Line in the Stand: The State Sovereignty Movement

Posted: August 17th, 2009 by Militant Libertarian

by Timothy Baldwin

On July 10, 2009, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin became the second governor in these States United (Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee is the other one) to sign into effect a State Sovereignty Resolution. These Sovereignty-type bills, resolutions and laws are an obvious and rightful response that the super-majority of the States in the Union are expressing to and against the usurping powers of the federal government. While the effects of federal tyranny are being felt more seriously than ever, history and human nature prove that the people of a society do not respond or revolt immediately against tyranny – though they have a right to. America’s resistance is no different. Fortunately, the sleeping giant is being awakened, to the dismay of our Centralist-worshipers today.

An observer of history and these current events cannot help but draw strikingly similar comparisons to America’s political struggles during the early to mid-1800s, where there was a serious threat to our original form of constitutional government by the Centralists of that day. During the presidency of John Adams, the people of the States realized and rejected the pro-centralist view of Adams and his ilk (e.g., Alexander Hamilton), and a battle between the ideology of centralism and federalism thrust itself into the forefront of political concern.

On the heels of the Adams administration, the people of the States United spoke clearly and loudly through their election of Presidents Thomas Jefferson in 1801 through James Buchanan in 1857. All of these Presidents (through either political expediency or conviction) rejected the centralists’ philosophy and confirmed the fundamental political ideology that the Constitution of the United States of America was a compact assented to by the individual States of America, and that the Federal government’s authority only extended to the specific and enumerated grants acceded to it by the sovereign people of each State. It was not until 1861 that this understanding of Constitutional government and State Sovereignty was seriously challenged.

Since the Reconstruction period after the War Between the States, the philosophical acknowledgments of what State Sovereignty means, implies and mandates has been flipped on its head, to where the States seem to believe that they are powerless over the demands of the federal government. This concept is completely contrary to the original principles of our Confederated Republic, which was overwhelmingly acknowledged from 1787 to 1860.

Those who adopted the views of the Centralists during the twentieth century, of course, had their heyday: from the implementation of the sixteenth and seventeenth amendments, to the implementation of our fiat currency system; from the assumption of all federal laws as superior to all state laws, to the Federal Supreme Court being considered the only arbitrator of issues regarding political sovereignty; from excessive federal borrowing and spending, to tyrannical federal mandates and directives imposed on the people of the States. Now, their heyday is turning into our payday and we the people are fronting the bill.

What Governor Palin acknowledged on July 10, 2009 – as have thousands of men and women in their State government capacities across these States United – is what America’s Founding Fathers and statesmen pre-1861 accepted, acknowledged and proclaimed: (1) that each of the States is independent and possessing a natural right to govern itself according to the will of its sovereign people reflected in its own constitution; (2) that each of those States has a natural and compactually agreed-upon right to defend, secure and protect the freedoms and liberties of its own people; and (3) that any powers not delegated by those people through their States to the Federal government by the expressed intent and purposes understood and explained in the US Constitution are void and unenforceable. Indeed, most would have argued that each Sovereign State had all powers of nationhood (pursuant to the natural laws of nations, as understood by philosophical and political statesmen), with exception of those powers delegated to the federal government in the United States Constitution, which was ratified and acceded to only for the WELL-BEING – not the suppression – of those sovereign peoples and those Sovereign States.

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