Individual Rights - States' Powers

A Resolution Concerning Individual Rights and States' Powers

20 December 2017

                            THE YORK COUNTY SOUTH CAROLINA

WHEREAS, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States together form the Foundational Guide and Law of the Land for The United States of America; and

WHEREAS The Declaration of Independence clearly specifies that people have rights and governments' function is to protect those rights in its statement that "all men are endowed with certain unalienable RIGHTS" and that "TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, Governments are instituted among Men;" and

WHEREAS, The Ninth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States specifically points to "Rights" as belonging to PEOPLE and the Tenth Amendment specifically points to "Powers" as belonging to governments AND people; and

WHEREAS, neither of our Founding Documents speak of "rights" in connection with POLITICAL BODIES ("States") or GROUPS of any kind, our Founders used language precisely and purposefully to distinguish between "rights" which are reserved to individuals and "powers" which are specified for governments; and

WHEREAS, the distinction between POWERS and RIGHTS is a CRUCIAL distinction made by our Founders, who understood that to misuse the word "rights" would undermine the very concept of individual rights and UNDO the very distinction the Founders were so careful to make; and

WHEREAS, confusing the Constitutional concept of "states' powers" with the non-Constitutional term "states' rights" puts States in competition with Individuals for Rights, putting citizens in jeopardy of being violated by the very governments established to protect them; and

WHEREAS, failure to observe this distinction destroys the protective concept of "Unalienable Rights" and enables special interest groups to clamor for a piece of the "Rights Pie" to be divvied out by local, state and federal governments who presume to "own" the "Rights;" and

WHEREAS, careful distinctions protect individuals by reserving rights for The People, and sloppy language renders Rights up for grabs by the very governments founded to safeguard them;

RESOLVED, that the South Carolina Republican Party revise its Platform to honor the careful language and distinctions between Rights and Powers used in our Founding Documents by changing all references to "States' Rights" in the South Carolina Republican Party Platform to "States' Powers" in order to perpetuate the rule of Constitutional Rights-Based Law over the rule of would-be tyrants and to ensure that EVERY level of government functions to PROTECT rather than usurp the Unalienable Rights of the People and secure the Blessings of Liberty that these Rights convey.

"Powers" belong to governments.   "Rights" belong to individuals.   This is a pivotal distinction the Founders emphasized in America's foundation documents.   Sloppy language and partisan pleading have muddied this key distinction.   It should be re-clarified in South Carolina's Republican Party Platform.

Courtesy of   Terry Bird.

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