Thursday, March 18, 2010

States' rights now appeal across the spectrum

When I was becoming vaguely politically aware, the only people who asserted states' rights were southern states seeking to resist federal integration mandates. That may have discredited the concept for a generation or more. Now, as the NYT has noted, it seems to be having something of a vogue, and across the political spectrum. Wyoming and South Dakota are seerting it over gun rights while Utah and Oklahoma are over health care. Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconmsin are considering bills to assert gubernatorial control over National Guard members called up to serve in foreign wars.

In some ways California started it with medical marijuana in 1996. The fact that states' rights are being invoked on behalf of causes that could be called "liberal" to me validates the founders' wisdom in creating dual sovereignty guaranteeing a certain tension between state governments and the national government. In some ways it is downright annoying having several levels of government oppressing us and taking our money, but every so often the system works the way it's supposed to and different levels of government check one another's power.

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