PART III: STATE AND LOCALITY GOVERNMENTS

ARTICLE 1: MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (LOCALITIES)

No Law of a Locality may conflict with Federal law or that of the State it is subject to. All Localities:

[1] Must have single-member representative districts;

[2] Shall have their Budgets subject to Part IV, Article 1, Section 10 [17]: Budgets;

[3] Shall have the Power to collect revenue devices, unless it conflicts with Federal or State law, but all revenue devices must be indirect, uniform, predictable, and not excessive or retroactive. Taxes on income or assets (including real property), whether direct or indirect, de jure or de facto, are prohibited;

[4] Shall need the approval of voters for new or increased taxes and all other revenue devices and shall not approve any budget or new tax without a quorum of one third of registered voters voting;

(So many local governments are mismanaged, overbearing, and/or corrupt. The San Francisco city council is a piece of work. The Austin City Council is filled with freespending incompetents who get elected with 15% 7% of the people voting. This section places some requirements and limits on them.)

[5] Must ensure that any person in its service as a law enforcement officer, disabled from injuries sustained from criminal action, be medically retired, and receive a pension up to the median State income (or their previous compensation, if greater), and have all their medical care paid for by that Locality’s Government;

[6] Must hold all regularly-scheduled elections, referendums, and initiatives the same day every year as national elections, and special elections may not be held at unusual Days, Times, or Places;

ARTICLE 2: STATE GOVERNMENTS

[1] The Power to create and enforce laws within each State is reserved to each State respectively, or to its People, except those Powers delegated to the Federal government or prohibited to the States;

(This is the tenth amendment.
Many people don’t understand why the States are so important to Liberty: they are counterweights to an oppressive national government, and actually, the national government is a strong counterweight to out-of-control States. In between these two giants jealously guarding their turf lies a small area for us ‘little people’ to play them off against each other and have freedom. This is why those who think there is no difference [or should be no difference] between a federal system of government and a national one are so wrong: the powers of the two check each other as effectively [more effectively?] as the three branches of the federal government. The states orbit the federal like the moon orbits the earth and keeps its axis stable. Good counterexamples are France and Germany. France, despite a strong central government, has been continuously unstable for two centuries and often oppressive to its people because there are no States to check it. And Germany, despite having a Federal system, has States that are very weak compared to the US. If it had had strong States in the 1930’s, do you think Hitler would have come to power as easily? VERY doubtful. The Federal government here is NOT supreme to the States: it is supreme ONLY in those areas specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. The States retain the remainder of the Powers of government, and all have their own guns, both with their law enforcement agencies and their militias [State Naional Guards], which can resist the federal government if it should become oppressive [and individual citizens with guns can do the same against both their State AND the Feds…another reason for private ownership of firearms…which Germans, Soviets, and people in other countries that were taken over by totalitarians were stripped of. Are you sure you want only government agents to have guns? Is a government that doesn’t trust its citizens with guns worthy of trust itself?
I say: A person with a gun is a Citizen; One without is a Subject.]
The federal government can check the States in many ways, for example, by making it difficult for cabals that can come to control individual States from infecting the rest of the nation. The other States will check them, and the cabals in other States will compete with them, preventing most lunacy from going national. [Germany didn’t have this, which could have relegated Hitler to only one State of Germany. Or Napoleon from controlling France.] The feds regulate interstate commerce which prevents States from screwing each other with unfavorable trade practices that could cause animosity, and if animosity exists, individual States can’t go to war with each other, because they can’t have standing armies, only the feds can. And a national military of States united together is far more effective than individual States with militaries, and makes other countries respect us and not want to invade us [or be able to stick us with unfavorable trade treaties. We are perfectly capable of sticking ourselves with bad treaties, thank you very much…haha.]
The upshot of what I am saying is that the States and Federal governments each check each other, and make each other stronger, too, while protecting ‘We the People’ from concentrations of power, especially arbitrary power.
Did you poo-poo the necessity of the States before? Well…now you know…the other half of the story.)

