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Solution #7:  Re-awaken Federalism

Neither Republicans nor Democrats in Washington believe in federalism in practice.  Far too often they want to force their ideologies down the throats of everyone in all 50 States.  Two parties trying to jam mutually objectionable ideas of big government upon the other is a recipe for another civil war.  Let’s settle things down by returning to a more robust concept of federalism, and then free citizens can vote with their feet.

Federalism already exists in the US Constitution.  The problem is that we haven't been following it faithfully in the past century.

We have ignored the simple language of our constitution’s Tenth Amendment, which says:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

This clear expression has been gutted by overzealous partisans in Washington, aided by an overly expansive reading of the Interstate Commerce clause in Article I of the Constitution. We should clarify this conflict in favor of more authority reserved to the States, with an amendment to the Constitution as follows:

“The power of Congress to make all laws that are necessary and proper to regulate commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall not be construed to include the power to regulate or prohibit any activity that is confined within a single State, regardless of its incidental effects outside the State.”

Congress would, under this amendment, still have the power to regulate interstate commerce (that is, transactions crossing state lines) and to regulate toxic emissions that cross state lines.  But this simple clarification would cause the courts to rule as unconstitutional literally hundreds of unnecessary federal regulations and laws, take power out of DC, and place it closer to the people, as the Founders intended.

Absent a return to a robust concept of Federalism, the only way to resolve our current national disunity without bloodshed would be a negotiated national divorce, as we saw in the 1990s when Czechoslavakia peacefully broke into the independent countries of Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The hyper-partisan direction in Washington has many Americans of various political persuasions fearing a potential second Civil War. It has also led some citizens of Texas to contemplate secession (i.e. "Texit"), which precedent would suggest could lead to CW2.

A commitment to federalism is a far better solution, and it already exists in the Constitution.  We just have to re-awaken it.


Paid for by Bob King for Texas-21
Kristin Abel, Treasurer
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