By Gary Marbut:
For about two years now, I've been working on a different idea to rein in our run-amok federal government, to accomplish the same goal, is my idea of a Constitutional Settlements Commission of the States, that I am just now taking public by posting it at: http://marbut.com/CSC/ also see (Link to proposed Interstate Compact)
Montana, USA – “An agent may not define the powers given to the agent by the principal. “
Under this axiom, no branch of the federal government, nor the federal government in whole, may properly define the extent of the powers the states surrendered to the federal government when the states created the federal government via the Constitution.
Only the granting authority, the states, may properly define those powers. Defining those powers is the purpose of the Constitutional Settlements Commission of the States (Commission).
The Commission is an entity formed by interstate compact among participating states, and would be made up of one delegate selected by the state senate of each participating state.
The purpose of the Commission is to answer any questions posed to it concerning the extent of the powers given to Congress and the federal government by the states in the U.S. Constitution. The Commission would adopt its own operating rules. The Commission could accept or decline any questions presented to it.
The Commission would have no power to enforce any decisions it renders. Its effect would come from providing a consensus position of states that states could enforce individually but in common by applying states' sovereignty and reserved authority under the Constitution.
The Commission provides a way for the states to collectively define the powers the states have surrendered to the federal government in the Constitution.
It would be entirely up to individual states to implement, or not implement, the decisions of the Commission. Decisions of the Commission would not be reviewable or subject to change by any other entity whatsoever.
Any state could become a member of the Commission by enacting the interstate compact and appointing a delegate to the Commission. The Commission would become active upon a minimum of nine states adoption of the interstate compact and appointing delegates to the Commission. Any state could withdraw from the Commission at any time by repealing its interstate compact. Any member state could recall and replace its delegate to the Commission at any time for any reason the state deems sufficient.
Eligibility for delegates and responsibilities of delegate states are specified in the interstate compact, as are the general procedures for the Commission.
Many thoughtful people are properly concerned about excessive powers assumed and asserted by the U.S. federal government. Various solutions have been proposed. The only practical solutions involve some form of asserting states' sovereignty – only the states may and can restrain the monster the federal government has become. It is up to the states to get the monster they created back on a leash.
The concept of the Constitutional Settlement Commission of the States may be a more doable way to organize and assert states' sovereign powers than other solutions currently under consideration.
Objections To The Commission Concept
More will be offered about objections as they arise.
- Congress would not approve: But of course. The Commission is given no enforcement or other authority in the proposed Interstate Compact very specifically so congressional approval need not be sought or obtained. Did Congress approve the formation of the National Governors Conference?
- The States would not enforce Commission: decisions because they're not mandatory. One of the problems that must be solved is top-down, mandatory this and that. Enough with mandatory! The States are sovereign. They will do what they will. If few States are willing to individually enforce a particular Commission decision, then any such decision may be deemed to lack merit.
It'll be interesting to see if this idea gets legs like the Montana Firearms Freedom Act did.