The Federal Fracas

Recently, someone advocated the dissolution of the federal government of the United States, insisting that the states could manage themselves. It also suggested that the federal government has usurped power and taken away the rights of states. Let’s consider a few things.

 

There is no doubt that the federal government has become what Jefferson didn’t want, and that was a tyrannical central government, much akin to the monarchies and aristocracies of Europe. Unfortunately, I will accede that this has been the case, and I have never in recent essays denied what my constitutional law professor claimed, that almost every decision by the Supreme Court has gone the way of the federal government. When in doubt, the federal government always wins, for the most part. The most egregious ruling was Gonzales v. Raich, which ruled that growing marijuana in one’s backyard for medical use was a federal issue. Sandra Day O’Connor bravely stated that it was not, but hers was the dissenting opinion.

 

Justice O’Connor stated one of the precepts of federalism quite well, when she wrote in 2005: “We enforce the ‘outer limits’ of Congress’ Commerce Clause authority not for their own sake, but to protect historic spheres of state sovereignty from excessive federal encroachment and thereby to maintain the distribution of power fundamental to our federalist system of government… One of federalism’s chief virtues, of course, is that it promotes innovation by allowing for the possibility that ‘a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.’” This is federalism at its finest, where the federal government is restrained, and the states have the right to experiment both socially and economically. Very few people of any intelligence would argue that the federal government needed even more power.

 

Let’s consider some historical precedents. One of the more salient and yet often overlooked Supreme Court rulings was Barron v. Baltimore, and don’t feel bad if you have never heard of it. Barron v. Baltimore was a Supreme Court ruling that the rights given by our Constitution to the citizens did not apply to the states. In 1833, in a unanimous decision, Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that:  “the first ten amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the State governments. This court cannot so apply them." Essentially, the states are not bound to guarantee the rights offered by the federal government. In later decisions, after the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, the Supreme Court has applied most of the rights of the Constitution using selective incorporation. While Barron v. Baltimore has been mostly overruled, it remains a precedent. You do not have the rights you thought you have, according to the Constitution; the rights outlined in the Constitution do not apply to the states. Where, with the exception of the District of Columbia, can you go in America where you are not in a state?

 

President Abraham Lincoln, in many ways, ignored the Constitution. Later rulings, however, decided that in a time of war, the Constitution has limited authority. Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, where an incarcerated citizen could be brought before a judge and grounds for their detention shown. Lincoln imprisoned around 1,400 citizens whom he considered to be dangerous to the Union, and did not allow them the right to appear before a judge to be charged or released. Lincoln incarcerated those people for what he considered the preservation of the Union. In a state of war, the president has exceptional powers, and Lincoln used them. In the end, as Lincoln himself put it in his Second Inaugural Address, we should live “with malice toward none, with charity for all” to live a single nation again. Slavery was by no means the only issue of the American Civil War, and Lincoln wanted most of all to save the Union, and he did so. That Lincoln preserved the Union using unconstitutional means is unquestionable. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea was the unleashing of the federal government upon ordinary citizens and the origin of “total war.” Sherman was one of Lincoln’s favorite generals.

 

For some time it has been the position of the Republicans to favor the rights of states and the Democrats to favor the increase in the power of the federal government. Yet to describe the position of both of those parties as one being for federal power and the other against federal power is in my mind an oversimplification. Republicans are mostly “pro-life” also known as “anti-abortion” and believe that the federal government should make it illegal everywhere by federal law, and some of the states who lean more towards the Republican party try and try to limit abortion by state statute. The same goes for marijuana. The staunch Republicans would like to see the states compelled to enforce strict federal marijuana laws. I’m not here to argue abortion, and we can save marijuana for another essay. Neither issue has a clear resolution. All I am saying is that Republicans don’t want a great deal of federal power impinging on the states, unless, of course, that impinging supports their ideological position. The Republicans support strong anti-abortion and strict drug laws to appeal to their conservative base, and at the same time argue that the federal government has too much power. It is time they realized they can’t have it both ways.   

