State Powers

The states are powerful enough to stand up to the federal government when it violates citizens’ rights. Learn how we can better leverage the power of states.

<p>The states are powerful enough to stand up to the federal government when it violates citizens’ rights. Learn how we can better leverage the power of states.</p>

Executive Summary

Executive Summary

In January 2007, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano proposed expanding the states Medicaid program to cover children in families earning up to $60,000. Although the plan may have laudable goals, it could have negative consequences for the state.


PHOENIX-A report card released today by the Goldwater Institute gives the Arizona Supreme Court high marks for defending constitutional rights, but shows that the court has overstepped its constitutional powers in several significant cases.

PHOENIX -In a move that expands federal government control over state tax codes, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that challenges to state tax credits can be heard in federal court. The ruling undermines the authority of state courts to rule on state tax matters and allows federal courts to interfere with the administration of state tax systems.

"This decision is an erosion of the important constitutional boundary between the autonomy of individual states and the powers of the federal government," said Goldwater Institute constitutional expert Mark Brnovich.

When word of Al Gores Nobel Peace Prize reached a gathering of free-market wonks at the Portland Marriott in Maine on October 12, it met with a mix of mockery and disbelief. Now he joins the ranks of Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat, muttered one attendee in a hallway. They were able to laugh it off in part because they were in the presence of Trent Seibert of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a.k.a. the Al Gore guy. A day earlier, he had shared his story with them.

Two years ago the eight states of
America's interior West were coloured in red. Unlike the leftish west coast, they had all voted for George Bush over John Kerry, often resoundingly so. In one of those states, 
Colorado, voters in the third district also elected John Salazar to the House of Representatives. Mr Salazar-a plain-spoken farmer who wears a cowboy hat and likes guns-seems in many ways a caricature of the homespun politicians who thrive in the western reaches of Mr Bush's Republican heartland.

Now that Janet Napolitano has had a chance to settle in and get through a legislative session, what have we learned about her as a governor and a politician?

The biggest surprise is the extent to which she has been a warrior for the cultural left.

The federal government is tightening its control over the 50 states and the lives of every American. The U.S. Constitution, however, says states are supposed to be equal partners with the federal government. State sovereignty — allowing each state to control its own affairs — is the cornerstone of that equal partnership and critical to protecting Americans' freedom.

Below are 10 ways local policymakers and citizens can restore that balance of power and do what's best for the people of your state. (Click the infographic for larger, 8½x11" PDF version.)