Sunday, May 3, 2020

Is a "constitutionalist" only a constitutionalist over 1 constitution? Or over all 51 constitutions?

In the past few weeks, I have heard two or perhaps three interviews with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and I think the most impressive thing I have heard her say(she has said many impressive things) repeatedly is not just that she swore an oath to defend and uphold the United States Constitution, but also her State constitution.

I find this to be extremely impressive, since I find that far too often some people are willing to let themselves forget that America has more than one Constitution. As an example, here is a past article from something Noem said: ""I took an oath to uphold our state Constitution," she said,"

This is, I think, an important thing worth discussing. The Founding Fathers didn't repeal the state Constitutions - and in fact went full throttle just the opposite direction. Where some specific power is not expressly delegated, it's the 10th amendment. Uphold the State Constitutions, these are great things! Where there is an entry in the enumerated powers list, well, ok in that instance the U.S. Constitution is supreme. The point is even directly made at the Constitutional Convention by Roger Sherman:

Mr. SHERMAN, was for securing the rights of the people where requisite. The State Declarations of Rights are not repealed by this Constitution; and being in force are sufficient. There are many cases where juries are proper which can not be discriminated. The Legislature may be safely trusted.

If the State Declarations of Rights are not repealed, then the whole documents aren't repealed either. There's no Bill of Rights out there that just floats without being attached to a Constitutional document. It doesn't work that way.

Now, I do think that 51 constitutions may be too big of a net, but every American who claims to be a constitutionalist should in fact be just as equally of a protector and advocate of their State as of the U.S. constitution. So at a minimum, every constitutionalist should claim 2. What exactly is the intent of the 10th amendment then?

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