Saturday, March 12, 2011
States' Rights versus Federal Rights
New conservatives need to end the tired old debate of state versus federal rights.
States’ rights versus federal’s rights have always been a strategy to circumvent the law of the land. The old conservatives have argued in favor of states being allowed to make laws contrary to the federal government, because they thought they could build a majority in their state that would support whatever issue they wanted to pass or repeal.
This has always been bad political practice, but they argue that they have been anti “this” or “that” based purely on the issue of states’ rights. For example, many older conservatives still argue against civil rights because they say it violated their state’s rights to choose. Was that really the issue or did they oppose civil rights and use the states’ right issue as cover?
If the states’ were to side with same sex marriage advocates, then would hard core right wingers accept same sex marriage or would they fight it through the federal government?
In true form, the federal government makes standard laws that everyone must adhere to, but state and local government can strengthen those laws in their particular geographic area. However, the state or local government cannot make laws that are contrary to the federal laws. For instance, if the federal law says, “No property taxes can be levied against the people”, then no state or local government can make a property tax. They might be capable of creating a sales tax if no federal law prevented them.
Another instance might be on food safety. The federal law might mandate a certain level of protection. A state or local government could not go below that standard but they could exceed it. In other words, they could strengthen the federal law which is the baseline.