 

Allowing the states to go their own way in terms of citizenship will never work. California’s state and local debt is $1.3 trillion. To suggest that their liberal position has nothing to do with that debt would be foolish. The number of non-paying illegals seeking medical attention has bankrupted several hospitals in Southern California, and yet California seeks to make many of their cities “sanctuary cities” where federal citizenship is ignored. The states cannot make decisions such as this, especially when they seek federal money to support their liberal policies. As I have suggested many times, simply cut off all federal funding to “sanctuary cities” and see how long they last. The federal purse strings are very powerful. The “sanctuary cities” would be like a teenager who “knows everything” about the world and sets out to “make it on their own.” They would be crawling back rather quickly. If people in the “sanctuary cities” didn’t have the funding for medical care, which is a large federal program, then whatever damages done would be the responsibility of the “sanctuary cities.” In fact, insisting that all recipients of federal funding should be forced to comply with federal regulations or face paying for all of it themselves should be a policy. You want the money, then you comply. States like California are attempting to make federal policy, in clear violation of our Constitution. Further, to protect those violating federal law is nothing less than conspiracy by the government to violate federal statutes.

 

The U.S. economy is far too big for each individual state to handle, though there are issues that can be let up to the states to determine. The United States has not achieved as much economic success as we have by allowing states to dictate economic policy all on their own. (This is why we have the Interstate Commerce Clause.) I am in favor of a smaller federal government, but I am not in favor of the states dictating their own economic policies when they affect other states. Refer back to Justice O’Connor’s description of federalism: “One of federalism’s chief virtues, of course, is that it promotes innovation by allowing for the possibility that ‘a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.’” If you significantly impact the other states, your right to experiment ends.

 

 In many ways, the federal government is the moderator in all of this, and has been for some time. If it doesn’t cross a state line, then it is not the business of the federal government, and Justice O’Connor wanted that precedent to remain the gold standard. I also want the states to comply with federal rights and statutes, and limited in their abilities to create or enforce laws that violate our Constitutional rights, or impact other states.

 

Regarding “nullification” of federal laws, there exist means by which the states, if they can reach a majority, can change them constitutionally. The federal regulatory agencies can implement regulations without the consent of Congress, and if the states (via Congress and the Senate) had the stones to change that, then they certainly have the means. Reeling in the regulatory agencies is just another task our members of Congress choose to ignore. In many ways, we have the government we deserve, by not goading our representatives into changing the broken system. President Trump has reversed much of the legacy of the Obama administration, much to the chagrin of the Democrats who lauded those changes. As for presidents who understand the power of the presidency, I would offer up Richard M. Nixon, who understood the presidential powers rather well. Nixon, by the way, was in favor of and approved the Environmental Protection Agency, an accomplishment for which far too many Democrats refuse give him credit. Nixon, as well, understood the health care needs of the American people, and attempted to solve that problem way back when. “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”-Aldus Huxley

 

 

 

Comments

Stone-Eater Added Jun 22, 2018 - 7:21am
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”
 
I would say man knows about history. He's not dumb. But he is selfish and concentrates on his own meager 70 or so years he has to live. No matter what humanist blather he might let out. As we say in German:
 
Das Hemd ist mir näher als der Rock.
 
(My interests are more important than the ones of others).
Dino Manalis Added Jun 22, 2018 - 9:15am
 That's why the federal; state; and local governments should work together to get things done!
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 9:55am
It seems too many people have too many expectations from the government. Some of these people offer complex explanations of why they don't like the government, and why the government is wrong. The government is wrong as long as it is not doing what they want done. Thanks for the comments Stone.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 9:57am
Yes, more cooperation would be great, and state and local governments understand what they are in control of as well as what they need to leave alone. Thanks for your comments Dino.
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:16pm
Jeff Jackson,
I enjoyed this informative article. 
If I may, I would say that you have staked out a moderate and reasonable position, and noted some limited means to rein in the Federal gov. 
 
