Saturday, September 10, 2011
Walter E Williams: "States' Rights and Nullification": The Importance of the 17th Amendment and States Rights
Anytime its a question of whether government at any level, has more power or the people have more power. I always go with the people as long as we are talking about the power to live our own lives. And not hurt innocent people which of course no one has the right to do. Thats what the 17th Amendment is about, giving the power to the people as far as who represents us in Congress. Both the House and Senate and some might say that the House of Representatives was created to represent the people in Congress. And the Senate was created to represent the States in Congress, well what's the difference between representing the people or States. When someone says that the Senate was created to represent the States, that tells me. That they are talking about the State Governments not the people that they work for and serve. And could lose their jobs as a result and Senators get their salary's paid for by the people, so they work for us just like Representatives. So we should decide who represents us in the Senate, if your a liberal, conservative or libertarian. You should be able to agree with that, why should State Governments have more power then the people.
Some might say that we need to get rid of the 17th Amendment, because State Governments are underrepresented in Congress. And that the Federal Government could essentially make them do anything that they want and not give them the resources to pay for it. Which in Washington Speak means Unfunded Mandates but actually thats not true, because if State Governments don't like a law that was passed by the Federal Government. They can take it to Federal Court just like the people can. To repeal the 17th Amendment just to enforce States Rights, is essentially cutting off your leg. Because you have a sprain knee. You may solve on problem but then create another by taking power away from the people. Repealing the 17th Amendment would give State Governments more power but at the expense of the people. Which isn't good for anyone, we can protect States Rights by law, electing people who will do these things and not elect people who are looking to empower the Federal Government at the expense of the States.
To make sure that States Rights are protected, can be done by statue which means by law. Like the law that the Federal Government passed in 1995 in the 104th Congress. That bans Unfunded Mandates which I believe the Bush Administration who wasn't keen on States Rights or Congressional Rights let expire. Another law that would be helpful, would allow States to opt out on all mandates that the Federal Government passes down on them. That they don't pay for, which would give the Federal Government plenty of incentive to fund laws that they pass, especially State and Local Mandates. Another thing that Governors and the National Governors Association can do jointly is to make sure they keep in touch with their own Representatives and Senators. Especially their Party Leadership and testify on Capitol Hill when they see bills that would effect them that they don't like. And weigh in on them and if the don't like their Congressional Delegation. Work to have them defeated in the next election.
We shouldn't be repealing the US Constitution that was written by liberals and libertarians, especially in a way that takes power away from the people. States Rights is something that should be respected and is something that we can do without hurting the people. Who have to live under these laws.