Skip to comments.Is a "constitutionalist" only a constitutionalist over 1 constitution? Or over all 51 constitutions?
Posted on 05/03/2020 4:10:03 PM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
In the past few weeks, I have heard two or perhaps three interviews with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and I think the most impressive thing I have heard her say(she has said many impressive things) repeatedly is not just that she swore an oath to defend and uphold the United States Constitution, but also her State constitution.
I find this to be extremely impressive, since I find that far too often some people are willing to let themselves forget that America has more than one Constitution. As an example, here is a past article from something Noem said: ""I took an oath to uphold our state Constitution," she said,"
This is, I think, an important thing worth discussing. The Founding Fathers didn't repeal the state Constitutions - and in fact went full throttle just the opposite direction. Where some specific power is not expressly delegated, it's the 10th amendment. Uphold the State Constitutions, these are great things! Where there is an entry in the enumerated powers list, well, ok in that instance the U.S. Constitution is supreme. The point is even directly made at the Constitutional Convention by Roger Sherman:
Mr. SHERMAN, was for securing the rights of the people where requisite. The State Declarations of Rights are not repealed by this Constitution; and being in force are sufficient. There are many cases where juries are proper which can not be discriminated. The Legislature may be safely trusted.
If the State Declarations of Rights are not repealed, then the whole documents aren't repealed either. There's no Bill of Rights out there that just floats without being attached to a Constitutional document. It doesn't work that way.
Now, there could be a case to make that 51 constitutions may be too big of a net, but every American who claims to be a constitutionalist should in fact be just as equally of a protector and advocate of their State Constitution as of the U.S. Constitution. So at a minimum, every constitutionalist should claim 2. What exactly is the intent of the 10th amendment then?
No state Constitution oversteps The Constitution of the United States .... but I have not done a compare/contrast study.
The issue is not overstepping. The issue is footprint size. The enumerated powers list for the United States Constitution is only 17. Now I know there are implications here, but the reverse is a query into what is the enumerated powers list like for each state?
There is no such enumerated powers list in any state constitution that I am aware of(there might be), but if a state had one it would be thousands of entries long. Not 17.
Kind of a stupid question.
THE political and national issue today is the 80+% unconstitutional federal government, NOT the states. The states need to exercise their constitutional sovereignty but instead have become addicted to dependence on federal funding, exactly what the the tyranny of the Left wants.
The mostly unconstitutional and illegal FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is the greatest threat to America and her freedoms and way of life.
It is the U.S. Constitution that is the central political and legal issue of the day.
Just the U.S. Constitution.
The Federal Government was given supremacy but that was extremely limited by the 10th Amendment. If it wasn’t expressly given to the Federal Government, it was reserved to the states.
It is basically ignored now as is the 2nd, and parts of the 1st.
Many state constitutions grant more rights than are explicit in the federal version. So, in that sense they might Trump the Constitution, but they may not take away federal rights.
The Constitution doesn’t Grant Rights.
It is a control over the the government and the powers given it by the people.
The Constitution is almost perfect (never intended to be) and is still as relevant as 1787!
Fine. Grant is figurative. My point is that some constitutions are more gracious in recognizing rights than others. If you had just read my comment instead of reflexing, I’m sure you would have grasped that. Slow down a bit.
Just 2. Your State and the Federal Constitution.
The States are sovereign. In theory (before the overreach by the Federal government) in order to know your scope of action as a citizen or a governor, you would need to know primarily your own Constitution.
In theory the Federal Constitution would only impact certain things like ensuring that your State has a republican form of government or telling you how they are going to regulate interstate commerce.
Later, with the 14th Amendment they added the ability to prohibit States from having slavery or indentured servitude and that was then that was expanded into just about everything else.
Your point is a good one. One of the current errors even among conservatives is to assume that all State constitutions are the same and they are all the same as the Federal Constitution which is false.
By the way if you like these issues you would love this article:
I’m pretty sure you can read it by creating a free account at jstor.
Well, might as well say the U.S. Constitution is as relevant as America itself.
Without it, America becomes a third-world dictatorship.
Some provisions in state constitutions contradict the U.S. Constitution.
The problem is that the US Constitution oversteps the State Constitutions, by Congressional and other actions beyond the enumerated powers.
I think restoring the respect our State Constitutions deserve will go a long way to restoring our republic.
I know about the Supremacy Clause.
Healthcare is probably the best example of the irrelevancy of the Supremacy Clause. We all protested in 2009/2010 (or at least I know I did) on that very reasoning.
That’s purely for the states or even better, to the people. No matter what law they passed.
I only swore to uphold the US Constitution.
I was never ‘unsworn’.
It has a whole article making marriage the responsibility of the Governor unless and until the legislature rules:
Article V. All causes of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and all appeals from the judges of probate shall be heard and determined by the governor and council, until the legislature shall, by law, make other provision.
It then has another article expressly laying out the fact that no branch shall exercise the power of another. For clarity it lists every possible ombination:
Article XXX. In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.
But despite this the leftist political so called "justices" of the Massachusetts Supreme Court struck down the legislature's definition of marriage and decided of their own accord to change the definition as you can guess. In fact they were the first State to do this.
Everyone in Massachusetts took this shredding of their Constitution in stride because:
1. They are liberals and for them the result is all that matters. There are no principles other than their own personal opinion of what constitutes "justice".
2. Well that's what Constitutions do right? They give whatever the local name for the Supreme Court the right to strike down laws of the legislature, right? Not because it's in the text. Who needs to read the text. That's what it should say right?
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