American Morning

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July 31st, 2009
06:08 AM ET

Where's our state sovereignty?

By CNN'S Carol Costello and Ronni Berke

The concept of states' rights is as old as America, but lately it's become a red-hot issue.

As Governor Sarah Palin left office this month, she signed a resolution asserting Alaska's sovereignty, referring to the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The amendment 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."

Alaska is one of seven states passing Tenth Amendment resolutions this year, according to the Tenth Amendment Center, which tracks such legislation.  More than 20 others are considering similar bills and have either passed one chamber of the legislature, or are being worked on in committees.  But why now?

For lawmakers like Republican Charles Key of Oklahoma, the federal government has overstepped its authority.  Case in point: Former President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" mandate. "There's nothing in the Constitution that says the federal government has the legal right and authority to tell the people in the various states how to educate the children," he says.

Many proponents of Tenth Amendment resolutions bristle at Washington's involvement in what they consider states' affairs – like gun laws, education, health care, and even personal privacy, with the Patriot Act.  It may seem like a new phenomenon, says Larry Kramer, dean of Stanford University Law School, but in fact the states' rights movement is deeply rooted in American history. "Federalism functions as a political competition between the states and the Federal government,” says Kramer. "[It's] how the system is supposed to work." 

Although proponents of the resolutions acknowledge they have no legal bearing, they say it is important to put the federal government on notice. "I'm not telling the federal government to butt out," says Nebraska State Senator Tony Fulton. "The Tenth Amendment exists and there is a gray line and that doesn't mean there is no line at all." In January, Fulton plans to introduce his own Tenth Amendment resolution in Nebraska's State Senate.

Filed under: Just Sayin'
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Bernice

    Yes., Wolfgang, he is. He started stomping throughout the earth on a plane called Air Force One. He and his whole party needs to be voted OUT of off, and WE THE PEOPLE, need to take our lands back! I would rather KEEP our Constitution in the order in which it was written! As you see, so do Americans. This is why they fight in Iraq. This is why they fight in Afganistan! They do it for our FREEDOMS here, so it's about time that WE, the American People, help them, and fight like heck right here at home to protect our way of life. If the Obamas wish to deform our country, maybe he and his family should just go off somewhere else. He lied to the American people to get into office, then look what horrific acts that he did AGAINST us as a nation!! Shame. We do need to now be the watchdogs to protect our constitution. When you see someone doing something that you feel is against our rights, leave a blog and tell us allaabout it. We need to know so we as a people, TOGETHER, regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, regardless of ANYTHING!! UNITE!!! Get people back into the politics of the day, and start voting them all out. It is the summer recess for Washington. Start calling your officials in your state, and file a complaint! Let them know, you will be pushing hard to have them ALL voted out if they were in support of ONE of his simple policies!! Tell everyone to call!! Just tell them not to be a part of it on your states behalf! Together, we can stop them. That is the only way to succeed. I have already called. Plz, save our country! I kinda like that old piece of paper (our constitution) just the way it is.

    August 2, 2009 at 6:33 am |
  2. ronvan

    One for all and all for themselves! Live by the sword, die by the sword! If states take action that effectively bars the government from helping them then the states should not be allowed to come back to the government for assistance! You are on your own!

    August 1, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  3. eliz wolfgang

    Opinions are just like door knobs, "everyone gets a turn". So here's mine. Why don't we just abide by the 10th amendment. Let each and every state do what They want. Forget about the citizens who placed them in office. Let the politicians that were elected RUN the state the way the VOTERS want them to. Oh well, . You are now on your own. I can't wait for the fall out. Each and every state will have a set back to the day that the country was born, because no one, and I mean, no one can except change. We will exist like we existed back in the 19th-20th century, except the only naturalized citizens (Indians) that belong in the Good Old United States will not let us in. Have a nice day.. and a nice life. The "Devil" is truly walking this Earth!!!

    August 1, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  4. Robert (Bear River, WY)

    It is about time Obama going to see his trip out of the good ol USA. Fare paid by Obama and his elect demo's and maybe some repub. Hopefuly justice wii be done the american way; He should be tried for treason and trying to building a tyranny Hitler style government. Americans remember to study the offical s going for any office elections are for. Hopefully don't make same mistake again. If again wii be our last time and we will fall as Rome did and the USSR.. Maybe this situation might wake up you and pay attention who is in office. Your vote should be the one that will uphold the constition and bill of rights. Some of the above comments hold to some truth and not so good. Trash languaish doesn't help a loi but will defect what needs to be said. I read them and just pass over it to the next. We need leadership that upholds laws honorable to serve the citizens right and we don't need dictators in office to make slaves out of us. Obama wanted socialism , world order which he can govern him self and live by it princiles. You can have this kind of government for your self. It be good medican for a traitor, dictaorship. Remember to nurish it and eat it the same time, you will like it HA HA???

    July 31, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  5. Jane Reisinger

    I think that if we all think about our history we would find that we already have the answer to this "issue . " When we first seceded from Great Britain our founding fathers created a d ocument called the Articles of Confederation . It created a government in which States were practically sovereign powers within a loose band of Brotherhood. The federal government was weak to the point of non-existence. It had no standing army, no way to enforce policy or create law. In this time period, the National Government proved both unable to put down Sha y 's Rebellion, and powerless to mediate between the States, several of whom nearly came to war. It was during this time that the founding fathers once again gathered and forged our Constitution, a document that continues to this day to be unique and lasting. And even though every state need not ratify the Constitution for it to come into effect, EVERY SINGLE STATE DID.
    They chose the Constitution with its powerful Federal government over the Soverign power they had been enjoying.
    It seems to me that this debate should end here. We chose a federal government that was more powerful than the state, as did the founding fathers we revere : John Adams, James Madison, even George Washington (who clearly showed his respect for the idea by agreeing to be the First President of the Government created by the Constitution). And Thomas Jefferson supported it by running to become the third president of our nation.
    We also fought the Civil War over this EXACT SAME ISSUE. The Confederation rejected the power of the Federal Government to create a National Law forcing the emancipation of slaves. They fought for 4 years until, as we all know, the Union won , thus reaffirming both our revered Constitution, and the fact that our Federal Government reigned OVER our states' powers.

    Also, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and our President cannot make a decision, policy, or law without first showing that it is within their rights to do so. Each law is back by an Amendment or Clause found within the original Constitution.
    The states currently have more power now than in the history of our nation. Ronald Reagan promoted a type of Federalism called "New Federalism" which limits the power of the National Government in favor of the broad power reserved to the states.
    A re-evaluement of our Government at its core by our Founding Fathers and a full out war over this issue shows that this issue has been contested, and that it has also been RESOLVED. There should be no more questions.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  6. Wren

    Its stunning to see when people will use and cling to the Constitution and reminisce on the Founding Father's.

    One person said it here and nailed it, if everyone wants State rights and no Government involvement. Be ready to face and weather nature's surprises, riots, outbreaks of illness and protecting your own State border lines with your OWN police and State guards.

    In essences what each State does when it draws that line is it succeeds from the Government and takes all responsibility leaving the Government non-culpable for anything that may arise.

    Last time a State tried to succeed it was seen as treason. Maybe the South had the right idea though? The way everyone is crying and bemoaning now.