I have little knowledge on such matters, and hope that some, at variance with your position, will weigh in, so that I can evaluate differing approaches.
Dave Volek Added Jun 22, 2018 - 12:50pm
Nice article Jeff
You and a few other writers have convinced me that the US federal government has become a little too intrusive.
 
It seems strange to me that the rights seem to stop at the state level. Why not go all the way to the counties? For example, let each county decide whether to it is legal to grow marijuana in a back yard. I can see a lot of state-right advocates being against this level of decentralization. They want just as much control of the counties as the federal government wants of the states.
 
The decision of centralization vs. decentralization is something that should be decided on an issue-by-issue, time-by-time, location-by location basis. I don't think there is a constitutional wording that can ever get this decision most of the time.
 
If the TDG is built well, the highest tier will be making the centralized/decentralized decisions. The elected representatives of the highest tier will be basing their decision on what is best for society, not to increase their power and control.
 
Luther Wu Added Jun 22, 2018 - 1:00pm
Jeff Jackson,
Again Sir, you have shown that you have keen observational skills and the power of mind to be able to succinctly relate what you've seen.
 
I just read a comment elsewhere, from another such brilliant mind, about another topic, which cuts right to the very quick of all you just said and perhaps, to all the ills of the world.
She said, "This is what happens when the agenda is more important than the truth."
 
Thanks, Mr. Jackson
 
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:06pm
Thanks Pardero. I sincerely believe that Justice O'Connor had it right. The states and those who insist that they have ultimate sovereign power do not understand (in my opinion) the federalist system. Thanks for your comments Pardero.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:08pm
You're welcome Mr. Wu. Fortunately, I have read a lot of history (along with a lot of government) and I see our government in both the context of history and with an understanding of both law and government. Thanks for your comments and praise.
George N Romey Added Jun 22, 2018 - 2:18pm
Good article Jeff. I’ve come to the conclusion the promise of “big” was empty. Big government, big finance, big pharma, big business, big technology. It’s all becoming parasitic in nature and killing us.
 
Sometimes despite lack of technology I think the 50s and 60s were the golden years.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 3:07pm
I'm with you George. Sometimes, big means unable to address small things. Government gets too big to remember what the smaller people are all about. Big businesses make huge failures, like the financial meltdown of '08. I'd love to see the motto of one of the gigantic firms be" "We're a big company run like a small one." Thanks for your comments George.
Charles Frankhauser Added Jun 22, 2018 - 4:21pm
Interesting thoughts.  How is the Fed. Gov. going to return the border kids taken from their parents to the correct parents?  Did anyone take notes on Who went Where? And how to identify the kids too young to communicate with the "caretakers" -- What's going on?  I do not like the look or sound of this brilliant policy.  I thought people knew what's right and what's wrong.  Reading history books might awaken some folks.
Proclaim Liberty Added Jun 22, 2018 - 4:24pm
When it comes to the matter of Constitutional rights and protections of the individual, if states are not bound by the national Constitution, then no one's rights are protected anywhere in the nation. When the matter is one of social administration, there is no Constitutional requirement and individual states could experiment as long as they do not infringe upon other states. However, such variations may place pressure upon citizens to relocate if their voting power is insufficient to resist inimical state experimentation. Only thus could a state be constrained, by economic limitations, if too few taxpayers are willing to remain under its regime. And then the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court becomes problematic in how to apply Constitutional definitions and standards to all states. 
Pardero Added Jun 22, 2018 - 5:03pm
Charles Frankhauser,
I think Rusty Smith covered that nicely in his article. Criminals do not usually have their minor children accompany them to jail. 
 
The problem is when parents commit crimes in the presence of their children. Border control, as per the Constitution, would seem to be the answer to criminals placing their children in unfortunate circumstances. They will all stay in Mexico. Problem solved.
 
