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>

Recently the Goldwater Institute hosted a standing-room only policy forum to discuss the ins and outs of states initiating the Article V process to amend the U.S. Constitution. If you weren’t able to attend the forum, you can watch the video here. During the question and answer session, a handful of questions were raised about the details of the amendments convention “process,” namely who will select the delegates to an amendments convention and what will the rules be once the delegates are there?

One year ago, President Obama signed “Obamacare” into law, the greatest expansion of federal involvement in medicine since the creation of Medicaid and Medicare and one of the greatest intrusions into individual liberty our country has seen. A majority of Americans opposed it when it passed and a year later a majority of Americans want it repealed.

With the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting an immediate review of the state of Virginia’s challenge to the federal health care law, the Obama administration can be expected to accelerate its effort to force citizens to buy federally-approved health insurance. At the same time, pressure will mount on states to integrate the individual mandate into the fabric of state law. If states yield, it will become impossible for them to challenge the individual mandate with a straight face.

Huge segments of state budgets are driven by federal spending. Few roads are built without federal matching funds. Large shares of states' budgets are spent on social programs initiated by the federal government such as Medicaid, KidsCare, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held that the robbery of an Ohio pizza shack was a federal crime. The shack made pizza from California sauce, Minnesota flour, and Wisconsin mozzarella. So, based on Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce, the Sixth Circuit ruled the robbery constitutionally was prosecuted as a federal crime.

With the next Arizona legislative session just ten days away, the Goldwater Institute has released 100 ideas to advance liberty. 100 Ideas for 100 Days provides one idea for each day that the legislature is supposed to be in session. Each idea is linked to a policy report or a Goldwater Institute analyst who can help legislators with research and analysis.

The full list of 100 Ideas for 100 Days is available. But, for those of you who like to cut to the chase, here is our top eight for 08:

A recent study by George Mason University's Mercatus Center found that Arizona ranks as the eighth freest state in the nation. It broadcasts loud and clear that Arizona is open for business to refugees fleeing our overly taxed and regulated neighbor to the west. But this is no time to rest on our laurels. Maintaining our competitive edge still requires systemic change.

In a showdown between the Obama administration and the town made famous by the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, the U.S. Forest Service is refusing to allow historic Tombstone, Ariz., to restore its municipal water supply after it was destroyed by torrential floods and mudslides in the summer of 2011.

The Goldwater Institute has long opposed the federal health care law as constitutionally questionable and a governmental intrusion on individual freedom. Nick Dranias, director of Goldwater's Center for Constitutional Government, was interviewed on Arizona Week.

"Liberty took a body blow, but it's not down for the count," he said. "We still have a challenge to the Independent Payment Advisory Board, what Sarah Palin called the 'death panel,' which is pending.

At the time of this writing, only a few hours have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its calamitous decision upholding the bulk of the federal health care law. I share in your disappointment, surprise and frustration.