    Instead of reading the Constitution and misreading or getting it to fit to your way of thinking. Try reading about our Founding Father's, these men from other countries tried to take the best of those countries and weave it into something better for this one. Since that time we have forgotten the men who created this document and we have bastardized the document its self and bent it to our wants and not its actual meaning.

    The last President was caught on tape saying "screw the Constitution" so for eight years he did along with the people in this country. While he did that he taught a load of people how to hate on such a deep level no amount of help will ever change their minds or hearts. Oh heck he rewrote laws and sealed of files that can and will never be seen by human eyes for hundred years.

    But then he was a white man, from what I see going on this is about a non-white man doling out the laws that a corrupt white man did for eight years (handing over 80% of America to China to get money for is war on WMD)

    No one cares if this President helps this country or the people, its his color that has everyone enraged. People like Bernice who blatantly showed her racism in her last post here. What happened to the blinders everyone wore prior to this President? You need to put them back on and let this country get healed and fixed after the shambles it was left in, and stop seeing colors for once in your small minded lives.

    July 31, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  7. Mike Duvall

    State Governors, especially those who make a job-for-life off of lawyering, especially over-prosecuting, and not manufacturing/building/producing anything, (Grandholm being a classic example), are finding an all-too-convenient way for them to prevent the general population from access to their rights under the U.S. Constitution, by intentionally misinterpreting the intentions of our founding fathers' 10 Amendment, while trying to make their intentions appear meritorious. Important to keep in mind the trailing words in the 10th: "......., or to the people". The unethical, immoral, and U.S. Constitutionally-corrupt governors, let run too long without a tether, have started to think that THEY are the "state". It's not intended for just power to the "state" but to the people too, who seem to be left out by the governors that abuse this Amendment with intent. Too many families hurt unfairly for too long by this, and I intend to change that, and help people learn how defend themselves against their greatest threat, our own government.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  8. Chad

    So many of the posts against States’ Rights, in the vein of “United States vs. Divided States,” are childishly simplistic. Merely the expression of feelings, they are devoid of any actual review of our Constitution and, as such, they are totally without merit.

    In adopting the Constitution, the States gave birth to the nation, not vice versa.

    To anyone even remotely familiar with the Constitution’s actual text, the present dominance of the Federal Government, in which States have been rendered as little more than administrative districts, is clearly not sanctioned. Yet, as we have increasingly operated under such an arrangement from the New Deal onward, the average citizen (who has very little or no understanding of Civics) is accustomed solely to the status quo. The argument in favor of States’ Rights seems radical and anachronistic to him because, sadly, it is so far removed from actual practice.

    Moreover, the merits of the argument notwithstanding, the principle itself has been morally tainted in the eyes of many due to its misuse by segregationists during the Civil Rights era.

    July 31, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  9. Reese

    If the States had the final word slavey might not have been abolished, Jim Crow might still be in place,there would have not been a 1954 Brown decision etc. It would be a different USA.

    July 31, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  10. Poythress for Governor

    General David Poythress, a candidate for Governor of Georgia in 2010, put out a video about Republican secessionists in Georgia.

    "4 of the 6 Republican candidates for Governor recently said they would support Georgia seceding from the United States of America. This is outrageous, it is absolutely disgraceful. It's a slap in the face to every patriotic American. To anybody who has ever served under the American flag, and to those brave Georgians who have fought and died for our country in Iraq." – David Poythress

    July 31, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  11. Lloyd

    Federal Government should be suboridate to the States. We have too many people, among them the current President, that feel the US Constitution is an antiquated document with outdated laws that need to be changed. Looking at all the efforts of the Feds, they have done some good things and not so good things.

    How much of what happens federally is motivated by special interest greed? How many laws are enacted because of corporate sponsorship and so- called selfless recommendation?

    Quick example: Last year 35000 Americans died of the flu. The media and Federal government are now on a flu scare blitz. Why? Do the drug companys have an interest in pushing their untested questionable vaccines? Absolutely. How about billions of dollars worth of interest in their pockets.
    Oddly enough, 38000 people die from traffic accidents last year. Is there huge drives and movements to put in speed governors in all vehicles? NOOOOOOO, that would cut into oil company profits. Yet we are all supposed to be freaked out over the flu.
    Look, I've had the flu. It isn't that much worse than a cold. So what gives?
    The Federal government is bought and paid for by special interests.

    Just saying....... seems to me that the child in this relationship isn't the states, its the feds. Just so you know, I realize that fallas on deaf ears in CNN and other supposedly unbiased newsgroups. Your impartial newsgroup is bought and paid for too.

    States rights are all WE THE PEOPLE have left. WE have been totally left out and disenfranchised at the Federal level. Its all money and numbers to those guys. Or should I say wiseguys?

    JUST SAYIN..................

    July 31, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  12. David from WI

    I could make this simpler if you want.

    The 'Federation' in Star Trek. Do you think the Andorian's, Vulcan's, Terran's or the others would appreciate the United Federation of Planets overreaching they all got along so well?

    Wow its almost as if Roddenberry picked the federation on purpose, you don't suppose....hmmm???

    Seriously, this is an accurate example, if not, silly and simplistic.

    July 31, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  13. Bernice

    I believe not one word that our govt has to say anymore! This administration has lied to all of its people way too many times!!! They lost my, along with many votes!! Come on PA! Let us be #8! This administration is harming this country where it will NEVER be the same again. Your freedoms are going to be gone, while they take over 60% of your paychecks to pay for thier over spending problem! Why should we have to pay? I heard this morning that he even made a deal (before the election) with the lawyers involved in healthcare lawsuits!! They helped his campaign, and now get to keep taking the Americans money!! Isn't that illegal?? Kinda like what the Ill. Govenor did, isn't it? He bought the presidential seat! WITH OUR MONEY!! and, we have to pay it back! and pay. and pay. and pay.

    Come on Rendell. Get us out of this!!! He is a irresponsible man who cares for nothing but himself, and his interests. NOT THE PEOPLE! He was going to make jobs!! Where are they? OH YEAH! I almost forgot. We now have over priced Czars! and, OH YES! He just created 125,000 new jobs yesterday!! Only problem, he went against everything that America stands for and gave all 125,000 jobs to the black people! What ever happened to .....regardless of race? color? He is soooo un American. He must have recieved those ideas from Kenya. We need our ideas reinstated! Get us out of this, PA!

    July 31, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  14. Karen

    Carol, Are you trying to report news or create news? The obvious answer in general is "States Rights-Yes" But the very people who shout that are the ones who tried to get the concealed/carry across state lines law last week (contradictory). Just remember if states had their way – we would still have slavery. To everything there is a season and no one way is the right way all of the time.

    July 31, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  15. Kris-H

    For all of you who are so strangely confused as to who trumps whom, just look up the word "FEDERAL" and "STATE" in a dictionary. It's clear who has autonomy....(that is of course assuming one wants to base their opinion of fact and reason rather than ad hominem assertions based on your "feelings").

    States Rights over the Fed.

    P.S. And the Civil War didn't dismiss the issue of States Rights. That's written in the CONSTITUTION. The Civil War preserved the Union.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  16. David from WI

    Don’t be so sure TX or AK NEED the other states. Texas is the only state that WAS a separate republic. What to you think those 6 flags represent that they tout. As far as AK they have the resources to BUY anything they need.