Highly partisan hacks, using children as weapons, don't have the answer. You were more respectable when you were hiding behind your mama's skirt, than hiding behind the children of criminals.
James Travil Added Jun 22, 2018 - 6:55pm
My own position on this is that I support strong state's rights and smaller federal government. Being that I am a moderate independent and not a Republican my position is absolute, so no ridiculous exceptions for marijuana, abortion, or whatever. States should have the final say on such matters because the Tenth Amendment gives states all rights not dictated to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States. 
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 6:56pm
Charles, thank you for pointing out the ineptitude of the U.S. Congress, who passed the statute to separate children from their parents. President Trump was only enforcing existing law. I think I'll go to Mexico (or Honduras, or Guatemala) bring a couple of toddlers with me, insist they they are my children, and demand that they accommodate me and the children. Do not put me in with the insensitive, but this is the way we got 13 million people here who we can't identify. Thirteen million. That's the population of the state of Ohio. Imagine, a whole state of people we know nothing about, who are here illegally. Sound like a good idea? Thanks for your comments Charles.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 7:02pm
Proclaim-you are close. According to the Barron ruling, the federal government cannot violate your rights as outlined in the Bill of Rights. It applies only to the federal government, not to the states. Your rights that keep the federal government from violating rights is fully in place. Of course, the states can do to you as they please. Um, Proclaim, what you are talking about is already happening. People and businesses are leaving California in droves, mostly because of the high taxes and excessive regulation. BTW, there is talk again about making California 2 states, northern and southern. This is not new. the north and the south have never agreed on much. Thanks for your comments.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 7:04pm
Thank you Ms. Logan. Indeed, what was expected from the government in the beginning of this republic has changed greatly, mostly due to socialistic tendencies. Thanks for your comments Ms. Logan.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 7:10pm
Thank Pardero. Trump keeps blasting Mexico for allowing all of these refugees to come to our border... Wait a minute, I know what to do. Let's start an express from Texas up to, say, Minnesota, on the Canadian/U.S.border and just ship all of the refugees to Canada. After all, Canada could never, ever, accuse America as just passing the problem along, now could they? Thanks Pardero.  By the way, somewhere around 90% of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Just thought I'd throw that in.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 22, 2018 - 10:43pm
I tend to go with you James. The Tenth Amendment leaves quite a few things to the states, and the federal government needs to back off. Thanks for your comments James.
Kurt Bresler Added Jun 23, 2018 - 12:50am
"the rights you rights have thought you"  might want to edit this sentence.
Reading your article I was thinking I was reading old news a rehash of what has happened over the pasts months.
State's Rights will continually be on the chopping block when the Democrats are in power because of political correctness etc they demand by any means necessary including use of the DOJ etc that their liberal/progressive/concocted ways will be forced upon ALL, in EVERY State.  So basically with the Dems in power the STATES lose a considerable amount of autonomy. 
If the Obama presidency was any indication of what is to come from Democratic leadership I suggest everyone get prepared for total elimination of any personal protections against the Gov't.
Stone-Eater Added Jun 23, 2018 - 6:40am
Jeff
 
