[Masthead] Overcast ~ 48°F  
High: 57°F ~ Low: 56°F
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017

How far should state's rights go?

Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010, at 2:40 PM

From a press release issued today by Lt. Gov. (and candidate) Ron Ramsey's office about a proposed state law:

"The Tennessee Health Freedom Act would protect a citizen's right to not participate in a healthcare system and would prohibit the federal government from imposing fines on that person's decision...The federal government must be reined in."

What this refers to is the sometimes-controversial issue of states' rights.

And "state's rights" goes beyond just health care. How much control, from the point of view of persons not absorbed with one heated, temporary issue or political party, should the federal government have in the 21st century?

I'd hate to think what shape our country would be in without, for example, a centrally-controlled military or regulatory agencies.

But I'm not sold on the idea that federal laws should supercede state laws in all cases. Seems like states should self-govern as much as possible, with the federal government having the right to step in if state laws are abusive or unfair, such as legal slavery in the 1800s.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

It will be interesting to see the administration's response.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 31, 2010, at 3:58 PM

How about follow the constitution? Leave the feds only the power given to them in the constitution and leave all other power to the states, or to the people...You know, just like it says in the 10th amendment.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Mar 31, 2010, at 5:35 PM

I have a sneaky feeling that our senators and congressmen have no idea what is even in our country's constitution.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Wed, Mar 31, 2010, at 5:42 PM

I have about decided that folks have forgotten that we live in the United STATES of America and the the FEDERAL states of America. If the federal government keeps taking everything over we might as well get rid of the states. I agree with quietmike, the Feds need to read and follow the constitution.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Wed, Mar 31, 2010, at 9:23 PM

Unfortnunately, David, your question is worded improperly. The question shouldn't be "How far should state's rights go?" It should be "How far do the powers of the federal government go?"

The individual states should be governing themselves and the federal government is there for specific purposes. Anything beyond those purposes is the responsibility/right of the individual states to take care of. That's the whole point of the 10th Amendment.

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Apr 1, 2010, at 1:00 PM

Unfortunately I don't know how to spell "unfortunately".

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Apr 1, 2010, at 1:08 PM

State rights exist only in theory. Contrary states are usually brought into line with carrots (ironically enough, their own carrots), but the stick has been very effective at times. The 10th means nothing at all, and its rhetorical nature represented only a saving of face in exchange for the selling out of individual state independence upon ratification.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 3:51 AM

Do you assign this "rhetorical" description to any other amendments?

-- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 3:54 AM

Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration:

David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.