by Brian McCandliss
Before the Constitution was ratified, each and every state was a complete independent nation– just like England, France or Italy, or any other sovereign nation.
Even after the Constitution was signed, the individual states still considered themselves as remaining separate sovereign nations, and that the Constitution simply formed a “federal republic” among them– which by definition is 100% voluntary, i.e. member-states are free to depart from it at any time, and cannot be coerced by other member-nations.
However this belief soon began to change in succeeding generations, with the claim that the states had deliberately chosen to give up their sovereignty as separate nations, in order to form a single sovereign nation. Within 45 years, many people began to believe it, and it soon became federal policy– even though the states had never changed their sovereign status after the Constitution, and many entire states still claimed that they were separate sovereign nations.
Today, many claim that the American Civil War “settled” this question; however the federal government denies that it conquered any sovereign states; and therefore the war did not change any state’s sovereignty.
Since the war, the federal government has claimed absolute sovereign national authority over all people, states and territories within the Union, and even names itself to be “our national government.”Â It tells us that its word is final regarding all disputes. It does not base this claim on the outcome of the war, but on the claim that the Constitution forms the states into a single nation.
However, evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable that the Constitution does not change state sovereignty, despite the federal government’s systematic attempts to suppress it.
In contrast, the federal evidence is both flawed and suspect.Â For example, Constitutional Professor Akhil Reed Amar, the #1 acclaimed “expert” on the federal Constitution, bases his entire argument against state sovereignty on the single fact that “Constitutional amendments bind all states, whether they vote for them or not.”
However, here Amar makes the glaring error of assuming that the Constitution formed a nation, rather than a federal republic.Â Indeed, the Constitution and all its proceedings, absolutely prove that the republic of states was federal– not national.
However our purpose is not to argue the issue one way or the other, but simply to compel the state legislatures to perform their duty to determine the truth of the matter, according to existing law.
The term “State” does not simply mean our state government, but the sovereign power of our state’s People; i.e. we citizens.
If each state is a sovereign nation by law, then each state is “popularly sovereign,” i.e. each citizen of Michigan is an absolute equal co-ruler of the nation of Michigan, and we can vote to override the state or federal government– truly, to “alter or abolish it,” at will.Â By law, your state will recognize no superior ruler on Earth.
DIDN’T THE CONSTITUTION GIVE UP SOME STATE POWERS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?
No. The Constitution says that the states simply delegate powers to the federal government, which are listed in the Constitution. “Delegation” is not surrender, but rather is defined as “authority given by a superior, to a subordinate.”
Likewise, sovereign nations cannot give up sovereignty by delegation. Therefore, under the Constitution, the federal government is the servant of the people of the individual states, not the supreme ruler.
Furthermore, sovereign nations, by definition, cannot give up their sovereignty in any way, without doing so expressly, in plain, direct, and absolutely clear language.
In contrast, the Constitution’s language regarding sovereignty is vague, obscure and ambiguous at best.
WHAT DOES IT MATTER?
If your state is a sovereign nation by law, then you and the People of your state are the final voice of authority regarding that law– not the federal government.
Currently, Resolutions in over 20 states claim that the federal government has violated the 10th Amendment regarding state sovereignty. However, this simply appeals to the federal government — which can simply deny any alleged violations.
James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” wrote that this “would annul the authority delegating it; and… usurped powers might subvert forever, and beyond the possible reach of any rightful remedy, the very Constitution which all were instituted to preserve.
WHAT ABOUT AMERICAN SOLIDARITY?
If your state is a sovereign nation by law, then you have the legal right to choose your allegiance according to your conviction, rather than dictated by outside force or influence. The people of your state will vote to stop the federal government, only if you believe that it is making a grave mistake which must be halted, rather than blindly be forced to follow the majority.
I believe that it’s time for the people of the states to begin mandating their state legislatures to discover and assert their state’s sovereignty. This can be done on a state-by-state basis through referendum, beginning with an online petition whereby state citizens can force the issue onto the ballot at the state’s next coming election. The following is what I believe to be a good sequence so far:
1. Set up Websites: both central (all states) and links to individual sites for individual states.
2. Each state will have a petition for a state-referendum on its ballot, and the ability to collect valid signatures online.
3. The referendum will force the state legislature simply to examine the state’s national sovereignty under international law.
4. Each site gives information on the purpose of the petition, and the reason for it.
5. Site also gives information for people to vote on the referendum, if the petition gets enough signatures to make the ballot.
Ideas, feedback? Leave it in the comments below.
Editor’s note: The Tenth Amendment Center is currently in the process of building a state-by-state action page on the issue of sovereignty as we’ve been notified of a number of local groups forming to support such action. Please contact us if you have already formed a group or a website, or if you’re planning on doing so.