You see here in Europe people HAVE to expect too much from governments. Why ? Because there are too many regulations and costs, say for a guy on welfare, to open a small business. Selling sandwiches on the road ? Forget it. Permissions, "health" regulations make it impossible. And the general mentality is educated in the sense "where do we get when everybody can do what he wants. But at the same time sneering at the unemployed....
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 23, 2018 - 7:34am
Thanks Mr. Bresler, I corrected the error. You are exactly right that the Democrats will impose political correctness by any means necessary, and that will, in the majority of cases, not involve voters. In many ways the writers (Ayn Rand, et.al.) that predicted an authoritarian society where the citizens are denied a voice in the government have proven correct. The politically correct enforcers have no interest in what the people have to say-you can do that when you are right and most everyone else is wrong. Universities have gone the way of political correctness to the point that there is no more debating the issues, they are solved and no conservative points will even be considered. Thanks for your comments Mr. Bresler.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 23, 2018 - 7:38am
Stone-Eater, it sounds like they have given up laissez-fair almost completely. You might notice, when competition is abandoned, prices go wild. I also understand that the VAT (Value Added Taxes) push prices up as well. Thanks for the European perspective, and thanks for your comments.
Proclaim Liberty Added Jun 23, 2018 - 11:20am
Upon further consideration, it seems to me that the Equal Protection Clause of the fourteenth amendment entirely overturns Brown vs. Baltimore.  Federal law must overrule state law in every case, or we fought the Civil War in vain.  Consequently, if a state denies to one of its residents some fundamental Constitutional guarantee, such as the rights enumerated in the first or second amendment, and that citizen petitions the federal courts for redress, the state cannot prevail against the federal law.  We can look back to the civil rights issues of the 1960s for examples such as school desegregation.  Some southern states resisted, and federal troops were dispatched to enforce federal rights.  Consequently, states have freedom to experiment only insofar as federal law is silent.  Now, it could be argued that federal law has become too bulky, voluminous, and intrusive.  State representatives at the federal level, that is to say Representatives and Senators in Congress, can introduce legislation to vacate and deactivate prior legislation in order to regain freedom for state legislation to address some matter.  But to do so they must convince other states' representatives that this will not adversely affect their own states' interests.  It seems to me that Congressmen could have their work cut out for them if they would seriously work toward rolling back and "sunsetting" prior federal legislation to return discretionary powers to the states.
Proclaim Liberty Added Jun 23, 2018 - 11:30am
Oops! Typo alert!  The reference was to "Barron vs. Baltimore" (not "Brown"), that the Equal Protection clause in the 14th obviates, not to neglect the 10th amendment that delegates to the states only those powers not claimed by the federal government.
Jeff Michka Added Jun 23, 2018 - 11:37am
Still folks plying with Trumpist language about "infestation of animals" sort of dehumanize those asylum seekers.  Those less than human asylum seekers DESERVE having their children ripped and hidden from them.  If not MS13 gang members will kill and rape all those "good white people" in the Trump tribe.  They're ALL criminals, taking jobs from tribe members, so if they'd wanted to really come here, they should have KNOWN they needed to be dehumanized and badly treated, so those asylum seekers will be feared into staying home and killed by MS13 gangs in their beds.  Of course, bombing/drone strike are for people living in the Middle East, not Central America,
Proclaim Liberty Added Jun 23, 2018 - 11:57am
JM -- Did you mean to post this here in the discussion of federal vs. state law, or in the $5 lettuce immigration discussion?
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 23, 2018 - 9:29pm
Proclaim Liberty-I would partially agree with you. Indeed, the intention of Fourteenth Amendment was to hold the federal government supreme and force the states to comply with federal statutes. However, you need to look up Bartkus v. Illinois. Essentially, after being tried and acquitted in federal court, Bartkus was then charged in the state court of Illinois for the same crime using the same evidence. This was a violation of, in many peoples' opinion, the the double jeopardy clause. 
To cite documentation of the decision: "For the first time, the Court explicitly ruled on the validity of a state conviction after a defendant had been acquitted in a federal court. The question was whether the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated the Fifth Amendment's double jeopardy clause. Justice Frankfurter declared unequivocally that the Fourteenth Amendment did not apply the words of the Bill of Rights to the states."
There you go. The ruling denies the application of federal rights when the state wishes to deny you them. If it applies to the Fifth Amendment, it applies to all of them.


