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View Full Version : Civil Liberties: Can states violate their citizen's constitutional rights in a Ron Paul world?




noxnoctum
02-12-2012, 12:07 AM
Alright so I understand completely that RP wants to localize basically everything, but this is one thing I'm still unclear on. Would a state be able to violate its citizens' civil liberties (example: Utah outlaws all religions except Mormonism) if its representatives chose to do so? Or not? And if a state were not allowed to do that in a Ron Paul America, what would be done about it?

I'm a bit torn on this issue because while I'm all for decentralized authority, at the same time ehhh... I'm not sure how to put this; I guess I'm uncomfortable with the notion that people with not enough resources to relocate could be potentially stuck in a state that wants to turn itself into a theocracy (for example).

Just some cognitive dissonance I guess. I like the idea of everyone having freedom, but I don't think you can have that without centralized authority which guarantees tyranny and corruption, which is a tad contradictory.

MooCowzRock
02-12-2012, 12:13 AM
No, the Constitution is a limited document, but it gives the federal government the authority to protect the rights of citizens as per the Bill of Rights. The states do not have an ability to override the US Constitution. The states only have the ability to work within the tenth amendment. We see the tenth amendment as a much greater range of ability than it is currently given credit for, but it doesn't give states the right to get involved in the other amendments.

And thats why the Constitution exists.

noxnoctum
02-12-2012, 12:15 AM
So what about drug laws? I see that as a violation of "freedom of speech" if a state decides to keep telling its citizens how to live their lives.

Also, could a state potentially start imposing neo-Jim Crow laws? (I know this would never happen, just for the sake of argument)

PierzStyx
02-12-2012, 12:17 AM
No, the Constitution is a limited document, but it gives the federal government the authority to protect the rights of citizens as per the Bill of Rights. The states do not have an ability to override the US Constitution. The states only have the ability to work within the tenth amendment. We see the tenth amendment as a much greater range of ability than it is currently given credit for, but it doesn't give states the right to get involved in the other amendments.

And thats why the Constitution exists.

And the 14th Amendment explicitly says that the Constitution and its protections apply equally to the states as to the fedgov as well.

rpwi
02-12-2012, 09:23 AM
Actually think repealing that section of the 14th amendment would be a good thing. This is what local constitutions are for... As is now the supreme court and the lower federal courts are way bogged down with deciding whether state matters violated the bill of rights and don't have enough time to make sure the federal government is not violating the Bill of Rights (or exceeded its constitutional authority). The founders never envisioned the federal court system nannying the state court system this much (even if it were to strike down excessive abuses of power). Most state courts have protections like freedom of speech anyways so it wouldn't change much.

ForLiberty2012
02-12-2012, 09:48 AM
States don't have "rights." You as an individual have rights... Given to you by your creator. In a hypothetical scenario, if your state creates a law that limits your life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, you are still protected by the constitution. It's the law of the land.