The Role of Local Government –
While deliberating the United States Constitution, the founding fathers specifically responded to tyrannical acts foist upon the 13 colonies by King George III of England. Because man’s nature is fixed, unchangeable, and left unchecked slouches toward tyranny and abuse of power, the 27 complaints outlined in the The Declaration of Independence are timeless, detailed, and can be used as litmus test for Government overreach throughout all generations.
In wisdom and anticipation of problems, the founding fathers built into the Constitution checks and balances to the power of the General (Federal) Government through Article IX and Article X. For its part, the Article X expressly states the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it in Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution, leaving all remaining authorities to the States and people. Simply put, all powers beyond those enumerated in Article 1 Section 8 reside with the States and, more specifically, local government. For its part and not surprisingly, Article IX reflects the same ideas and intent, that is, that powers outside the scope of those delegated to the Federal government reside with the states and local government (people).
Significant confusion exists at all levels and throughout all branches of government as to who-has-what power, while at the same time there appears no shortage of officials willing to avert responsibility. KNRC’s approach to sorting the legitimacy of proposed Federal Rules is demonstrated by first understanding that local government – that is, County Commissioners – retain 10th Amendment police powers and have responsibility for the health and safety of their citizens.
It is not difficult to become entangled in the question of whether the endless raft of Regulations, Policies, Executive Orders, Technical Memoranda, Bulletins, and Guidance churning from the 438 Federal Agencies constitutes law. It has been KNRC’s observation that even Federal-Agency personnel themselves remain detached – even ignorant – of the congressional mandates governing the agencies for which they have responsibility.
When Federal Agencies propose Rules, KNRC first investigates the base Statutes behind that Proposal, a process we call “Show Us The Law.” Because Administrative Government appears to believe they have the Authority to enact law, KNRC does not accept Regulations at face value, placing the burden-of-proof upon the Agencies themselves to demonstrate applicability to us – local Governments – who hold front-line jurisdictional powers and responsibility to the citizens we serve.
Because Courts Don’t Make Law, KNRC does not accept Court Opinions, Decisions or Definitions by themselves as being a sufficient basis for Administrative Proposals, as the function of the Courts is to adjudicate only the issues currently before that Court.
The outworking of this restorative program will take time, patience and multi-generational tenacity to implement. Then again, we did not get here overnight.