Today, it is common for people to scoff at the notion of States’ Rights as a deterent to unconstitutional federal powers. That is why we have wasteful and harmful programs such as welfare and the proposed new national health care programs. These type of programs do far more economic damage than good. We have 4th generation people enslaved to the government because resources necessary to support the entitlement lifestyle consume the resources necessary to create a vibrant economy that provides opportunities for all.
Historically, there are many examples of the states over-ruling the federal government. Thomas Woods has identified many of them. In 1850 the federal government passed the Fugitive Slave Act placing run away slaves under the jurisdiction of the feds. Many northern states refused to comply. The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a very telling decision that illuminates the proper constitutional role of the federal and state governments.
A power to regulate commerce is abused, when employed to destroy it; and a manifest and voluntary abuse of power sanctions the right of resistance, as much as a direct and palpable usurpation. The sovereignty reserved to the states, was reserved to protect the citizens from acts of violence by the United States, as well as for purposes of domestic regulation. We spurn the idea that the free, sovereign and independent State of Massachusetts is reduced to a mere municipal corporation, without power to protect its people, and to defend them from oppression, from whatever quarter it comes. Whenever the national compact is violated, and the citizens of this State are oppressed by cruel and unauthorized laws, this Legislature is bound to interpose its power, and wrest from the oppressor its victim.
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