Julian Sanchez via Newsweek:
we now take for granted that the interstate-commerce power constitutes a blank check, not just when Congress seeks to rectify gross historical iniquity, but for such purposes as overriding state decisions to permit local cultivation of medical marijuana.
I wonder how quickly the classic Libertard argument that states rights is a racist concept thought up for the sole benefit of southern racists as a means to establish state sanctioned racism, will change to the correct position that states’ rights is a means for the individuals of a particular state to free themselves from oppressive federal policies and live a life of self determination when it comes to this November’s ballot initiative in California to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes (as they already have for medical marijuana). The hypocrisy of course swings both ways. Conservatards traditionally in favor of states’ rights as a concept, will argue that because marijuana is against federal law that it cannot be legalized in California (or anywhere else) and that states’ rights shouldn’t apply because they feel the undying need to force their morally corrupt positions on everyone. It seems that neither side has a firm grip on states’ rights, both using it for their own purposes, and decrying it when it doesn’t suit their narrow political agenda.
States’ Rights is an all or all proposition, not a “when it suits my own political purposes” proposition, and certainly not a “states have no rights outside of those given by the federal government” proposition. It is ingrained in our Bill of Rights, the 10th Amendment, that whatever power is not explicitly given to the Federal Government rests with 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 my own estimation, if the voters of California do not authorize the federal government to police for marijuana crimes in their state, the federal government has no authority to do so.1 States’ Rights is a concept which allows different “neighborhoods” in our union under a baseline of federal law which should be minimally intrusive on individual and states’ rights to govern themselves as they see fit so that we do not run the risk of strict homogenization nationwide. The Constitution is designed to limit federal authority and ensure that states don’t violate the basic rights, described in the Bill of Rights, of their citizenry, not help it become the only law to which all of us pay heed. Simply put, those in California have differing interests than those in Kentucky, and the citizens of those states should have the right to live according to those interests.
Under the original concept of the United States, individual states are not designed to be the same, all operating under a sole authoritative federal law without regard to what the residents of that state desire for themselves. States are meant to be different. If having medical marijuana is important, one can move to a state in which it is permitted. If the rights of gun owners are important, one can move to a state that is gun friendly. If you’re a morally righteous fucktard who doesn’t like the idea of people making their own choices about how to enjoy themselves in the privacy of their own homes, don’t move to California. If you’re a gun nazi who thinks the 2nd Amendment is somehow void, stay the fuck out of Texas. It is that simple. The point is to allow the maximum level of freedom based on how one might care to live vs not forcing those beliefs on others who don’t share your vision, all under the basic rights structure set up by the Bill of Rights. If one wants to live in a welfare state with universal health insurance, wealth redistribution, strict gun laws, gay marriage, a lack of trans fats, and unions which suck every penny out of the economy one can move to a state which shares those same values. If you want to have puritanical control over what people ingest on their own time, a lack of health care laws shoved down your throat, keep-what-you-earn-ness, loose gun laws, and a place free of unions, move to a state that shares those values. That is the dream of our forefathers, not an iron fisted federal government which is primarily used as a means of controlling those with whom you do not agree. States’ Rights ensure maximum freedom for every single one of us.
There are limits, certainly, on what sorts of laws a state might pass. Abortion could not be fully outlawed under states’ rights doctrine because banning abortion violates the rights of women within those states as per Roe v Wade, though there should be nothing to say that a particular state cannot make abortion as strict as is allowable under federal law, or to make sure that no tax payer funds pay for abortions. Outlawing guns, or, as per the recent District of Columbia v Heller decision, an entire class of guns, would also not be an issue for states’ rights because we are guaranteed the Right to Bear Arms by the Bill of Rights. But that isn’t to say that gun-shy states couldn’t pass as restrictive a gun law code as Heller allows in order to comply with the mores of those in the state. States’ Rights does not mean states can do what they damn well please; it means that they can create a law code which is representative of the citizens of that state so long as they adhere to the Bill of Rights. It is the only way to ensure freedom for all of us and protection against the tyranny of the majority.
There is nothing racist or inherently “conservative” about the idea of states’ rights regardless of what that douche-cicle Chris Matthews will tell you in his boomy, bossy, highly annoying voice.2 It is a way to live and let live yet all share the same basic principles of freedom and liberty guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. States’ rights is a fundamental part of self determination and a fundamental part of our identity as Americans. At present we risk losing that aspect of our freedom because of righteous fucktards on one side, and elitish shitheads on the other, who will stop at nothing to impose their ideas on others regardless of where they live. It’s time to stop the madness and live and let live.
1. We must remember that the Supreme Court ruled differently in Gonzales v. Raich citing the commerce clause (which seems utterly ridiculous when talking about marijuana grown, sold and smoked in-state as is clearly shown in the dissent). According to the ruling, the federal government has a right to prosecute federal crimes even if state law allows said behavior.
2. Someone needs to tell that ass clown that speaking louder and more annoyingly than your ideological opponent does not make your position correct.
2010-05-26 » madlibertarianguy