    They are among the few states that ARE NOT in, nearly, as much trouble as the others, you know those bastions of ‘liberal’ thought.

    I am not saying or advocating that they should leave the union but they would not have a bad time of it if they did.

    Ignorance of History lead man to make the same mistakes over and over again. (BTW feelings of one’s superiority of one man over another is not what makes one civil but the opposite)

    July 31, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  17. David from WI

    Don't be so sure TX or AK NEED the other state. Texas is the only state that WAS a separate republic. What to you think those 6 flags represent that they tout. As far as AK they have the resources to BUY anything they need.

    They are among the few state that ARE NOT in, nearly, as much trouble as the others, you know those bastions of 'liberal' thought.

    I am not saying or advocating that they should leave the union but they would not have a bad time of it if they did.

    History and ignorance lead man to make the same mistakes over and over again. (BTW feelings of one's superiority of one man over another is not what makes one civil but the opposite)

    July 31, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  18. David from WI


    The overreaching FED had bottle fed and hurt the Indians worse of all. It was the federal govt that screwed with your people not any one state.

    I feel you pain but your anger is a bit misplaced.

    Its not our common beilifs that keep us strong its those same differences that threaten to tear us apart is what makes us strong. Diversity of people, ideas etc. We the refuse of the world show that you can put a shine on garbage and BE STRONG. We are not perfect but WE NEVER CLAIMED TO BE.

    Independence is what it MEANS to be an American and we are different after all north south east west middle rich poor etc .
    We are bigger than any single man or king or party or govt.

    Not our sameness or common ground that makes us strong but our differences that would not only threaten to tear us apart that make us strong the great paradox of our republic. And what makes it work.

    Where do people get their ideas from anyway?

    Its a BIG part of the founding fathers ideas (they were not all of one mind or idea that is for sure, its built in the founding documents)

    July 31, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  19. Nick

    The police are even looking through the files in our computers withour our knowledge or concent! More police dictatorship! Is there nothing that is sacred anymore in our once great country of FREEDOM without Police Intrusion and Dictatorship??!! President Obama, PLEASE HELP US!!! You are now the Chief Law Enforcment Officer in this country, PLEASE get a stronger backbone and don't back-down to cops who violate American Citizens Rights!! instead, FEDERALLY Fire Them and Prosecute Them!! Turn the tables and lets see how they like being dictated to, let them see and feel what its like to be locked up in a cage like an animal!! You ARE the Commander-In-Chief!! Use that great power to stop the Police Dictatorship in ALL States and ESPECIALLY in Local Governments!!!! Thank-You CNN for not being afraid and giving Americans a chance to be heard!! The 10th Amendment needs to be repealed! The Federal Government should be in charge! Each State is NOT its own country!! They are part of America and the Federal Government MUST Use Its Power to Protect the American People against Injustice by both State and Local Governments!!

    July 31, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  20. Douglas Wicks

    " I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States or the people' (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition" Thomas Jefferson's Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank-February 15, 1791

    July 31, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  21. jay

    In PA, Governor Rendell feels the state trumps the feds. He is disregarding the federal minimum wage act and feels he does not need to pay his state employees because our state government can not pass a budget.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  22. Matt

    The U.S. Constitution spells this out very clearly in the 10th Amendment. Beyond the powers granted to the Feds by the Constitution, any and all others that are not prohibited are given to the States. To the analogy that this is like children running the family is to say that those at the Local, and State levels are too stupid or immature to serve or know the needs of the citizens they serve. Feds need to stick to National defense, foreign relations, and issues between states, not the ones in them. An example of the Feds poking where they don't belong is the Department of Education. Look at how much more successful public schools have become since its creation in 1979-1980 (HAHA).

    July 31, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  23. dean


    July 31, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  24. Bill S.

    "States Rights" is a nice concept, but after giving them free reign for a couple of hundred years it seems that they have had enough time to prove whether or not they are capable of tackling the larger issues. Since they have not come up with anything satisfactory to date, it is time for the federal government to step in to provide care that includes our weakest and most vulnerable.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  25. Diane

    If the majority of your viewers are not for states' rights, they need to take a look at the Constitution and understand what it means. A strong federal government is exactly what our founders were trying to avoid. In the term "United States", pay attention to the word "States" which are united under a federal government. People who think a strong federal government is right are to the left in this United States. It is very disturbing that you are making light of states' rights. Think about the financial stability the states would have if all the tax dollars went to each state instead of the federal government. They have the power because they require all of us to give OUR money to them.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  26. Ashley

    States Rights over Washington , Are you kidding me!??! It sounds like people are trying to start another Civil War. I think this is the product of Anti-Obama political leaders and citizens trying to be difficult.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  27. Jay

    This comment is concerning Carol Costello's comment this morning comparing states' rights to "the children telling the parent what to do."
    Please prepare yourself for your segments in the future by reading about the subject matter before you comment. Your comment shows that you do not understand the concept of common law or sovereignty. Your analogy is backward. The US State Government's are the parents of the US Federal Government. The US State Governments existed prior to the US Federal Government, and the US Federal Government is a creation of the US States. Consequently, the US Federal Government was only given its sovereignty through the legal consent of the US States, not the other way around. The US State Governments (as independent and separate legal entities), and not the people of the United States, created the US Federal Government when the minimum requisite number of their legislatures ratified the US Constitution in 1789. Furthermore, should the US Federal Government begin to abuse its authority, the US States ensured that the US Constitution provided a mechanism (see Article V) for them to alter the power of the US Federal Government should they so choose without asking for or obtaining the consent of the US Congress, the US President, or the US Federal Judiciary.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  28. Melinda Douglas

    I am completely in favor of the state staying in control over their own budget and keeping the federal government out of it. Our federal government is to big as it is, and I would like to see the reverse trend, smaller government, not bigger. I am so fed up with the federal government thinking they know so much more than I do and telling me what to do. This is also why the current health care reform bill hopefully will not pass. I am one who would benefit from health care reform, I'm self employed and have coverage that only covers catastrophic events. I am the one who pays when I go see a doctor and I can tell you with personal responsibility I ask a lot of questions when my doctor wants to order a test. I always ask, is that necessary because I am the one paying the bill. If everyone was more responsible for the bill, the cost of health care would become manageable. There is no free ride in this life. Give the responsibility back to the individual, then to the state and only when necessary to the federal government. Don't tell me what to do!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  29. L. E. Burnette

    Ms. Costello;
    What is happening is simply a reassertion of states rights. I find it to be a logical reaction to the far left wing's dominance of the country's political, media and financial power centers of L. A., D. C., and New York City. As has been pointed out in the past, our residents of the East Coast and West Coast are seperated by by over two thousands miles filled with people who don't agree with them.
    The right of the individual state to retain control of most aspects of its laws and government is not an example of the child dicatating to the parent, as you said. We are the 'United' States, not the 'Subjegated' States. Our founders correctly invisioned a country in which citizens were free to 'vote with their feet' by moving from a state with laws not reflecting their own beliefs and values to one that did. To homogenize our states is to undermine one of our country's strengths.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  30. tina

