Richardson: Our ‘inmates’ are doing their duty - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

Richardson: Our ‘inmates’ are doing their duty

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Bill Richardson

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013 7:49 am | Updated: 1:47 pm, Tue Oct 14, 2014.

In Mike McClellan’s guest commentary in the AFN on Feb. 15 (“The inmates do indeed run Ariz.’s asylum”), he ridicules three state lawmakers for proposing legislation that would “require Arizona judges and law enforcement to act in an unconstitutional manner” because the federal government has “supremacy” over gun laws.

It’s truly sad that we don’t understand our own history. With only a modest amount of effort one can understand the timeless principles upon which our country was founded. Do we even know what happened from 1750 to 1790?

The Constitution was drafted in 1787 during the course of vigorous debate and it was ratified in 1789. It formed the entity that we call the “Federal Government.” But what we’ve forgotten is that we have a “federal system” of government. The Constitution created a national government that was supposed to share power with the existing state governments. The national government was to represent the states and govern primarily in foreign affairs. The states were to govern primarily in domestic affairs, within their respective state boundaries.

During ratification, there was another national debate: whether a bill of rights should be added. Some felt strongly that the Constitution was sufficiently clear that the powers delegated to the national government were limited. Others, however, insisted that the limitations be even more clearly articulated in a Bill of Rights.

The very nature of this debate from 1787 to 1789 continues and is the primary difference between liberals and conservatives today: is the United States Government limited by the enumerated powers in the Constitution or not?

Fortunately for us, those who insisted on a Bill of Rights were successful and the first 10 amendments were ratified in 1791.

The 10th Amendment is clear: Powers not specifically granted to the national government were retained by the states, or by the people.

Mr. McClellan is correct. The supremacy clause clearly states that the national government is the supreme law of the land. However, the supremacy clause applies only to those powers enumerated in the Constitution.

Here’s an example: The U.S. Constitution grants the national government the power to negotiate treaties with other countries. That’s for the national government to do, NOT the individual states.

What we’ve forgotten is that the states have the right and the duty to push back on the national government when it exceeds its enumerated authority.

In 1798 Thomas Jefferson described this principle in the Kentucky Resolutions, which McClellan refers to in his commentary: “Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”

The proposed legislation applies to “a personal firearm, accessory or ammunition that is owneOur ‘inmates’ are doing their duty

In Mike McClellan’s guest commentary in the AFN on Feb. 15 (“The inmates do indeed run Ariz.’s asylum”), he ridicules three state lawmakers for proposing legislation that would “require Arizona judges and law enforcement to act in an unconstitutional manner” because the federal government has “supremacy” over gun laws.

It’s truly sad that we don’t understand our own history. With only a modest amount of effort one can understand the timeless principles upon which our country was founded. Do we even know what happened from 1750 to 1790?

The Constitution was drafted in 1787 during the course of vigorous debate and it was ratified in 1789. It formed the entity that we call the “Federal Government.” But what we’ve forgotten is that we have a “federal system” of government. The Constitution created a national government that was supposed to share power with the existing state governments. The national government was to represent the states and govern primarily in foreign affairs. The states were to govern primarily in domestic affairs, within their respective state boundaries.

During ratification, there was another national debate: whether a bill of rights should be added. Some felt strongly that the Constitution was sufficiently clear that the powers delegated to the national government were limited. Others, however, insisted that the limitations be even more clearly articulated in a Bill of Rights.

The very nature of this debate from 1787 to 1789 continues and is the primary difference between liberals and conservatives today: is the United States Government limited by the enumerated powers in the Constitution or not?

Fortunately for us, those who insisted on a Bill of Rights were successful and the first 10 amendments were ratified in 1791.

The 10th Amendment is clear: Powers not specifically granted to the national government were retained by the states, or by the people.

Mr. McClellan is correct. The supremacy clause clearly states that the national government is the supreme law of the land. However, the supremacy clause applies only to those powers enumerated in the Constitution.

Here’s an example: The U.S. Constitution grants the national government the power to negotiate treaties with other countries. That’s for the national government to do, NOT the individual states.

What we’ve forgotten is that the states have the right and the duty to push back on the national government when it exceeds its enumerated authority.

In 1798 Thomas Jefferson described this principle in the Kentucky Resolutions, which McClellan refers to in his commentary: “Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”

The proposed legislation applies to “a personal firearm, accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in this state and that remains exclusively within Arizona’s borders.”

Who should have more control over what happens within Arizona’s borders? The state? Or the federal government?

The Civil War is over. But the federal government and the states have been fighting over power since the Constitution was ratified, as was designed by the founders.

Unfortunately, the states have been losing since day one.

Smith, Townsend and Petersen are simply doing their duty. They deserve our respect and our thanks. Not our ridicule.

• CPA Bill Richardson and his wife, Annelle, have lived in Ahwatukee Foothills for more than 17 years. They have four children and one grand-child.d or manufactured commercially or privately in this state and that remains exclusively within Arizona’s borders.”

Who should have more control over what happens within Arizona’s borders? The state? Or the federal government?

The Civil War is over. But the federal government and the states have been fighting over power since the Constitution was ratified, as was designed by the founders.

Unfortunately, the states have been losing since day one.

Smith, Townsend and Petersen are simply doing their duty. They deserve our respect and our thanks. Not our ridicule.

• CPA Bill Richardson and his wife, Annelle, have lived in Ahwatukee Foothills for more than 17 years. They have four children and one grand-child.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Attorney General Forum - Question 2

Attorney General candidates Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini debate at ...

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Attorney General Forum - Question 2

Attorney General candidates Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini debate at ...

Attorney General Forum - Question 5

Attorney General candidates Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini debate at the...

Attorney General Forum - Question 3

Attorney General candidates Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini debate at the...

Online poll

Loading…
prev next