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It’s Time to Reclaim American Federalism

November 17, 2021

Those drunk with power in Washington, DC might want us to forget that at the heart of our republic is a radically simple notion: federalism. Now, perhaps when we need it most, federalism is in trouble – but we can still get it back.

Federalism goes something like this, per the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” That is to say, except where the Constitution gives the greenlight to Washington, federal busybodies and bureaucrats should be butting out of our lives, because the rest of the powers of self-government belong to the people of each state.

Federalism is based on a very simple idea: concentrating power in a group of elites from one swampy city and enabling them to hand down one-size-fits-all decrees to the rest of us is a recipe for tyranny. It is the idea that we – individuals, families, and communities – know more about what’s important in our lives and what works in our neighborhoods than a politician 3,000 miles away.

Read the rest of the op-ed at RealClear Public Affairs.

Matt Beienburg is Director of the Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy and Director of Education Policy at the Goldwater Institute.



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