    Maybe if these protest were conducted by repulbicians and only one type of people i might take it seriously. But it seems like more rants from people that have issues that we have an African American in office and not the issues. I mean really? When we have Bush and Cliton in no one questioned all the taxes and other stuff we had to deal with like the war. Obama is dealing with a lot of crap from people who don't like that his stuff is working which i haven't seen in a lot of presidents before him. The recession is not as bad when Bush left it. They talk about being oppessed in these times and I'm like really? The rich oppessed people for the longest time and notw that the rich are being taxed they lie to the middle class and the poor to like make up junk like the republicans did durning the campaign run. I'm not saying that states shouldn't have states rights but they really need to evaluate this situation with a fine tooth comb than taking certain people's rants as news story. Because i think the country was runned by ignorant people for the last 20 years. I certainly don't want it to be runned like that for the next 3.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  31. Ronpaul 2012

    I have to agree with what Pat said. However, leaving governance to the states per the 10th amendment creates a check and balance for tyrannical usurpation of our rights. If one state ignores the importance of economic liberty by oppressive taxation and the like, companies and people will just move to other states (read: Atlas Shrugged).

    Competition among the (voluntary) union of states insures that our liberties are not trampled on by some despot in the white house. Unfortunately, the central planners at the federal level have disregarded the constitution over the last century in their quest for power.

    I recommend reading Ron Paul's book, "The Revolution," for a great perspective of how our republic was intended to function. We are not a mob-rule democracy; it's too bad our political leaders think we are.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  32. Jean Beach

    Don't rewrite the constitution and furthermore abide by it.
    People who said giving states their already given rights is like giving rights to t he child not the parent is a moron.
    It is insulting that anyone would consider that the public (you and me) is not intelligent enough to make decisions that effect us everyday. The federal government does not love us like a parent and does not have our best interest at heart.
    It is a self growing monster that will take all our rights if we let them. I have friends that moved here from socialistic country that can not believe we are going this direction after they sacrificed everything to come here for democracy. WE are going the wrong way and need to do a immediate turn around.
    States better fight to keep their rights. Get big federal government out of our lives. If they knew how to fix anything our health care would have been fixed many years ago. They can not police themselves, or they would have cracked down on all the corruption in medicare, social security and in their own arena in Congress, Senate etc.
    God help us.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  33. David from WI

    Is American History, Civics mandatory not taught or mandatory anymore?

    Civil War fight over states rights teach us nothing and meaning of E Pluribus Unum (out of many one, many states one govt. many ideas one, many different ideas stand together, lots of different meanings beyond the literal)

    Those differences that might keep us apart and even tear us apart are what DOES make us strong. We are a federated republic of INDEPENDENT states after all.

    Over reaching govt is one of many grievances we had with King George after all.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  34. John

    You Guys stated that the Feds Draw in and usurp States rights when the State finds itself in a budget crisis. Here is the thing ,Where is the Fed getting the money it loans the States ?
    Could it be that it is revenue collected from the States sent to the Feds and then only returned to the State with conditoins that the State has to follow in order to get its own tax dollars back ? So whose money is it anyhow ? The Fed does not produce anything to make money ,so where else can it come from ?

    July 31, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  35. Thomas

    Why didn't these state politicians protest for states' rights during the Bush Administration? Because the list of states reveals that they are predominantly or exclusively Republican states governed by extreme right wing politicians looking to score points now that there is a Democratic President and Congress. Ironically, the Bush Administration coopted a lot of what I'd consider "states' rights" during its 8 years in power – where were these protesters then? These people can't accept the rules of our democracy and look to re-write them after they lost so badly in the 2008 election. CNN – you should show the list of states and their red-blue state status as of the last election so that the people of this country can see where this "movement" is coming from.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  36. Glen Lawson

    If states want to "trump" the Feds, then they better expect to cover all their own costs. It would look ridiculous to watch states "trump" the Fed then in the same sentence ask them to funding their roads. If you want to act as a souverin state, then you should be ready to increase your state tax about 25% to make up the loss of Fed support. Bottom line, they need each other and there can only be compromise with bias on the Fed's side, since they are the ones taxing citizens more than states. They got the bigger financial support.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  37. Pamela Pommer

    State's right is an outdated concept. The world is flat. We are in a global economy. How can we survive, let alone thrive, with a provincial mindset? Just as we have a national defense system, we need national educational standards to compete with the world. Same with many laws and benefits, like health care.

    Funny how these "states rights" people didn't have a problem with the recently defeated bill that would have allowed people to carry their guns across boarders to state's that didn't allow conceal and carry.

    What else, but the federal government, has the power to protect and assist its citizens in this global, flat world??

    July 31, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  38. Melanie

    As long as the purpose of this is truly just to "put the government on notice" then I see no issue with the entire ordeal.

    When it comes to the point where states are truly trying to obtain power that outranks that of the federal government, I think we have a problem. Although no one could accurately argue that the federal government is an infallible governing body, it is the unifying overriding force that makes us a single unit. The powers of the federal government were allotted to it for the purpose of maintaining a single law, process, program, or procedure in all states.

    While all states are focusing on the 10th amendment, it is important to remember that all facets of our government change with time. We are constantly setting precedents, changing presiding viewpoints, creating new programs, etc. There is no reason why this issue can't bring about positive conversation about what needs to be changed about the way we allocate our powers of government.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  39. reid

    the States wish freedom from the Fed yes? how about we let the states handle their own affairs sink or swim. no subsidies, no federal aid programs, no disaster relief aid. police force in trouble. your on your own. tornado rip through your neighbourhoods. you don't need FEMA. the state will handle it. how about you all field your own standing armies also. and all that Socalist medicine. just get rid of it. no one needs a government run program. good bye medicaid and medicare. truly the american ppl these days LOVE to whine and complain and be party to the highest levels of hypocrisy. so if you all want states rights..i say the Feds give it to those that want them. and then leave them to it. SINK OR SWIM.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  40. sonny smith

    We fought a war to get rid of a tyrant 5000 miles away just to install one 500 miles away. In the 1860s we fought another war to end slavery and to limit the powers of the federal gov.We ended slavery for the black man and enslaved EVERYBODY with our new master in DC
    sonny smith,North Carolina

    July 31, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  41. Kris-H

    The answer to the question is obvious and I'm happy to see the States going back to the Constitution. Our Founders would roll in their graves if they knew we were even debating this issue. Those who question it simply don't know our history. The US DOES NOT (SHOULD NOT) HAVE A STRONG CENTRAL GOV'T. That is the purpose for the final bill in the Bill of Rights. The Federal Gov't never had this much power until they started collecting income taxes. Now they stick there nose into Chuck Schumer's anti-text-messaging bill. CLEARLY NOT WITHIN THE FEDS RESPONSIBILITY!!
    Please people, all we have to do is read the Constitution!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  42. Nick

