Federalism DIY: Ten Ways for States to Check and Balance Washington
108 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2010 Last revised: 27 Sep 2014
Date Written: November 1, 2010
To secure liberty, this policy report proposes that citizens and legislatures adopt a comprehensive strategy to restore state sovereignty in our compound republic. The report first identifies the proper structural role of state sovereignty in our federalist system. It does so by examining the extent of federal domination of the states, the genesis of the Constitution and the development of current interpretations of that founding document. Then, the key court decisions both displacing and protecting state sovereignty are analyzed to determine how best to position state sovereignty to resist federal overreach. This analysis reveals that a comprehensive strategy can be formulated to revive our system of dual sovereignty through adopting ten tactical tools: 1) enacting state sovereignty legislation backed by strategic litigation; 2) establishing taxpayer courts to enforce dual sovereignty based on taxpayer standing; 3) enacting state sovereignty civil rights laws; 4) establishing constitutional defense councils; 5) enforcing coordination rights enjoyed by state and local governments in existing federal statutes; 6) enacting laws that interdict federal power by forcing the federal government into a position where it must commandeer the states in order to deploy or enforce federal laws; 7) enacting laws devolving power back to the people by depriving state and local officials of the power needed to implement federal policies; 8) engaging in strategic litigation and enacting laws to limit or eliminate the power of state officials to accept conditional federal grants; 9) restoring the Constitution through initiating the state-based amendments convention process; and 10) resisting federal overreach through interstate compacts that coordinate the adoption of the foregoing tactics, define and secure individual rights, carve-out entire regions from the reach of federal regulations, and redesign federal programs.
Keywords: state sovereignty, tenth amendment, eleventh amendment, article v, interstate compact, federalism, litigation, liberty, policy report, federal health care plan
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