We had a interesting debate Friday night over Arizona’s right to enact laws as a matter of a State’s Right to autonomy on WWL Radio. My esteemed partner and I saw it very differently.
First of definition of terms, as I plan to employ them:
As a matter of distrusting my own choice of words, when the semantic point came up that the idea of “Federalism” meaning FOR State’s rights, I chose to wander over and pick up my copy of “The Federalist Papers” off our library shelf. I also googled and skimmed “The Anti-Federalist Papers” which were published at the time to make the case against a strong centralized government and arguing against ratifying the Constitution. It was the Anti-Federalists who made the Bill of Rights being the first act of Congress an absolute guarantee. Jefferson was a strong Federalist in believing that the Separation of Powers would ensure a Central Government that would create safeguards against the Federal Government becoming an entity with enough power to become abusive to individual State’s or Citizen’s welfare.
The Federalist Party; thereafter was a product of pro-banking, pro-business who wanted a fiscally stable strong central government. Hamilton’s centralized banking economic policies were opposed by Jefferson – the arguments were essentially elitism versus populism; but culminated moreso in the only Federalist President, John Adam’s creation of a tax subsidized standing military (Navy) and the creation of the “Alien and Sedition Act” …the very first shot in the effort to create a Unitary Executive. However Jefferson also penned the Ky & VA resolution, which supported State’s Rights should the Federal Government overstep its bounds. A sticky wicket this term.
So, consider my usage of the term “Federalist” in description of my views for this debate only, as the Jeffersonian argument for a Central Government, and as the opposing view of the “Anti-Federalist” State’s Autonomy arguers of that era. I am comfortable in my use of this term under this intended usage. I am not employing all of the nuances of Federalist’s platforms or views in this debate, rather using the most simplistic of usages.
Ok, that said, let us move on to the legalities and ethical questions surrounding these points of views in this present era.