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States' Rights: Gay Marriage, Abortion and Slavery

The other day, a couple of us Paulites did a sign wave. While we were out there a civil libertarian walked up to us and wanted to ask some questions about RP and his consistency on civil liberties. He said he's always liked RP, but he is very frustrated that he has taken a states' right stance on abortion and gay marriage, a stance that this man believes is not consistence with RP's record on civil liberties. So of course the guy posed the ridiculous question, "What if a state wanted to re-institute slavery, would that be acceptable under a Ron Paul administration?"

Now, I'm not very well versed in the defense of the states' rights position. I've been meaning to read Tom Woods' 'Nullification' (please suggest other books), but haven't got around to it yet. However, I did try to defend it to the best of my knowledge. First off, I told the man that slavery would never rear its ugly head again in this culture. Secondly, that it was best to leave controversial culture war issues like gay marriage and abortion for the states to decided, rather than a one size fits all federal law. He did not want to accept this answer, he simply just argued for federal supremacy over states on civil liberty issues.

At this point I was kind of stumped. I did have one other point to make, but unfortunately I couldn't because one of the guys that was with us was getting a bit combative with him, and scared him off. The man got flustered and said he wouldn't vote for RP now. The idiom, "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" might be the topic of another post later, some of us Paulites need to remember that. The other point that I would've liked to make was that if we were to decentralize power and cut huge swathes through the federal budget, states would have to be more competitive for accumulating more tax payers. They would lose many taxpayers if they alienated them with laws that violated their civil liberties. Of course the rebuttal to this is, "how can you vote with your feet and leave an oppressive state if you're poor?"

Are these arguments valid? What other points can I make if this question is posed to me again?

Thanks,
Matt



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deacon's picture

states and rights

states do not have rights,other than what we give it,we are the life blood,its very breath,without us there is none
RP pointed out this fact on leno the other night about states and rights
but about slavery,the fed gov would have us believe they own us,lock stock and barrel
but consider the fact that no man can be owned
except to themselves
no man can ever own another,our creator makes that clear
no man can serve 2 masters,whom do you serve?
thank you
deacon

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

Sooo...

What about the theory that States might become more competitive for tax revenue and would have a greater incentive to not alienate their citizenry? Valid?

Taxes do have an effect, but

Taxes do have an effect, but people shouldn't be expected to move to protect their rights, and what about those who aren't able? No need to fret though, as the 14th amendment protects our life and liberty from the states; just like the Bill of rights protects us from the Federal government.

It is an enormous simplification to speak of the American mind. Every American has his own mind.

~Ludwig von Mises

The idiom, "you can catch

The idiom, "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" might be the topic of another post later, some of us Paulites need to remember that. I second this!!!

I don't think it matters if

I don't think it matters if the BoR applies to the states or not. We already have the 14th which protects life and liberty from the states, just like how the BoR protects us from the federal government. It seems like Incorporation just gives the judiciary too much power over states, which was never supposed to happen.

It is an enormous simplification to speak of the American mind. Every American has his own mind.

~Ludwig von Mises

I don't think the 10th

amendment gives the states the power to deny personal rights. Doesn't the 9th make that clear? "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Doesn't that mean that personal rights trump states rights?

But it does raise some interesting questions. What if state A protects the child's right to live and state B protects the mothers right to kill her child. If a person from state A goes to state B for an abortion then can state A prosecute that person when she returns to state A? If not then it is a mute subject anyway.

On the other hand homosexuality goes beyond personal liberty and touches on the degradation of society and national health which are everyone's concern.

We are all slaves whether it's legal or not.

We already have slavery with the Federal Govt

Slavery in the form of High taxes, inflation, and Federalist national debt. This is something RP wants to abolish.

50 cents out of every new dollar printed goes towards interest payments on the national debt.

If your in the 30% tax bracket, add in the hidden taxes and your really in a 50-60% tax bracket.

____

"Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." -- Patrick Dixon

I worry more that we are reaching indentured servitude

tipping point. This Country was founded upon it and it was akin to slavery for many whites. People were FORCED, tricked, kidnapped and sold into servitude to do the work for the British corporations.

Is it any wonder they finally wanted a revolution?

And is it any wonder some learned how to be master manipulators?

How many have we made our indentured servants to maintain our lifestyles?

We have the luxury of not having to see them in our own homes or be beating them with our own whips. We have the corporations go overseas and make the crap and pay slave wages so we can make more off of the stock for our retirement funds and they make millions for their managers and CEO's and we want to tear apart Social Security because its costing to much... All the while the government is supposed to get out of the way so we can make our own decisions and if it is about making contracts with these same corporations I gotta tell you we are going to be in deep trouble without some really good guidance and that has been for shit from anyone either. Who wants to do business with anyone when we all are aware that most things are owned by a handful of the same conglomerates at the moment?
It seems to me we are already "assimilated" and Id like to know how any President "unwinds" this.

You get to the point where you almost have to believe in a miracle because the solution has got to be something "different". And if it is as simple as following the Constitution that was usurped the first time, then - praise God, we have that.

States Rights are an elegant

States Rights are an elegant solution to complex problems. There are some things that we will never agree on, abortion is one of those things.

States rights allow the voters in the state they live in to have the laws they want. It's much easier to influence your state government than it is to influence the federal government. It's also easier to leave if you don't like it.

The slavery comment is absurd though.. did you say "slavery.. seriously?" Factually it's forbidden in the constitution.

"States Rights are an elegant

"States Rights are an elegant solution to complex problems."

I like that.