Read more: Bartkus v. Illinois - Significance, The Bill Of Rights Does Not Restrict The States, Double Jeopardy Is Wholly Uncivilized - JRank Articles http://law.jrank.org/pages/12874/Bartkus-v-Illinois.html#ixzz5JIloaB6R
Thanks for your comments.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 23, 2018 - 9:35pm
Mr. Michka, you mean that MS13 might kill a family and take the children along with them, claiming the children and theirs and that they have to stay together? That's clever. It's as clever as never coming back to your hearing for citizenship. It's as clever as getting one member of your family here, then bringing all your relatives here in "chain migration." It's as clever as having a baby (anchor baby) in the U.S, and insisting that you can now stay here. I'm sure things like that never happen, I mean, no potential immigrant would stoop that low, now would they?
Proclaim Liberty Added Jun 24, 2018 - 1:38am
Thanks for your linked citation, Jeff.  Note, though, that it cites yet another subsequent case where the Court overruled the Bartkus decision only ten years later in Benton v. Maryland (1969), as the Court held that the double jeopardy prohibition did apply to the states.  It would appear that your caution is well founded, in that the SCOTUS has a fickle history in the matter of Constitutional protections, and that it has been necessary to fight for them, despite what would seem to be an obvious supremacy of federal over state jurisdiction.
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 24, 2018 - 6:58pm
The Supreme Court has made it quite plain that they have every intention of keeping the federal government in power, and giving as little as possible to the states. Decision after decision rules in favor of the federal government, even in the Raich case. The feds are seeking more and more power. I applaud the Republicans for seeking to limit the federal powers, it is just that they cannot be selective about it. The Republicans cannot give the federal government power over plants that you can grow in your back yard and decisions regarding one's personal health, and yet expect the federal government to hold back on everything else. Thanks for your comments Mr. Liberty.
Johnny Fever Added Jun 25, 2018 - 10:16am
It’s very dishonest of you to phrase the issue as “Republicans cannot give the federal government power over plants that you can grow in your back yard.”  There is a difference between the Government instructing you not to grow tomatoes versus not to grow a federally banned substance.
 
I’m all for legalizing marijuana use and allowing people to grow it, however we are a nation of laws.  States shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which Federal laws they wish to obey and the Federal Government shouldn’t be selective on how they enforce the law. That’s the current situation regarding marijuana. 
 
According to Federal Law, Marijuana is a schedule 1 drug.  Allowing people to grow it would be akin to allowing people to make LSD or Cocaine. If you don’t like it you should change the law, anything else is lawless and I’m sure you don’t condone lawlessness. 
 
