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State Sovereignty is a concept that has been under siege for over a century. As designed, the United States of America is a Federation of a number of different independent states which join themselves together for their common defense. The federal government that the states created with the Constitution has become more powerful with each successive administration. It is now a common misconception that Federal law trumps State law. In reality, this only occurs in rare instances, such as when a state law infringes upon an individual's unalienable rights.
Individual Sovereignty is the highest authority. Each person is the king or queen of their being, free to conduct their lives in any way they see fit for their own benefit and happiness, provided that their action does not obstruct the rights of others. Immediately subordinate to Individual Sovereignty is the authority of the people as a group, with the smaller groups having the higher authority. The Tennessee State Constitution reveals this in Article I, Section 1 when it states that "all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority." A County Government is closer to the people, and therefore a higher authority than State Government. A recent Federal Court ruling states that a county sheriff "has law enforcement powers EXCEEDING that of any other state OR federal official."
The people created the states, which created the Constitution, which created the Federal legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Those offices create statutes and administrators. Yet today, administrators, who are at the bottom of the pecking order, often rule over the people, who are at the top. The Federal system has been inverted in practice, though not legally.
The Federal Constitution is a restricting document. It specifically tells the Federal Government what it can do, and if something is not listed among the powers granted by the states to the Federal Government, the Federal Government has no authority to do it. Most in Congress today believe that this is an antiquated idea, that the Congress has full reign to do most anything it thinks it should do. But the Tenth Amendment reminds us that this is not true. It states very succinctly that "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." If this is not upheld, then we no longer have a government of the people.
States must reassert their sovereignty over the Federal government, and each member of the Federal government must reaffirm that they will uphold their oath of office. We must listen to the wisdom of the founders:
"Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution." - James Madison
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