Recently, the National Right-to-Care Reciprocity Act of 2011 passed overwhelming in the House of Representatives. One thing that stood out, there were some on the left that cited the 10th Amendment as justification for it being Unconstitutional.
As much as I’m an avid gun-rights advocate, I have to admit that this criticism is valid.
Currently, forty states have some form of concealed permit reciprocity, so is the power for the Federal Government really necessary for the final ten states?
The question becomes, does the expansion of liberty by this law outweigh the growth of power in the Federal Government? The problem is… yes, they can pass this bill which on some level I like, but what is stopping the Federal Government using this tactic on something I don’t like?
A Different Take on Abortion-Part 1
I know abortion is a touchy issue with a lot of people. I just ask you give me some latitude here to make my point, and I will make you a promise. I will not endorse one side or another or even state my position on abortion. Since it is such a divisive issue, it allows me to make a particular points.
If we are honest with ourselves, the heart of this issue comes down if you believe or not that the unborn child has natural rights or not. Obviously, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life crowds have different views whether life begins at conception or birth.
Personally, I can make compelling arguments for both points of view. A Pro-Choice individual will naturally argue that a woman has the right to her own body. Her body is her property and the state can’t claim it. She can choose what to eat, drink, or even who shares her bed. This isn’t the function of the state.
A Pro-Life individual will state the unborn child has rights and should be defended. If a man beats his wife who is pregnant and she loses the child as the result, he should be punished for the loss of the child, right? If so, we are saying as a society that the unborn child has rights on some level. So how can an individual have partial rights?
If we are honest, we really can’t refute either argument. We can intellectually disagree but all we can do is form some conclusion that seems morally right to us. I do know one thing about the abortion issue. No matter which side I come down on, there are a significant number of people in this country who will disagree with me.
When this topic comes in conversations, I will state my view, but I will also make a case that I do understand the arguments from the other side. One time, a Pro-Choice friend of mine made the case that she felt the Fourteenth Amendment justified her position. However, I pointed out to her that to a Pro-Life individual would argue that the Fourteenth Amendment would also apply to the unborn child and they are defending those same rights. She never really considered this point of view.
I don’t demonize those who disagree with me on this issue. My goal when the topic comes up is to share my understanding on this issue in hopes they don’t demonize individuals as well.
Since this is such a divisive issue, I believe I don’t have the authority to force my view on those who disagree with me through the power of Washington DC.
A Different Take on Abortion- Part 2
Let us pretend there are three islands close together. The first island is settled by Catholics who want to practice their faith in peace. There are about the same number or settlers living on the second island, but they are atheists. Both of these islands are roughly the same size and have similar resources.
The last island is larger and is occupied by head hunting cannibals. (I know this sounds like a Gilligan’s Island plotline, but just bear with me.) This island has superior resources they often attack the smaller islands.
Representatives of the first two islands discuss working together to fight off the cannibals. They form a council to discuss their issues with the cannibals. They agreed that they will trade among themselves and defend each other, but will stay out of each other’s internal affairs.
The Catholic island because of their faith have abortion illegal. The atheists could care less about the issue and thus not illegal.
Do the atheists have the right to force the Catholics to allow abortions? Do the Catholics have the right to force the atheists to ban abortions? Isn’t this determination up to the people who live on these islands?
However, what if one of the following happens: a Catholic comes to the conclusion that abortions shouldn’t be banned? Or one of the atheists starts thinking that abortions are morally wrong?
Each of these individuals have the natural rights to do one of the following:
1) They can just accept their circumstance and do nothing.
2) They can use their natural right of Free Speech and try to persuade those around them to their point of view.
3) They have natural right of traveling to the other community who shares their viewpoint.
Federal versus National
This concept is what our Founders had in mind with the creation of a Federal and not a National system. The states are themselves sovereign and should control most of their internal issues.
The “conventional wisdom” has been that the Federal Government needs to maintain a check on States who may abuse their power. Again who will maintain a check on the Federal Government? The Supreme Court?
The Supreme Court went from 1937 to 1995 without ruling a Congressional Act as Unconstitutional. Really???? You mean that every law during this time frame was totally Constitutional? I sincerely doubt it.
There is no debate that States themselves will abuse power. Well, they are government institutions after all. However, there is a check on the states. If a state becomes too oppressive, people and companies will leave the state and move to another one. The State will then lose tax revenue and the quality of life will decline in the state.
Or if a State creates a bold plan for its citizens something like a state run healthcare system. If successful, other states will study and copy the program. If it fails, the impact is only felt by said state.
However if the Federal Government passes a bold program, the failure of the program affects everyone. A citizen can’t avoid it by just moving to another State.
We have acknowledge the importance of competition in the marketplace for our dollars. There are several shops or manufactures will sell you a hammer if you need one. Why not force the states in the position to compete for your citizenship and tax dollars?
This is the check on the States and demonstrates why a lot of what Federal Government does isn’t necessary. There is also the problem of the Federal Government abusing the states doing things that they believe are right.
Like the Republicans who supported the National Right-to-Care Reciprocity Act.
John Lambert [send him email] is the Outreach Coordinator for the Texas Tenth Amendment Center.
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