose is to guarantee your God-given Rights!
Does our current form of government protect and guarantee our God-given Rights?
If it does not, and if it has become its own judge of what its powers are, then regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum – from right to left – you and your future generations will either belong to an elite – or you will suffer tyranny!
those who have problems understanding the second bullet above – you do not
understand why our Colonial forefathers seceded and fought against the world's
most powerful nation to gain their and your independence!
you understand the second bullet then you also understand why our Confederate
forefathers seceded and fought against the world's most powerful nation in an
effort to gain their and your independence. If you do not understand the
latter, then you do not fully understand the second bullet.
growing number of American citizens are finally beginning to understand that the
central government, known as the government of The United States is not working
like they want it to. The mantra and battle cry for many of these concerned
citizens is to emphasize "States' Rights," "State Sovereignty,"
concepts have a very solid foundation among many of our Founding Fathers such as
Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. Reusing the example from President
Jefferson's first State of The Union report to Congress:
"When we consider that this
Government is charged with the external and mutual relations only of these
States; that the States themselves have principal care of our persons, our
property, and our reputation, constituting the great field of human concerns,
we may well doubt whether our organization is not too complicated, too
expensive; whether offices and officers have not been multiplied unnecessarily
and sometimes injuriously to the service they were meant to promote."
States' Rights as an aspect of government in our land draws support from Article VII of the Constitution of 1787.
"The Ratification of
the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of
this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same."
is clearly an agreement between the "States." Historically this is confirmed by
the fact that not all thirteen States ratified the Constitution of 1787 at the
same time. The States created the government known today as The United States by
withdrawing from the previous government they had created by a similar name
under the Articles of Confederation (Article I):
The Stile of this Confederacy shall be "The United States of America".
The Tenth Amendment to
the Constitution of 1787 also supports the concept of "States' Rights" (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."
Now go back and read
the example above about the farmer who grew too much wheat under the
Congressional law. When the central government can expand the legal definition
of its delegated powers at will, how can one ever define the phrase "not
is a major, very major problem with today's doctrine of "States' Rights"
(including "State Sovereignty" and "Nullification"):
For over 200 years it has not worked! The Constitution was ratified
in 1789 and the 10th Amendment was ratified in 1791 – so if they are
the solution - why has the problem gotten worse for 200 years?
It is the opinion of this writer that if we are to restore and preserve American Liberty for our future generations - State Powers must be used as a check on the central government and to concurrently guarantee our God-given Rights. We need to understand what went wrong, why it has continued and what will have to be done to avoid the cliff American Liberty is approaching. What went wrong is complex and thus …
To be continued.
States' Rights - Part 1
What is States' Rights - Part 2
What is States' Rights - Part 3
What is States' Rights - Part 4
What is States' Rights - Part 5
What is States' Rights - Part 6
What is States' Rights - Part 7
What is States' Rights - Part 8
Mike Crane is a member of the League of the South Board of Directors and LS
Communications Coordinator. Mike has a long track record as a hard worker
within the Southern Heritage and Independence movements including being
first chairman of the Florida League of the South, serving on the board of
the Georgia League of the South, and an enthusiastic member of the Georgia
Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Additionally, Crane is a
Georgia Delegate to the Southern National Congress. Mike has been
politically active since 1965. Within that time, he has run for the Georgia
Senate twice and the Fannin County, Georgia Commission Chairmanship. Mike is
also one of the principle founders of the Southern Party of Georgia.
Mike is a member of Morganton Baptist Church and active in local church and local interdenominational benevolence efforts.
Mike will be a speaker at the 2013 League of The South Conference:
Learn more about the League of The South:
What is The League of the South?
by Dr Michael Hill - LS President
New League of The South Website