For the record, I agree the Federal Government has become much too powerful.  To make your point honestly, I would pick another issue.  How about Obamacare?  
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 25, 2018 - 12:26pm
Mr. Fever, allow me to expostulate. The government's listing of LSD and marijuana as both Schedule One drugs is a major joke, and only demonstrates the ineptitude of the federal government. They recently re-evaluated marijuana and relisted it as a Schedule One drug, much to the disappointment of many people. The reason why? Because as long as marijuana is listed as a Schedule One drug, the federal government can keep arresting people and seizing assets of suspected dealers. It's great income. Read my essay on the government taking money without legal reason: http://writerbeat.com/articles/11404-Grab-the-Money-Ignore-the-Law
Growing an herb in the back yard for medical purposes is not a federal issue. Justice O'Connor stated this in 2005 and I still maintain and support her position. That the federal government cannot let go of its enforcement only reinforces the notion that the federal government will not let any power go back to the states.
Putting  marijuana, which you can grow in your back yard and processing LSD, which requires a considerable amount of skill in chemistry in the same classification is ridiculous. This is not law, by the way, this is a regulatory agency decision. The law gives the regulatory agency the right to make the classification. More reason to restrict federal agencies, which Congress needs to address.
The states have the right, if it doesn’t affect other states, to lower the penalties for victimless crimes, and that is what most of the states are now doing. In general, any crime becomes a federal crime when it impacts the other states or involves crossing a state line. Robbing federally insured banks, and fleeing into the next state is a federal crime; growing stuff in your back yard just isn’t. The overreach is troubling.
Yes, Mr. Fever, we are a nation of laws instituted by both states and the federal government. Both lawmaking entities have their domains, and the feds continually overstep theirs. Let me draw an analogy. This is like the federal government imposing taxes on you buying tomatoes and corn at your local farmer’s market. It didn’t cross a state line, it has no significant impact the other states, and yet the federal government wants to weight in and get their pound of flesh. As far as the federal government being selective, it would be a great idea if it wasn’t, but we all know all law enforcement is selective, federal, state and local.
As far as choosing another issue, marijuana will be the law of debate, because Justice O’Connor has already explained it (and what federalism is and should be) better than anyone else could. The point is to get people (especially Republicans) to listen to what she said. Thanks for your comments.
James Travil Added Jun 25, 2018 - 9:59pm
Regarding Marijuana, I thought that alcohol set the standard for substance proabition. In that if they want to pass a federal proabition against something, especially a harmless plant, they need to pass a Constitutional Amendment. But I guess that would be too much like democracy, can't have We The People governing ourselves, huh? 
Jeff Jackson Added Jun 25, 2018 - 10:36pm
On a more positive note, James, the states legalizing a harmless plant and the federal government not stopping them is a great indicator of democracy in action. We the people do not wish to incarcerate people who use this plant for recreational purposes, and so, the states, in reaction to the will of the people, are no longer punishing those in possession of it. Democracy in action!
Note-Whiskey, and booze in general, is controlled mostly for tax revenue. Soon enough, the governments will realize the tax revenue that can come from a harmless plant, and then, well, get ready to get taxed for getting stoned. Thanks for the comments James.
Ward Tipton Added Jun 26, 2018 - 8:33am
Copied and pasted in my list so I can reply completely ... excellent article though I have many points of contention in addition to agreeing with much of it. Will work on my reply to post though. 
 
Thank you. 
Johnny Fever Added Jun 26, 2018 - 12:16pm
“The government's listing of LSD and marijuana as both Schedule One drugs is a major joke”
 
I couldn’t agree more.  However, so long as it’s listed as a Schedule One drug it’s illegal to use and distribute it. It’s not up to you or the State of California to decide what laws are jokes and need not be followed. 
James Travil Added Jun 26, 2018 - 7:10pm
It's my assertion that because the government did not seek and obtain a Constitutional Amendment for proabition of marijuana the so called "laws" against it are themselves unconstitutional and thus illegal and invalid. Thus California can do whatever the hell they want to regarding marijuana since the federal government has no jurisdiction over the plant. 
Ward Tipton Added Jun 26, 2018 - 10:50pm
Just some observations before I go through point by point: 
 
The unconstitutional actions of Lincoln took place well before the beginning of the war and the war only began ... despite diplomatic efforts, after the third attempt by Lincoln to resupply what were in effect, occupational forces in foreign sovereign soil. 
 
The organic act of 1871 led us all to become federal citizens, "enjoying privileges" (that can be granted or taken away by the government) as opposed to our God given and constitutionally protected rights. 
 
The constitution never granted rights, but sought only to restrict the ability of the federal system to impose its will and restrict our God-given rights. 
 
The seventeenth amendment placed the senate as an extension of the congress as opposed to its polar opposite as it was originally formed ... 
 
The most powerful law enforcement agent used to be the County Sheriff as this was considered to be the front line of defense for the people. 
 
So much more but I will try to get a point by point done today. 
Ward Tipton Added Jun 26, 2018 - 10:54pm
The author of the Constitution in coordination and cooperation with one of his most notable adversaries during the construction of our Constitutional Republic (Jefferson and Madison) were the first to introduce State Nullification in Virginia (Madison) and Kentucky (Jefferson ... despite being from Virginia) 
 
It is difficult to fathom that if State Nullification were not an intent of the Constitution, that the very author of the Constitution would have implemented such a law ... replete with a death penalty lurking in the wings for any federal agent attempting to unlawfully enforce such laws. 

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