    Sorry, my message was sent before I had the chance to complete it. To continue: Our country is called The United States Of America, NOT The Independant States Of America!! When States Break Laws and Hurt their people it is the Federal Government's Responsibility to take charge even with military force if necessary to see that a State is not allowed to hurt or trample on the American People's Constitutional Rights and Freedoms! Especially the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 14th Amendments of our great constitution!! President Obama was 100% correct in his comments about what happen to Professor Gates and why he backpeddled and is now inviting the cop over for Tea and Crumpets at the White House is beyond me!! That cop was wrong!! How can you arrest a person from breaking into their own house??!!! That is freakin Stupid!! The President Is Correct!!!! The only thing the Professor did that was wrong was mentioning racism; this had nothing to do with racism is has to do with a Severe Violation of Professor Gates Right To Free Speech. He has every right to say whatever the hell he wants to that cop as long as he does not threaten that cop. Professor Gates was unjustly arrested and he should sue the cop, the police department, and the city for False Arrest, False Imprisonment, Duress, Assult from getting hands put on him by the police; all on the grounds of the breaking the law of our Great Constitution by that cop in trumping the Professors First Amendment Right to Freedom Of Speech!!!! President Bush covertly put laws into place allowing the cops to get away with practically anything they want to and taking down whoever they don't like! Where in our great constitution does it say that a cop has any greater or dictative power over an American Citizen!! America is not America anymore; it is quickly becoming a Police State and on its way to dictatorship and communism!! I don't have a problem with good cops who do their job properly and treat the American People with respect, but I do have a problem with the bad cops who think they are GOD just because they have a badge pinned to their chest!! And its not just professor Gates, Americans all over this country are being abused by the Police!; and the Federal Government has got to put an end to this garbage!!!! That is just one of many reasons why the Federal Government MUST remain the highest in the balance of power in our country!! We need a new branch of the Federal Government Called CFTC which means Cops For The Cops!! Old Ladies Get Harrassed and Tasered, A Deaf Man gets Harrassed and Tasered, even an Ambulance Driver gets harrassed and molested by the police, meanwhile the sick victim in the Ambulance could have died because of having no regaurd by the cop about her. The job of the police is to serve and protect, not to HARRASS AND BELITTLE. We pay them, they don't pay us!! President Obama is now the Chief Law Enforcment Officer in this Country and he MUST put a stop to the abuses, misconduct, and dictatorship of many of the police in this country. The terrorists unfortunately won! Thus we should bring all our troops home. Why, because instead of just the terrorists being watched, the Patriot Act has become evil in allowing police in invade people's privacy! They are watching us with camera's, spy sattilites (sorry, I probably mis-spelled that), listening to our phone conversations and being recorded when you make phone calls. All sneaky and without the American People's Concent!! America is suppose to be the land of Freedom; well, not anymore! Because in a land of freedom you are not being watched by "Big Brother"! George Orwell in his book 1984 got it correct, he just picked the wrong year!! If the Federal Government doesn't protect the American Citizens from Police Dictatorship then My GOD, who will??!!! This isn't about race, the white people also get harrassed, intimidated and jailed by the cops!! Its not a Race Issue, its a cop dictatorship issue!! No wonder so many people today walk around with a chip on their shoulder and have attitudes; its because their freedoms are being taken away and people are becoming afraid that even if they look at somebody the wrong way that they will get arrested for it!! This Garbage has got to stop!! President Obama could have been a hero for the American People!!, until he backed down to the cops!! That's when his approval rating fell through the roof and went down the drain!! Too many Americans are afraid to speak up about the police and their abuse of the American People for fear that they themselves will get arrested. And if you feel that I'm incorrect about this, then research for yourself the fact that almost everyday if not everyday there is yet another report of police abusing American Citizens. Bad Cops should be put in Federal Prison and see how they like being caged up like an animal!! The police have too much power in this country and the Federal Government MUST do something to stop this ongoing police dictatorship! Thus, my answer about States Rights over the Federal Government; ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I just hope that someday you yourself do not become a victim of the police before you realize that what I'm speaking about is the truth!! Professor Gates is not a Racist Issue, its a Civil Rights and Police Dictatorship Issue!! Take Good Care of Yourself and thank-you for reading this message of which is coming directly from my heart. The Press also can do its part by not being afraid to continually report every police abuse against the American Citizens as they occur. We must regain our freedoms in this country so that once again America become America and not a Police Dictatorship. Thank-You again. Incidentally, I am not a criminal, nor do I have a criminal record; I just don't like seeing what is happening to my fellow Americans by way too many of the police throughout this once great country of freedom. Freedom that which is quickly becoming a dinosaur. The police have cameras in their cars, well, the American Citizens need to have cameras in our cars!! They shouldn't be watching us, we should be watching them!!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  43. D.Gaines

    Simply put, NO! reason is that some states themselves disagree about the civil rights and other laws that that FED. has imposed on all states to ensure that there is equality throughout this union. And yes this is the UNITED STATES not american states!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  44. Al

    What about Indian rights? We made treaties with the US government, and because of US government power. We did not and will not accept state rule.

    Here in South Dakota, the Indian Population would categorically reject states rights.

    If there must be a breakdown of who is in charge, we would look to Tribal Rights before states rights. This would cross states boundaries and cause regional break-ups or Regional rule.

    Even I as a less than full-blooded Indian would follow the lead of the Tribes for regional rule before I would submit to state rule.

    I want the US government to treat me just like the rest of the country, and not to be under the dominance of a White-Farmer-controlled state government

    July 31, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  45. Horace

    The states' rights argument smells of the same divisive flavors that brought about the civil war and echoes of the mean spirited attitudes of the Republican south. I would be willing to bet that the 5 of the 7 states are from the south with Texas (my state) leading the charge. It is sad that the same old mean spirited attitudes still exist in the south and has bad implications across the board for all of us. Hopefully, those liberals and moderates that are in control will not succumb to the mean spirited and political attacks that are still pervasive in the "dirty south." There is no feeling of goodwill, sharing and thought for the well being of others in these groups. They represent the very "me" attitude of greed and selfishness that brought about the economic collapse that we are in now.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  46. Chad A. Craig

    Over the years, many people have postulated that Texas should secede, so it's no surprise that Texans are so loud on the issue. That Palin is speaking out about Alaska's self-governance, however, is laughable. Alaska receives more federal dollars than it contributes, and as governor, Palin herself requested many of those funds. Like a child, Palin wants the money without the responsibility. We are beyond the days of small government, because we have to be. Large national governments are necessary for our information systems, banking and credit systems, international travel and mail, and many other realities of our modern lives... amenities very few people are willing to live without. It's a trade-off, and it's a good one. The U.S.A. needs a strong federal system.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  47. Robert

    Some states have made some bad decisions and maybe for the people sake the government should trump states rights. Times have changes since the 10 amendment was written into the constitution. If it were'nt for the government Alaska would'nt survive for 6 months.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  48. Steve P.

    We need to read our Constitution. The powers of the Federal government are clearly stated and all other powers fall to the states or the people. In the past century the federal government has used the power of the purse to over reach its powers. The fed has thrown its weight into areas such as speed limits and education that have traditionally been the realm of more local jurisdiction. As a teacher I can only say that the involvement of the fed has only added paperwork and headaches w/o improving anything; indeed, things are actually getting dramatically worse. The best schools in this country are those where the parents are involved and the government isn't, unfortunately they are all private!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  49. james s lenon

    What size city has rights that are superior to a state's?

