Justice to the 10th power

While discussing the latest idiocy regarding illegal aliens, an idea struck me: could there be a Constitutional basis for the states taking up the fight in securing our borders, when the Federal government fails?

From what I see, the Federal government’s responsibility for securing the borders derives from The Constitution‘s Article I, Section 8: “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” By the traditional reading, that means that concerns of preventing illegal aliens are the bailiwick of the Feds.

But what to do when the Federal government doesn’t do its job? Does that mean that those criminals simply fall through the cracks, and are free to violate the laws?

Inspired by Chief Chamberlain, I went looking for a way in the Constitution to justify his actions. And I think I may have.

The 10th Amendment states the following:

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.

In simpler words, if a power isn’t specifically given to the Federal government, it is reserved to the individual States or the people directly.

Now, it may be a bit of a stretch, but like the liberals like to say, the Constitution is a “living document” and “an evolving paradigm.” It really isn’t much of a stretch to say that if the Federal government chooses to not exercise its power to fulfill one of its obligations, the responsibility for that doesn’t simply go away. Using the principle of the 10th Amendment, the responsibility should then shift to the States and the people.

It’d be much simpler if the United States Constitution followed New Hampshire’s. Article 10 of our Bill Of Rights (which is at the BEGINNING of our Constitution, not tacked on to the end) clearly states:

Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance ag ainst arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

Chief Chamberlain, lead on. Your arresting of illegal aliens for “criminal trespass” is in the finest spirit of the men who wrote the Constitutions of the United States and New Hampshire.

Simile irresistible
Air America: We Paid it Back Before We Didn't Pay it Back


  1. Jay July 31, 2005
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