[2] Each State shall have the sole and exclusive Power to create laws for the following:

  1. Intrastate economic activity. However:
    1. No State shall prevent or restrict commerce with other States. (This would apply in general, and in particular for insurance, medical services, devices, drugs, medicine, medical institutions [public or private], hospitals, companies, self-employment, employment, or other services.) No State shall prevent a person from another State from selling his goods there, nor treat the merchants of other States differently from those of its own State; No State shall restrict its own citizens from buying an out-of-State product exactly as it is produced or sold in that other State; Any good produced for one’s own use is NOT commerce and not subject to regulation by any government; Each Person has the Right to own property in other States and be treated no differently than the native citizens.
    2. States may enter into reciprocal compacts with each other and not trigger Federal involvement, as long the exact same compact is available to every other State that requests it, and no other State should complain of unequal treatment, which shall empower the Secretary of Commerce to settle minor disputes, and Congress to settle major disputes with a Law.
  2. Business Certifications
  3. Privacy
  4. Weapons
  5. Mineral Extraction
  6. Land Use
  7. Environment
  8. Use of Public Areas
  9. Contracts
  10. Qualifications for State Officials
  11. Marriages, Unions, and Divorces
  12. Abortions
  13. Intoxicating Substances and Drugs
  14. Educational Standards
  15. Other areas and definitions not inconsistent with Federal duties and standards. These shall automatically be handled by the several States unless and until the Federal government can show them to be of an interstate or international nature.

[3] All elections, referendums, and initiatives must be held every year on the same day as national elections, and special elections may not be held at unusual Days, Times, or Places.

(They wouldn’t hold elections at odd dates and times to discourage turnout, would they? Naaahhhh.)

[4] The United States shall protect each State against Invasion, and protect the border with other nations, and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

(The Feds seem to have amnesia on this rule concerning border States. Hello, Arizona.)

[5] State Budgets are subject to Part IV, Article 1, Section 10 [16]: Budgets

[6] Each State Government shall have the Power to collect revenue devices, unless it conflicts with Federal law, but all revenue devices must be indirect, uniform, predictable, and not excessive or retroactive. Taxes on income or assets (including real property), whether direct or indirect, de jure or de facto, are prohibited;

(This subjects State legislators to the same restrictions as Federal legislators.)

[7] New or increased taxes and all other revenue devices must be specifically approved by voters;

[8] Each State must ensure that any person in its service as a law enforcement officer (including National Guardsmen employed to quell Domestic Violence), disabled from injuries sustained from criminal action, be medically retired, and receive a pension up to the median State income (or their previous compensation, if greater), and have all their medical care paid for by that State’s Government. (Cops and troops should be taken care of.)

[9] The State equivalents of the Integrity and Executive Branches, may investigate the Federal Government, as long as a Federal Court agrees there is probable cause. The Federal Executive Branch may investigate the States for any reason on its own prerogative.

[10] Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State, unless three fifths of both houses of a State legislature, signed by the Governor, and approved by a three-fifths majority of voters, votes to opt out of doing so for each specific act of another State, and the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof; No State shall be required to recognize an Act or Institution of another State for which there is no equivalent within its own Law.

(If a State has a statute, then there is FFC with other States for similar statutes, but the people inhabiting that other State must still obey that State’s laws. For example, all States have driver licenses, thus a TX driver license is recognized in NY, but the TX driver still must obey the NY state law against Right Turn on Red while in NY. If there is no similar statute, like gay marriage, in another state, the other State needn’t recognize it because there is no equivalent – to insist otherwise is to allow one State to create, in effect, Federal Law. For rights enshrined in the US Constitution, there needs to be FFC, such as for a State Concealed Handgun License, the same as is done for a Driver License. For heterosexual marriage, both States recognize it, and thus there is FFC.)

[11] A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, without conditions, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime; Each State shall retain the Power to punish its convicted with execution, life at hard labor, and corporally;

[12] New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

[13] The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

[14] No State may, without the Consent of Congress, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, except as otherwise provided.