    This idiocy should have died with the Civil War and tha advent of modern communications skills.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  50. Douglas Wicks

    The states aren't the "children" they're the parents The federal government is but a creation of the states -remember it was created by a convention of state delegates and only became active upon ratification [acceptance] of 3/4 of the states The preamble-we the people of the united STATES confirms it is the states that created to federal government not the other way around.

    congress tramples on the states in too many instances particularly in the instances of entitlements. There is no authorization for federal healthcare in the constitution

    July 31, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  51. Joseph

    This is no different than what Luther protested about in 1517...the whole US is based upon the premise that no one should "tell me what to do" The Feds represent the power of Rome, the states are the Protestants..."demanding liberty to interpret the bible (constitution) and only it should be our "sola scriptura"

    July 31, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  52. Sean Palmer

    Is this even a question? Last I checked, the Constitution, ratified by all of the states, the so-called "Law of the Land," says that States rights trump Federal rights. Our founders, in their wisdom and foresight, understood how a strong central government could impose its will through tyranny and oppression – that's why the 10th Amendment was added in the first place! If you really want your rights as a citizen trampled upon, continue to allow the Federal government push states around with blanket solutions to complex problems.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  53. joe

    I think there is a secret republican plan to dissolve the U.S.A., even though they claim they are patriots, they just are hypocritical bible thumpers. Republican governors are like little kids having childish fits. If we left the country to republican control, everyone else in the world would hate us, we would be broke, and america would have 50 new countries.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  54. Jovan

    Only if certain criteria is met should states' rights trump the federal government rights. In the states that are considering such resolutions right now, that criteria is NOT met. Wanting states' rights because of false economic concerns like taxes DOES NOT meet this criteria.

    Conversely, passing a states' rights resolution because the federal government is banning abortion DOES meet the criteria, since by banning abortion, the federal government is controlling people's lives.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  55. Vernon Cole

    The smaller the government the better the government. That is a fact of life and allowing the states to govern themselves is better than having people thousands of miles from those states to govern them. Small local government is even better than the states governing those local communities. Having the family to govern themselves is even better than having the city govern them.

    States rights just makes for common sense.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  56. Allen


    July 31, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  57. Steve Freeze

    Bet you don't air this comment. Apparently many of your audience need a lesson in Government 101. Read the Constitution. State's right's trump Federal regs period!!!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  58. Allen

    OF COURSE State's should trump the federal government. This is clearly laid out in the 10th Amendment. Where do people get off thinking it's OK to just squander the Constitution? And we wonder why our country is in a mess today. And to say this is equivalent to asking the child to be the parent... It sounds like a good analogy, but you have it backwards. The Federal govt is supposed to BE the child.

    We are slowly growing into a similar reign of King George; the VERY thing our founders fought so hard to get AWAY FROM!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  59. Kelly T.

    Didn't we already have a war about states rights... called the "Civil War"? ...and didn't the "Union" win???

    July 31, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  60. Craig ONeil

    State's rights are key to our union. Our way of life was founded on limited federal government. States must retain all rights not expressly given to the federal government. The comment about us being the united states of america not the divided states of america and the comment about parents and children are ill informed. We are united under a federal government for the purpose of infrastructure and the waging of war. Many items outside that (such as the department of education) is clearly in violation of that. Keep the money and the decision at the state level where it impacts the people directly.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  61. mary Bryant

    If they are worried about States Rights then we should not send Texas any money, I believe that for every dollar sent to Washington Texas gets back $1.84, not even the stock market provide that type of return. Perry is just a windbag.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  62. Will

    You may notice that those in favor of states rights are Republican (Perry, Palin). I believe that proves they are not team players and want to tear this nation apart rather than pull their weight and work together to make America a better nation for all. Without the Feds we would be living under boss politicians and lynchings like prior to 1960's.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  63. David from WI

    OK this isn't the perfect thread but seems OK to comment on what HLS chief just said on CNN.

    My cynicism and experience can't me from thinking that the DHLS independent specal investigation group (what ever she called it) will come to the SAME conclusion that the last DHLS found out but the admin will SPIN It to say THEY came up with it or 'show' how the last guys were wrong.

    I hate politics sometimes but arrogance elites snobs more, Give me a middle of the isle Dem or GOP or any GOP (sorry my bias, don't change things and break things to make it better, but only discover you make the system WORSE after) .. to any far left Dem (they seem nuts and I keep remember reading 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World when I was a teen and again and again over the years.

    Read what the socialist Orwell (Blair?) himself later said what those books meant (A Huxley BNW not included of course)

    I would rather be ignored by the GOP then used and looked down to by the left any day.

    July 31, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  64. Bernadette Loesch

    It figures that someone from Texas would be crying out for states rights over the Federal Government! This state has more oil barons who want to protect their rights and keep their money! How dare they!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  65. mary

    You asked:
    States Rights OVER Fed ? Absolutely YES – per the Constitution!

    The Fed is out of control and has been enacting so many unconstitutional Fed Depts and Bills for some time and we the people have allowed it due to the fact most are totally ignorant of American history , the Constitution and their rights. We are waking up and demanding our rights per the Conastitution before they destroy America as we know it.!

    July 31, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  66. Robert Davis

    Some of our excessive insurance/ health care cost can be attributed to the fact that each state has different rules, laws and requirements. So much for states rights!

    July 31, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  67. Wren

    Considering that this country was founding in blood and battles and has known nothing but war every since. That the only time our troops have had to actually protect the people of this country is when the people of this country went to war against its self. No this is not new at all.

    What is new is the ability of the people and the Government to shift blame onto others, to instill fear, its paralysis on rational thought and replace it with such barbaric mindless hate and then find a way to coat it over with words like "its our right, Christianity, Democracy".

    This young country knows too much killing and not enough humility and humanity. It knows too many fear and torture and not enough kindness and peace. It knows only name calling because it cannot logically calmly sit and talk through an issue. Too long this country has been given the idea it can and will get its way.

    What once made this country great became lost in ego's and corporations. Where once the people had voice and sway over their senate and congress, now we are the under their spell of what ever "they" say we follow and believe. We no longer hold the power of deciding if they have crossed a line and need to be removed for misuse of power. We handed over the controls and the keys. We gave Democracy away for laziness and for a chance at the gold ring of wealth.

    Every country within their three hundred years of evolution have had at least one or two revolutions. This country has not had one yet, as France the Government let the people starve so they could get richer, the real people and workers of this country will eventually tire and maybe show who is and was suppose to be in charge and behind every move made by the leaders in Washington D.C.

    Having the most weapons and the most nukes, does not make a great country. Being able to talk and find a common line, a basic good for all no matter how a select few stomp their feet like two year old's, using one's head and not an army of armed men to end a debate is what makes a country great and respected.

    But this country is no where near being great, it is still in the teen years of being nothing but a bully, and God knows it has that down so very well. State legislatures are no better than Government, they are just more local and more corruptible.

