Thursday, June 04, 2009

States Rights Revisited

There is a growing movement afoot called the Patrick Henry Caucus. If you read my blog with any kind of regularity then you know I advocate a smaller fed and a more independent state. And, within my state of Texas I like our state government and it's general relationship with the local government. Nothings perfect, but it is a dang sight better than the Fed/State relationship.

A group of State Legislators appeared on Mike Church's talk radio show and advocated getting together and creating "Tenth Amendment Resolutions". One of his guests, a Dr. Kevin Gutzman, author of Who Killed the Constitution? suggested that ten or fifteen states band together and simultaneously introduce legislation to say "We are not taking any Federal funding related to the No Child Left Behind law."

I like the idea. But something was nagging at me. So, I double checked my own trusty Constitution. Look at Art I, Sec 10. I think that Dr. Gutzmans' idea would be invalidated by the courts. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

The part I am concerned with is the "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress,...enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State".

I'm a literal minded guy. So I read that exactly as written. No one can tell me that it is to be interpreted to apply to military actions either since the "lay any duty..." is in there. But since I am not (don't tell my wife) perfect all opinions would be welcomed.


  1. It's Kevin Gutzman, not Carl Guzman.

  2. Fixed it. My apologies. I don't know where I got Carl from. Late at night I begin to go brain dead.

  3. Peg...are you familiar w/ the Declaration of of the Principles of Liberty?