August 6, 2010
If Not Now, When?By Bargain Citizen
In today's America, the federal government can choose to ignore a constitutional responsibility at its whim, even when it results in citizens and states being left vulnerable to foreign invasion. Adding insult to injury, the Feds impound taxes from the injured citizens for the express purpose of providing this contractual protection.
In the matter of securing our borders and dealing with illegal aliens, we have an interesting twist. Washington has long acted beyond the powers granted to it by merely assigning itself additional authority. In this instance, however, the officials in Washington are effectively waiving authority, refusing to do what they are obligated to do per the U.S. Constitution.
Yet inside "The Matrix," where the powers that be in Washington make it up as they go along, the elite ruling class and their media lackeys insist that securing our border is the strict responsibility of the federal government.
According to Eric Holder's Justice Department and U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, whether or not they do so adequately has no bearing on the matter. Regardless of the details within their respective lawsuit and rulings, the bottom line is that Washington maintains that states are powerless to take actions necessary to defend themselves, and so it is.
Someone needs to convince me that this is what the Constitution actually says.
Indeed, the U.S. government's mandate to "provide for the common defense" -- a phrase located in the Constitution's Preamble as well as Article I, Section 8 -- makes clear that the Feds bear a primary responsibility to protect us from foreign sources. Article IV, Section 4 dictates even more succinctly, "The United States ... shall protect each of them [the states] against Invasion[.]"
Obviously, the United States is not fulfilling this obligation. That is no secret. The question at hand is -- are states denied the right to defend themselves?
At least there are still a number of state attorneys general who believe so. In response to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his so-called Justice Department's suit against Arizona SB1070, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox filed a brief on behalf of nine states in support of Arizona's actions.
Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution specifies what individual states are prohibited from doing: making treaties, coining money, etc. In this section, we find the document's clause most directly pertaining to the issue: "No State shall, without the consent of Congress ... engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."
Though states are not at war in the classic or technical sense, they are clearly being invaded. Regardless of whether or not we consider them "at War," it would be difficult to reason that this clause prohibits a state from defending itself.
Note the use of the different forms of the word "invade" in these various passages. Surely, they must be interpreted in the same manner.
If the Feds, on one hand, maintain their authority to secure the border and prohibit illegal immigration is granted by Article IV's guarantee to "protect against invasion," then Article I makes clear that it is not their sole domain to do so. Here, states are granted the same power when "actually invaded."
Further, just how exactly shall we interpret being "invaded," or "in imminent danger" for that matter, and who shall make that determination? Most assuredly, citizens in states along our southern border (and in some states and cities, well beyond the border) have a far different opinion from Washington's.
In sum, it seems that Article I, Section 10 must explicitly provide states the right to act on their own behalf when they are being invaded, or else it does not prohibit them from doing so. The clause would be irrelevant in circumstances other than an official state of war, thus no prohibition otherwise.
This effectively leaves the federal government attempting to convince us that states are not to defend themselves while waiting indefinitely for Washington to determine if they are in "imminent danger."
If we are to accept the current federal government's interpretation on this matter, then federalism is indeed dead. If Washington is to routinely defy the contract which empowers it, where does that leave the states? If this is not a constitutional crises, then what shall we call it?
The federal government has been on a roll for decades, routinely usurping proper authority and effectively running roughshod over the entities (the states) that created it in the first place. However, there is one important component they lack. Now, more than ever, they do not have the people on their side. Poll after poll indicates that they are governing against our will.
Washington has drastically overreached, leaving itself vulnerable to a power shift, perhaps more so than at any other time in our nation's history.
Present circumstances facilitate the opportunity for states to boldly assert their powers. A substantial majority of citizens are solidly behind them on one issue after another, none more so than the issues of securing our borders and illegal immigration.
Just as Jan Brewer and the Arizona legislature have thrown down the gauntlet, so it is time for the next state to step forward and take the matter to the next level. We are living in times which demand bold action. The people are not only ready for it, but they thirst for it.
This is a unique point in history. The time to force the issue of states' rights is now. State leaders have an opportunity to move this debate onto the national stage unlike ever before. Forget all the wishy-washy political calculations and analysis. Such things have long since become secondary.
Besides, not only is a state protecting itself the right thing to do, not only is it constitutional, but right now, it is a winner electorally.
Bargain Citizen is a writer, commentator, voice actor, and videographer. His commentary and videos can be found at the blogsite ramparts360.com.