The States Must Honor State Sovereignty
The recent lawsuits by the states in Florida and Virginia against the federal government over the federal healthcare legislation (“Obama care”) and by the federal government against Arizona regarding its support Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SC1070) should be sending up red flares for all concerned about state rights.
The statutory jurisdictional basis cited by both the states in their lawsuit and the federal government in its law suit are not consistent with or compliant with the plain reading of Article III § 2 of the federal Constitution. Clearly the only federal court with original jurisdiction over the states as parties is the Supreme Court.
This position on jurisdiction with the Supreme Court is not only supported by the clear language of Article III §2 but consistent with the discussion of the judicial power of the central government in the Federalist papers. The bases for the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court over all the entities noted in §2, including the states, is the same, their status as sovereigns. This was even recognized in early Supreme Court decisions.
There is absolutely no Constitutional basis for lawsuits between a state and the federal sovereigns to be brought in any court other than the Supreme Court. For a state to allow the federal government to sue it in federal district court or worse; for a state to sue the federal government in federal district court, is a debasement of the states’ sovereign status and as one Supreme Court decision characterization of being untrue to the Constitution, it is “treason to the Constitution”.
Although some might see the sovereign status of the states as mostly symbolic it clearly was not so to the founding fathers and I must side with those noble framers. It is the very concept of sovereignty which provides the foundation under (or wall between) the central and the state governments. From a more practical matter we know there is a significant probably that Obama will get the opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court justice. If he appoints another like his last two the status of the states will be in serious jeopardy and may require more than philosophical discourse to save them.
I strongly suggest that Kansas not join the Florida cases in the district court, but if it gets involved, it file in the only venue appropriate for a sovereign state, in the federal Supreme Court. To do otherwise only undermines the sovereignty of the states.
For the sake of Liberty,
Richard D. Fry
Tenth Amendment Center -KS