[15] Reduction – Any State whose citizen population falls under 1/4 of the national population divided by the number of States shall lose 1 Senator until its population again exceeds this fraction. A State which remains in this condition for longer than 20 years shall be returned to territory status, losing its Senators but retaining the number of Representatives it would be allowed if it were a State. The territory shall regain its Statehood in the first Census year after exceeding the required population fraction.

(I’ve heard some reasonable griping that it isn’t fair that California, with a population of 36 million, has the same number of Senators as Vermont, which has 600,000 residents. That’s a 60-to-1 difference. In 1787, the difference between the most and least populous States was about 5-to-1.This clause helps address some of that imbalance. Another way to deal with this imbalance would be for the most populous third of the States (the top 16) to get 4 Senators, the 17 middle population States to get 3, and the 17 States in the lowest third to get 2.
Germany’s Bundesrat, which has similarities with the U.S. Senate, allows for more populous Laender [States] to get extra representation. [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundesrat_of_Germany].
As for returning a State to territory status, the fact that people don’t want to live there is because they feel the State is oppressive, so this would ensure that those States with bad policies are retired, and those with good policies gain extra influence.
This could also be a way to allow Washington, DC to get representation: it would have the number of Representatives it would have if it were a State, but no Senators, since it isn’t a State.)

[16] Revocation of Sovereignty – If a State government is unable to pay its portion of the Federal budget for two of the last three years from its collection of Federal revenue devices, or its expenditures or unfunded liabilities are greater than its income for three years, or is in an economic depression when the rest of the nation is not, it becomes incumbent upon the Federal government to free its People from bad government, and that State shall go into receivership to the Union. A Federal panel, delegated by Congress, shall be installed in the State to get it fiscally or economically viable again. The panel may invalidate all State government changes in the past 5 years that were likely responsible for the situation. After two years of being viable again, the State comes out of receivership. If any State should show a pattern of unequal application of the laws, particularly through its criminal justice system, the Federal government may sue that State in Federal court and if successful, shall have its sovereignty revoked, which shall be restored two years after curing the defect. A State may also sue the Federal government for unequal application of the laws, particularly for singling a State out.

(If a State is having trouble with its tax collections, it is probably due to its economy. Its economy is usually bad due to stupid state laws shackling its businesspeople. Michigan has been in a depression for years due to its high tax rates and regulations. California is mortgaged to the hilt and its revenues cannot pay for its huge spending, including its fat public sector unions. The New Orleans police department was taken over by the feds due to massive corruption. Unions have been taken over by the feds to weed out Mafia influence and looting. The last two show that there is precedent for the Federal government to get involved in cases of corruption or mismanagement. Why not whole States?)

[17] Nullification – when two-fifths  of the States, three-fifths of each of their Legislatures, each of their Governors, and a simple majority of the citizens of those States, decides that a Federal law is hateful, they are free to disobey it, and suffer no penalty, until such time that the United States Congress, plus the President, either reaffirms the offending law, or modifies it, or if 365 days should pass without either being done, the nullification shall become permanent, for all States, as if that law had never existed. Alternately, after a nullification is passed, other States may join the nullification with only a simple majority of their Legislature, voters, and Governor approving, and if three-fifths of States become part of the nullification, the law is repealed, regardless of the President or Congress.

(The precursors to the South Carolina Nullification crisis hit southeastern States particularly hard, so that’s why I have only 40% of the States needing to agree to a Nullification: so a region can’t be targeted or oppressed easily. However, 60% of the legislatures and a majority of their people need to agree, so there needs to be a real depth of feeling to make this fly. The Feds would have to be really obtuse to not notice this, but they can enforce the law if they think that is the correct route.)

[18] States’ Reversal – Whenever a majority of two-thirds of the several States shall deem it necessary, they shall veto, overrule or nullify any Act of Congress, statute, rule or regulation.

(Similar to a Nullification, but on a national level, instead of regional. It refuses unlimited power to the federal level, but is difficult to pull off.)

[19] A vote of two-thirds of all Houses of a State’s Legislature, or the voters by initiative, shall overrule that State’s supreme Court on any decision, which shall be final.

Keep Reading…Primary Branches of the Federal Government comes next