The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

July 1, 2014

Letter: What George didn't say

ENID, Okla. — What George Will wrote in his June 23 column, “Stopping a lawless president,” is important, but left out much. He wrote only about what the legislative and judicial branches can do to stop executive overreach.  

As an important safeguard, the Constitution limits and separates the powers of each of the three branches of federal government. However, it is not a guaranteed solution. One branch of this federal government cannot always be expected to be the effective, unbiased, final voice in preventing overreach by another branch of the same governmental body. The Constitution does not delegate power to be the final authority on what is constitutional and what is “overreach” to any branch.  

So who does have this important power? The 10th Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by this Constitution … are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” When this or any other power is not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the United States federal government, that power remains with each state.  

The states created the federal government and limited its power to situations where “one size fits all” actions will work. If a state does not act on a power reserved for states, that power then resides with the people.

The federal government will never undo its unconstitutional overreach. This will only be accomplished by individual states saying that unconstitutional federal actions will not be enforced here. If the state of Oklahoma does not do this, you and I may have to someday say as individuals, “No, I will not pay for dust I stir up farming my land,” or, “No, you cannot dictate what my kids can eat or what they can learn in school,” or, “No, you cannot have my gun” (or soda pop, etc.).

Clark Staiger,

North Enid

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