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The vertical separation of powers: Good for all

By Robert S. Sargent Jr.
web posted March 29, 2004

During, and since the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic Party has sought to further its agenda at the federal level. Through the use of the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause of our Constitution, the U.S. Congress has successfully convinced the Supreme Court that almost any law they pass should be approved. What the left couldn't link to commerce, the Supreme Court linked to "found" rights not enumerated in the Constitution. Today we find most policy issues fought out at the federal level making one code for the whole country. Hence, the very high stakes we find for every issue from abortion to gay rights to doctor-assisted suicide. It's simply one way or the other.

Coming before the President, which he has sworn he'll sign, is a bill, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act which will make it a crime, in federal matters, to injure or kill a fetus. Instead of one, now there will be two victims.

This law, passed by big margins in both Houses, has alarmed pro-choice groups. They have reason to be alarmed. When a fetus is recognized as a "person," the reasons for Roe v. Wade start getting chipped away. When this happens, one can see the evolution of a federal code which outlaws any harm done to a fetus, including abortion. If the left insists on fighting everything at the federal level, they will die at the federal level. How do I think the left should fight their agendas? Join us Constitutional-Conservatives (Con-Cons) in insisting that our Constitution be upheld in its original meaning, which includes a vertical separation of powers (between the federal and state governments.)

By returning public policy issues to the states to decide, as our Constitution mandates, the liberal agenda will be protected from interference by the federal government. There will always be states that are liberal, but under our Constitution, even the most right-wing federal government couldn't interfere with those states that have policies they don't agree with.

One of the main objections of Con-Cons is that the democratic process is bypassed when policy is decided by the Courts or by a central Congress. If the left doesn't want to happen to them what's been happening to the right since FDR's days, they should take a second look at the vertical separation of powers in the Constitution. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act should be a wake up call.

Robert S. Sargent, Jr. is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right and can be reached at rssjr@citcom.net.

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