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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fifty or One


By: Rob James | December 26, 2011

“Is it better to have Tyranny from THE STATE or Tyranny from A State? Do you want one way or fifty ways to have your rights violated? Do you want one dictator or fifty? I ask these questions so that you'll think about the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Constitution, and how we should define States' Rights. In the 9th Amendment it states: 


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

In the 10th Amendment it states: "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."

In the Declaration of Independence, it speaks of things like 'Laws of Nature', 'unalienable Rights' and 'free People'; but how do we apply these things to the Constitution, or more specifically, with the Bill of Rights? If the primary purpose of government is to protect the rights and property of a free people (those who have given it the authority to do so), and individuals have rights that are unalienable and partially defined in the Bill of Rights, would a state have any more authority to control the lives of an individual than the Federal government does? No, states are entrusted with the same protective authority as the Federal government, they exist to protect the rights and property of it's people. So if it is wrong for THE STATE to infringe on your rights, it would also be wrong for A State to do the same. A state operates as a mini-republic within the Union, with the same responsibility for protecting your rights as the Federal government.

That being said, what decisions are left for a state to make under the 9th and 10th Amendments, that are not 'reserved by the people"? Who you can associate with, who you can marry, what you can do with your body, what you can put in your body, what you can do with your property (and other personal decisions like this), do not belong to any level of government, they belong to "the people"; and the only reason for any level of government to get involved with these personal decisions, is when the actions of one individual infringe on the rights of another individual. So when someone says that the individual States (not the Federal government), should decide issues of marriage, drug prohibition, etc, they infer that the States have the authority to violate your individual rights.”

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