I did tell him that the slavery question was absolutely ridiculous, however, like a dope, I forgot to mention the 13th Amendment. The man seemed like he was splitting hairs. It would be crazy for someone who called himself a civil-libertarian to pass on this opportunity of electing a libertarian over a petty disagreement on State/Federal authority. You can't win em' all I guess.

See, I agree with this.

See, I agree with this. Because on abortion, I just DON't KNOW! So I am OK with leaving it up to the states...better than having a one-size-fits all federal solution.

However, if you are like Ron Paul, and you believe flat-out that abortion is murder, how can you not demand that it be barred in this nation? If you believe that a state can legalize murder (of an innocent), then you must believe a state can legalize practically anything; you aren't a constitutionalist at that point.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Ron Paul did introduce the

Ron Paul did introduce the Sanctity of Life Act which would make abortion equivalent to murder. And I think this would ban abortion because of the 14th amendment stating that States can't deprive of life.

It is an enormous simplification to speak of the American mind. Every American has his own mind.

~Ludwig von Mises

If you cannot force a person against their will

how in the world can you have slaves? Are you suggesting someone would volunteer? I mean I suppose that might be a contract one could write, right?

But then it wouldn't be against their will if they did so voluntarily and there is an actual "out clause" defined.

No, there will be no slaves. There could be discrimination, as there always has been, but those people and businesses I presume will show themselves as limited of mind and potential.

Incorporation

is basically applying the Bill of Rights to the states, I've also read that Ron Paul is against it. I understand that the Bill of Rights implies that it is not applicable to the states; however the 14th implies that it is. Does Ron Paul interpret the 14th differently, and if so how?

P.S. I know this won't make much of a difference when he becomes president; I'm just trying to learn his philosophy.

It is an enormous simplification to speak of the American mind. Every American has his own mind.

~Ludwig von Mises

Thanks for the input guys! :)

Thanks for the input guys! :)

A central purpose of Federal

A central purpose of Federal govt is to protect individual rights against an overbearing state.

Slavery clearly falls under that.

A state cannot interfere with individual right to freedom & liberty, and the federal govt would be obligated under our Constitution to protect that individual right.

The person who approached you about this question does not understand the role of the federal govt.

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Bill of Rights?

I'm a bit confused. Does the bill of rights only apply to the federal government or to state and federal governments? The First Amendment’s wording suggests it applies only to the federal government, it says.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

The other amendments are worded differently, making them seem to apply to all governments.

But the question still stands, was the Bill of Rights meant to apply to state governments or just the federal government? :)

It is an enormous simplification to speak of the American mind. Every American has his own mind.

~Ludwig von Mises

You might want to look into the 14th amendment.

Originally, the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states. In my view though, the 14th amendment applied the protections of the Constitution, such as the Bill of Rights or abolishing slavery, to the states. It reads:

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

However, I've seen the argument that this interpretation was brought about by activist judges. I'm not sure of Ron Paul's position on this.

I don't like the whole

I don't like the whole argument that it was brought up by activity judges. A plethora of quotes from Bringham, the guy who wrote the EPC, says it was to apply the first 8 amendments to the states. Numerous other quotes by other legislators at the time show that the 14th was meant to apply the BOR against the states, or, that it already COULD be applied against the states.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

The 13th amendment abolished

The 13th amendment abolished slavery therefore the 10th amendment doesn't apply. NO State can legalize slavery. The US constitution prohibits it.

As for the other argument point out that if it is a federal issue and not a state issue, then their side might lose. If it is a state issue then there will always be some states the allow gay marriage etc.

exactly

Federal law only trumps state law if the state law is in violation of the constitution.
For example, if a state passes a law that makes it illegal for women or black people to vote then that would be a constitutional violation by the state.

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Constitution

The 13 th Amendment prohibits slavery except as a punishment if you are convicted. So we could have chattel slavery again if we passes an amendment repealing the 13 th amendment. If you know your history this is why there were problems with admitting new states. If enough free states were admitted an amendment could have been passed.

Here is how I explain it. The federal government exists because the state governments created it. During this process the states gave the federal government specific jobs to do and they are in Article 1 Section 8. There are a few thing they agreed that a state can't do see article 1 section 10. The authority for all other laws rests with the states. Now each state has their own Consitution in which the people of that state grant the government certain jobs. Now if enough people in enough states think something is so important they want the federal government to do it like ban alcohol they pass an amendment giving it that power through the amendment process. That is how it should work.

5th Ammendment

of the Bill of Rights prevents being deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. Basically, you can't be imprisoned without a trial, etc. Slavery logically falls under that category. If the early Americans had followed the Constitution, slavery would have been illegal from the beginning. I see nothing about abortion or marriage however, in which the 10th ammendment comes into play, which grants those powers to the states.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

Well, you have to look at the

Well, you have to look at the intnet. The intent of the original constitution was not to free slaves. This is obvious.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Tru Dat

But for a modern day libertarian, the slavery thing comes up a lot when people complain about the states rights issue. Murder isn't a "states" rights issue and I don't know any libertarians who think it should be. So slavery seems to fall in that realm ideologically. Even if the Bill of Rights was not intended for slaves, the wording fits perfecftly for a modern libertarian argument.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

I guess. I would look at the

I guess. I would look at the 13th amendment for why slavery si banned. Though the pro-Southern war revisionists out there might argue that the 13th amendment was not properly ratified!

Ron Paul does believe that murder is a states rights issue, however. He believes that abortion is murder yet believes that states can allow abortion.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Wel some people (Dr. Paul for

Wel some people (Dr. Paul for example) often point out that states don't have right, states have powers vis a vis the federal government. I think that's a pretty good starting point. But yea I would definitely look at Tom Wood's Nullification and I'm sure other posters can suggest others. You might try the Ludwig von Mises website as well.