    Oscar Wilde said once "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between" We have yet to try civilization, maybe because it takes to much work and working with others to closely. But this is what marks this country as it is now. How people can actually wonder why others see this country in another light is always perplexing because it is so very obvious but then I have never worn rose colored glasses to hide the lies and mislead myself from the truth, even from the country I live in. Shame others need to hide from it though.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  68. Dean

    In April of 1865, America's bloodiest war settled that issue. This concept of "States' Rights" is archaic as the racial undertones it implies.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  69. CLiff Avant

    States DO trump the Federal government!! The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution says that all powers not specifically given to the Federal government in the U.S.Constitution are give to the states and the people!! Health Care, Bailouts, education, etc. – not an expressed power to the federal government. We are so involved with the blessings of our liberties granted by the Constitution that we are allowing our ignorance of the U.S. Constitution to threaten those liberties.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  70. Kathy

    I think your question should be..."what does the CONSTITUTION say about states rights vs. federal rights?" The federal government has always been set up to be an "aide" to the states, not the "parent" as another comment stated. States have let the federal government become the "dictator" and not the "aide". It is more probable that we will actually be represented when the governing is closer to home and the people representing us see us more often.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  71. Matt Brennecke

    The framers never meant for the Federal Government to be the monstrosity it has become.

    Look at the Tenth Amendment: 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.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  72. Jackie

    The nice thing about the freedoms of our citizenship is that it is written down. We don't need a poll or to debate, The 10th Amendment states that all powers not given to the federal government is reserved for the ststes. For too long, songress has been adding so-called services which are really not in the scope of their duties. Now we have 20% of the population's liberal ideas trying to usurp the liberties of the other 80% who are either moderate or conservative. Get the federal government down to size before we are European!

    July 31, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  73. Wendy Dembeck

    We no longer have "statesmen/women" (pc) for whom the country is the first concern or who have steeped themselves in the study of how and why our country was formed and how we wanted a limited federal government so we would not repeat the errors which caused people to flee across to this country. Well, our Federal Government, by taking states' rights away from us (because it takes so much of our money in taxes) and we are making many of the same mistakes.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  74. pinny

    The feds shol stay out of our business. let states be states and let citizen's enjoy their life – until a RIPE OLD AGE.

    "lite BUD" out Obama

    July 31, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  75. Ellery May

    "Reserved for the States or the People" places the responsibility for Duties in the Preamble with the People and the States if they are capable and competent. If they are unwilling to perform their duty the "necessary and proper clause" kicks in after Quarantine fails to isolate the "Rot" from spreading to the whole nation. States Rights overrides "the People as the fountain of Power" : Madison Aug 1787 The State legislatures have ignored the boundaries established by the source of Power for 200 hundred years: bankrupting the Nation Again!!!

    July 31, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  76. Larry Chandler

    Sorry, I am not use to typing in the little window for this comment? I had two lines reversed. Here I will try again.

    I am amazed that you in the "free press" so critical to living in a "free" country don't see or talk about the scary link between "states' rights" and a strong central federal government as a step to dictatorship?

    What has every dictator (Hitler, Stalin, Putin, Chavez, Kim, etc. done first, they all got rid of the press and the first step is to scare the press [or just swoon them :)] into submission (Pravada).

    Individual rights have made America great...our founding fathers knew that individuals must bond together to accomplish large tasks (currency, defense, roads & bridges) an individual can't accomplish alone...but only just big enough. Power corrupts and total power corrupts totally.

    Govt officials, once elected, can take $ from some and give it to their favorite groups who then keep them elected. At the local & state level people can see it and stop it...much harder to do far away in DC? Once power is centralized in a strong federal government, it is much harder to do…far away in DC? Please return to being a critical free press. You are our only hope to stop the over-centralization of power into the hands of a very few.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  77. Diane - St. Louis MO

    In regards to the States passing bills to reaffirm sovereinty, this "rapid pace" can't be rapid enough for me! Why? Because of the quickening pace the government has jumped to in its intrusion of trying to control all aspects of our lives. People are finally beginning to wake up and see what the government is doing to them, and this time, the States truly do need to speed up the pace of trying to hold back big gov't...because this could be our last opportunity. Just can the gov't rationalize throwing tax payers' money at Wall Street (which the majority of people never wanted in the first place) over & over again...knowing that these companies are going to always continue throwing the taxpayers' money away by turning around and handing it over to their CEO's? The government is showing that it does not care what the people think. Congress needs to be cleaned up thoroughly and something has to be done soon or the downfall of America will have fallen so low that there never will be a "free United States of America" ever again. (Does that sound irrational???)

    P.S. One way to get America out of this mess is to actually rid ourselves of the non-governmental Federal Reserve! Without the F.R., the small number of people who run the country would finally be banished...and we could all live the way our founding fathers had intended for us to live! Hmmm...1913 was the beginning of our demise...the year the Federal Reserve was created.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  78. Ellery May

    The State constitutions place the Judiciary and the Executive under the control of the democratic part of State government: this nullifies the Constitution without federal intervention. State legislative preferences have accumulated to a debt crisis as competitive pressures have been nullified for some and barriers to entry have blocked new entrants. States Rights has bankrupted the Nation again. States Rights is a sovereign risk debt forgiveness play by the State legislatures. Texas last tried this one in 1861.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  79. Kim in Virginia

    Some of those same states calling for states' rights seem to forget the rights of localities. They are the masters at passing on their unfunded mandates...sounds like a federal trait to me.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  80. Larry Chandler

    I am amazed that you in the "free press" so critical to living in a "free" country don't see or talk about the scary link between "states' rights" and a strong central federal government as a step to dictatorship?

    What has every dictator (Hitler, Stalin, Putin, Chavez, Kim, etc. done first, they all got rid of the press and the first step is to scare the press [or just swoon them :)] into submission (Pravada).

    Individual rights have made America great...our founding fathers knew that individuals must bond together to accomplish large tasks (currency, defense, roads & bridges) an individual can't accomplish alone...but only just big enough. Power corrupts and total power corrupts totally.

    Govt officials, once elected, can take $ from some and give it to their favorite groups who then keep them elected. At the local & state level people can see it and stop it...much harder to do far away in DC? Once power is centralized in favorite groups who then keep them elected. At the state level people can see it and stop it...much harder to do far away in DC? Once power is centralized in states. Please return to being a critical free press. You are our only hope to stop the over-centralization of power into the hands of a very few.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  81. David from WI

    How about open some of those dealers that were forced to shut down? Seems Americans want to buy American after all???

    Another white house, mis read? I am a little sick of this whole crap even if it is good news.

    Not sooo smart after all? AGAIN

    States rights all the way I am starting to think MORE AND MORE.

    Don’t tread on Us.

    Could those tea protesters been that far off after all you think (read the bill over reaching arrogant seeming self omniscient fed?)

    (Sorry just to lazy this morning to type it twice)

    July 31, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  82. Robert Roser

    This is just a rehash of the discredited Kentucky Resolutions of Jefferson and the "theories" of John C. Calhoun who postulated how much slaves loved working in the cotton fields. Through most of American history "states rights" was a euphomism for slavery and segretation and the right of the states to screw over anyone they did not like.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:04 am |
  83. Pat

    I am not a state, I am a person. In the argument of state’s rights versus federal rights, individual freedom is almost always forgotten. From what I have seen, state and local governments are just as likely to abuse personal rights and freedoms as the federal government (if not more so).

    The next time you see politicians at the state level arguing for state rights, maybe you would be best served to stand up and argue for personal rights.

