Thursday, July 01, 2010

States Don't Have Rights, States Have Powers

The following is an open letter to Thomas E. Woods, author of Nullification (buy at

Dear Mr. Woods,

I enjoyed watching a zombie pick your brains during your YouTube interview.

I agree with your assessment that we are being played for suckers. I hope that distinguished scholars, such as yourself, will work diligently to counter the manipulation of our language by the left.

A month ago I was trying to argue the cause of States Rights and was immediately labeled a "neoconfederate-racist."

While posting the wording of the Tenth Amendment the umpteenth time, it dawned on me: States don't have "rights" they have powers.

I am now curious about the origin and usage of the term "States Rights."

As you are more learned and have access to better resources than me, I would be honored if you took time out of your busy schedule to address this very important distinction.

My research of the Founders indicates that they created a multidimensional political structure where the people had rights. The States and Federal Governments had limited powers.

If this is true, then the slogan "States Rights" is antithetical to the Constitution. Advocates of limited government run the risk of undermining their cause if they use the loaded term "States Rights."

If what I believe is true, and the slogan "States Rights" is paradoxical creation of the enemies of limited government, then proponents of nullification need to strike the term from their lexicon and actively challenge its use by emphasizing "States don't have rights, only people have rights. The Constitution grants limited power to the different levels of government."

No comments: