The American Founders recognized that federalism is essential to maintaining individual liberty in the United States. The Constitution therefore grants the federal government only certain limited powers which were specifically enumerated in the document, and thus requires the different sovereigns (state and federal) to compete for the affection of the people. It also allows the people to seek support from one level of government if the other begins to act in a tyrannical way. Those safeguards to liberty in constitutional federalism cease to exist if one sovereign becomes the vassal of the other.
Yet, over the past 80 years and accelerating in the last several decades, the federal government has steadily wrested power from the states and the people in a variety of areas, often preventing states from protecting the individual constitutional rights of their citizens. On Monday March 1st at The Heritage Foundation at noon, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will address this timely issue.
He will explain what the states can and should do to maintain and exercise their rightful duty to defend their citizens from an encroaching federal government. General Abbott has been at the forefront of this battle, especially with regard to the states’ ability to defend their citizens’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In a landmark Supreme Court case in 2008, he authored an amicus brief on behalf of 31 states, arguing that the Second Amendment right is an individual right—a position with which the Supreme Court agreed. He is also leading an effort on behalf of 38 states in the next Supreme Court gun rights case, arguing in a brief that cities and states also must respect Second Amendment rights. He will address this issue at our event, which takes place a day before the oral argument in this momentous case.
Attorney General Abbott will also discuss Texas’ recent lawsuit challenging the U.S. EPA’s far-reaching climate change regulations that threaten to limit our freedom and damage our economy.
Click here for more information and to RSVP to “Limiting Leviathan: The States’ Role in Protecting Liberty.”