    July 31, 2009 at 7:02 am |
  84. Stephen

    The enumerated powers given to the Federal Government in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the Unites States are limited. This is the only power the Federal Government has. All other powers, unless prohibited by the Constitution, are reserved to the States, or the People. It doesn't get any clearer than this. There is no question. There is no debate.

    The Federal Government is out of control. The only way to fix the mess the Federal Government has gotten us into is to put the Federal Government back inside the box drawn around it by the Constitution.

    The States and the People must start holding Congress accountable for their actions by voting them out of office when they pass legislation repugnant to the Constitution, or the People!

    July 31, 2009 at 7:02 am |
  85. Rick Ramos

    States' rights, huh! Let's think about that and ask a few questions.
    1. How many Americans would still lack elecricity? Remember, it was a federal project during the Great Depression that channelled electricity to much of rural America!
    2. How many women would lack the franchise (the right to vote)? Remember it was a Federal Constitutional Amendment that guaranteed that right to ALL women.
    3. How many workers would still be working on machinery lacking safety guards, or with no or ineffective safety equipment? Remember in most cases it is OSHA that puts those safety requirements in place.
    4. Roads? Where would the Interstate System not reach essentially cutting off much of the nation from safe and efficient highway networks? It was the Federal Interstate Highway project of the 50s/60s that linked the nation in the way we are accustomed to.
    5. What about food safety? As bad as our food safety is, how much worse would it be without the FDA? What about the safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs? Nope much of that regulation would be lacking under the concept of states' rights, endangering how many Americans.
    6. And the big one for today! In how many states would slavery still be a legal institution? Nope, the states didn't end the institution in the United States, but Federal law did that.
    Sure many will say, but we wouldn't do that in Texas, Oklahoma, etc. But, the reason we can discuss Federal intrusion in education today is because the feds have already eliminated slavery, guaranteed women the right to vote, put in what was once the world's best highway system, brought electricity to nearly everyone, and ensured worker and food safety. States' rights? Poppycock!

    July 31, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  86. Ellery May

    Ask one of the passionate demonstrators when he last read the Constitution of the United States. Where is the "no preference in commerce clause"? Duhhh!

    What did the people "agree to" by the Preamble?? Confused???

    July 31, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  87. Ellery May

    My Post cna be verified by reading Max Farrand's three volume set of the "Records to the Federal Convention of 1787. The change in sovereignty was the check and balance placing the People as the source of Power: State legislative aristocracies had proven their worth.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  88. t tate

    If it wasnt for Federal intervention....George Wallaces stand at the Univerisity of Alabama could have been a major set back in the civil rights movement, if not an end to it all together.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:55 am |
  89. Maria

    While states rights are important and protected by the 10th amendment. The Supremacy clause supercedes individual state laws on issues that involve National interests where the Federal Gov. has determined a course of action for the common good. We need to stand united as a nation on these issues and we can not have rogue states deciding to go their own way whenever they feel like it. That would be detramental to our nation.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:53 am |
  90. Malcolm

    I think this is simply the states reaction to the rapidly increasing powers of the federal government. The feds are taking more control over every aspect of the state governments, from taxes to health care, by giving themselves powers not specifically authorized by the constitution. It's just a natural reaction that the states will try to regain their rights before they're permanently lost. And it is nothing new considering the history and structure of the United States to prevent all forms of tyranny.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:52 am |
  91. t tate

    To tie a couple issues together...everyone is screaming state sovereignty, Why? Because you cant justly tell me what to do in my own house. Being a husband and father i can understand where everyone is coming from. But being a black i only ask this, All those screaming sovereignty, sovereignty from unjust this or unjust...these are the same people who dont seem understand why the professor got upset when someone came into his home. Then being arrested because he "got loud" with an officer.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:51 am |
  92. Catherine Williams

    We are, in fact, the UNITED States of America. As fifty very sovreign states that are separate, different, and unequal in budgets and policies, I don't think we could rank highly in the global economy. The Federal government is the glue that binds us and, in many cases, keeps us from succumbing to the lunatic fringe.

    I believe this is happening at a rapid pace because many people seem to become less intelligent during times of high stress. They need to blame someone for the economic crisis. Let the persons in those states turn to their state governments for unemployment assistance, Social Security insurance, education, and roads to transport their food. Their populations may decrease as an uneducated population starves.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:50 am |
  93. Leonard Davenport

    Powers not delegated to the United States ... are reserved to ,,, the people. States rights advocates choose to leave out that key phrase, "or to the people". "States rights" were used to preserve slavery, discrimination, and many other immoral practices, "The people" have always been for universal health care, and to the surprise of many, are now even for single payer health care. A larger majority of professionals in health care are for single payer. Use the 10th ammendment to grant that basic right to all Americans.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  94. Bill

    I would suggest you read the new book by Jon Meachem on Andrew Jackson to see the history of this issue. Also read the constitution. The state's relinquished rights to the federal government and greedily took money from the federal government for the last 75 years at least. The current balance of power in favor of the feds is as a result in large measure of the states failure to address issues. Many issues are not state or local, they are national and require national solutions – energy, health care, education. To continue the disparity between states that now exists is unfair to our citizens. Just because you are born in Mississippi should not condemn you to a lesser life than that of Maryland or Massachussetts.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  95. Tim

    Asking if states' rights trump fed's rights is like asking if your children's rights trump the parents'. Many of the states who rejected the stimulus money or any other form of federal assistance are run by Republicans who are trying to make a political point at the expense of the residents. I don't think there really are states yet in this country designated as political havens. It seems to be on the way there sometimes, though, i.e. red versus blue states. Someone needs to police the politicians. Take, for example, any of Obama's initiatives. He is trying to change and repair the system for the good of everyone. Gee whiz, it this just a Democratic strategy? To be for everyone? I find it suspiscious when every Republican in Congress votes against him.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  96. Madeline Cheers

    "Any government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it all away." Thomas Jefferson

    No one has ever said it better.

    The problem with federal governments of all sorts is that they are always run by people who are motivated by the quest for power and in reality only have their own self interest at heart, it's just their nature. Therefore, the influence and actual power of such people must be limited in order to protect the rest of us from their ambitions.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:44 am |
  97. Ellery May

    The fountain of Power is from the People: The State legislatures had bankrupted the Nation by 1787: That ended States Rights and State Sovereignty. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 changed the Sovereignty to the People with the Peoples' ratification and notification from Conventions of the People: The People set the boundaries for both Central and State, the State Legislatures have ignored their Oaths and oppressed their residents for 200 years. Confused???

    July 31, 2009 at 6:44 am |
  98. Richard Croker

    Interesting piece - but neglected to mention a few minor details. The Civil War...Brown v. Board of Education...Voting Rights Act...the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. It's a complicated issue that has evolved over the centuries.....
    Just sayin'.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:37 am |
  99. Leslie McCloud

    State's Rights within reason. I don't expect state's rights to trample on my Civil Rights.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:35 am |
  100. Vernon

    Why? It's simple - the average US citizen has become powerless. The Media has turned into propaganda machines; Congress has turned a deaf hear to the people; and the President works quickly and tirelessly to turn America into a Socialist State.

    July 31, 2009 at 6:19 am |
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