Why have a Union at all?

miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I asked this on a different thread in response to a statement that States should have been prepared for a pandemic.

I’m interested in people’s thoughts:

If every State should fend for itself, and every State should have thought about its own stockpiles and should obtain its own supplies, what do we have a centralized federal government for?

What IS the federal government’s function if it ISN’T assisting the States in a health emergency?

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elvis

The Constitution’s articles, and the subsequent Amendments, specify the prerogatives of the Feds. They are listed in Article I, Sec. 8; Articles II-V; Amendments XIII-XVI, XIX-XX, XXIII-XXVI. These prerogatives belong to one of the following categories:

1) Defense, war prosecution, peace, foreign relations, foreign commerce, and interstate commerce;

2) The protection of citizens’ constitutional rights (e.g the right to vote) and ensuring that slavery remains illegal;

3) Establishing federal courts inferior to the SCOTUS;

4) Copyright protection;

5) Coining money;

6) Establishing post offices and post roads;

7) Establishing a national set of universal weights and measures;

8 ) Taxation needed to raise revenue to perform these essential functions.

Those are the only prerogatives of the Feds. The Tenth Amendment states that all prerogatives not explicitly given to the Federal Government, nor prohibited of the states, are reserved to the states or to the people (i.e. individual Americans). So the Feds are not allowed to handle any issues not explicitly listed in the Constitution; their prerogatives are limited to what the Constitution explicitly states.

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blfenton

It looks like the federal governments function is to come up with a $2 trillion socialist (oops I mean stimulus) program to help citizens and to bail out big corporations.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I would say that establishing state supplies for times of pandemic easily falls under “defense.”

And, let’s be honest, if things turn very grim it might help maintain “peace” too if each state had equal supplies or at least equal opportunity to receive federal help in obtaining them.

(That’s ignoring the idea that Congress can amend the constitution as it sees fit so there is nothing to say they couldn’t add global pandemic to the list of threats the federal government can protect against. The world is changing. We are facing threats the founding fathers could never dream of. We can’t apply 18th century solutions to 21st century problems.)

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Kathy

I think defense is critical. Trump himself has called it a war.

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elvis

Congress can amend the constitution as it sees fit

They can amend away! But doesn't matter if the states don't agree.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Oh for sure elvis!

I am thinking more of programs that States can choose to participate in.

Have the expertise available so State governments can consult, have some funding available, use the collective purchasing power of all 50 governments lower costs so supplies can be purchased from contractors at a reduced rate.

Everything would be available if States chose but I definitely wouldn’t advocate for it being mandatory.

ETA I just realized that maybe elvis meant that the States might not agree to the amendments. I guess that may be so. But I suspect they might; when federal powers were granted “defence” meant stopping people in wooden ships and on horses from firing a musket at you. Now it means stopping a hacker in a bunker from pressing a button and shutting down an entire city’s electrical grid.

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maifleur03

Here I had always thought this fell under the Promote General Welfare part of the Constitution.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I mean, it would fall under “The protection of citizens’ constitutional rights” to Life too I would think.

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elvis

maifleur03

Here I had always thought this fell under the Promote General Welfare part of the Constitution.

Nope, that clause deals with taxation.

miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I mean, it would fall under “The protection of citizens’ constitutional rights” to Life too I would think.

Um. You might want to read the Constitution, it's not long, and you obviously have the time. Here you are.

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Zeus


elvis

maifleur03

Here I had always thought this fell under the Promote General Welfare part of the Constitution.

Nope, that clause deals with taxation.

miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I mean, it would fall under “The protection of citizens’ constitutional rights” to Life too I would think.

Um. You might want to read the Constitution, it's not long, and you obviously have the time. Here you are.

======

*this article may help answer your questions. https://www.heritage.org/the-constitution/commentary/constitutional-guide-emergency-powers


*also - look up The Stafford Act

*and this webinar discusses public health emergency related response and constitutional authority https://www.lawfareblog.com/federal-governments-legal-authorities-public-health-crisis-qa-benjamin-wittes-and-steve-vladeck

* this is a link to lots of authoritative information https://www.changelabsolutions.org/blog/covid-19-resources


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