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All I Want for Christmas is a 2nd Bill of Rights (Proposal #3 Clarifying the Definition of Federalism)

This is the third of the several amendments to our Constitution I’m hoping Santa will magically bring me this year in order to restore limits to our national government so that I can tell my kids with a straight face that two principles of our Constitution are the ideas of limited government and federalism.

This amendment seeks to clarify the division of powers under the Constitution and define federalism.

The first ten amendments to our constitution were and are intended to be limits upon the national government, and not the states. The internal affairs of the several states were intended to be left to the people of each state for the most part. The Framers understood that it would be a mistake to compile an extensive list of uniformed rights that apply to the people throughout the union because it would open the states and their people to dictates of the national judiciary as it settles disputes over these rights. Such a scheme would (as it has) lead to a gradual usurpation by these courts of sovereignty intended to be reserved to the States. In my opinion, had the Framers excluded slave states from their new union, the great national disgrace of slavery would never have necessitated the national movement and leadership that opened the door to other later national dictates over the internal affairs of states.

Proposal #3 – Clarifying the Sovereignty of the Several States within the Union

Section 1. The Limits upon the Authority of the several States that are provided by this Constitution are generally explicit and enumerated, but whenever they are not explicit or not enumerated, the Power to delineate these implicit or vague Limits or Liberties is reserved exclusively to each State and their People respectively. The intend being that the People and their respective State may do within their Territory whatever is not explicitly denied them by this Constitution in order to pursue their compelling Interest of protecting the public Safety, Morals, Health, and Welfare as they perceive it. And thus they are free, in accordance to their State Constitutions, to limit or not to limit the Authority of their respective State Government more than those explicit and enumerated Limits provide by this Constitution.

Section 2. A State shall not, without the Consent of the Congress, exercise Authority outside its respective Jurisdiction as defined by its Territory and the explicit Provisions of this Constitution, nor shall a State tax or impede the Government of the United States from carrying into execution its Powers that are enumerated in this Constitution, nor shall the Government of the United States tax any State.

Section 3. The Powers of the Government of United States are few, enumerated, and generally explicit. Limits upon the authority of the United States are infinite, but few Limits are enumerated; most Limits are implied. The Government of the United States shall not intrude upon the Sovereignty reserved to the several States unless (1) it is necessary for carrying into execution the explicit Powers of the United States enumerated in this Constitution, and (2) the Method or Manner of carrying into execution said Powers is the least intrusive to that State and its People.

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