The text of SJ1 can be found HERE. The audio of the hearing can be found during the last 20 minutes of the recording found HERE (Budget and Taxation - Wed, 2/16/11).
Chairman Kasemeyer - Vice-Chairman McFadden - Members of the Committee,
We were in this room one year ago, voicing our support of this same resolution. It is just as important now as it was then, maybe even more so. The decision that you make related to this legislation will have a profound impact on my family and other families in the state of Maryland for generations to come. While it may at first seem that the resolution states already existing facts, it is often important to restate them so that the truths may be heard again by all.
While a resolution may not carry the force of law, it does deliver a forceful message; a message that firmly supports what the framers intended. As Madison, generally referred to as the father of our Constitution, wrote in Federalist [No.] 45 prior to the Constitution’s ratification:
- The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined.
- Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.
Our governmental structure was not established as a National government; it was designed as a Federal system of governance, one in which two governments have jurisdiction over the inhabitants (i.e. a dual sovereignty); this is federalism. We the people consented to delegating very specific authority to the federal government, but the balance was retained by the states and their people. This said – the purpose of federalism is protection of the liberties of people and the rights of individuals.
SJ1 is non-partisan and gives the people of Maryland an opportunity to assert our states proper authority as a co-equal level of government – just as our founding fathers intended. It is troubling that we even need to take steps to assert such limitations outlined in our U.S. Bill of Rights.
Those in support of federalism and this resolution are not anti-government; we’re proponents of proper government. We firmly support all levels of government as the framers intended.
This resolution is about bringing the appropriate power back to Maryland, where it belongs. You, our state Senators and Delegates, are more aware of our Maryland culture and are closer to the people, just as you should be. A rebalance of power is crucial for a Constitutional republic rooted in federalism to survive. Otherwise the federal government will continue to increase its voracious appetite for more and more power. This will result in less freedom for Maryland citizens and more government debt that will never be paid back.
Unfortunately, we’ve reached a point that our representatives and the judiciary of the federal government have usurped authority that ‘We the People’ never consented to. They have done this over many decades and through various measures; most of the time the vehicle used by the legislature is the General Welfare clause or the Commerce Clause and this is done with the collusion of their federal counterparts in the judiciary citing case law, not original intent or meaning. If the people were to retain their unalienable rights, the founders knew the federal government could not be the final and only arbiter of its own power and authority; the people of the states must also hold the federal branches accountable through their state representatives.
Because of the federal governments’ usurpation, it is left to the Peoples representatives in the state governments to serve as the final sentry and to halt the rapid usurpation of power and authority by our federal government. As Senators and your counterparts, the Delegates, you have been sent to Annapolis not simply to represent the concerns of your constituency.
In closing, let me humbly remind you that your most basic purpose is to assure the rights of the people are to be protected and preserved. Your primary responsibility to Maryland citizens is to secure our freedom and liberty. This is why SJ1 is so desperately needed to pass.
So I ask you my fellow Marylanders…Will you help us citizens by asserting our authority before it is too late? Liberty will not preserve itself. It is our civic obligation to be its guardian. Will you be a champion of liberty?
Joshua J. Lyons
Resident of Frederick County, MD
Joshua is the co-host of The Forgotten Men radio show Saturdays at 12 noon, Eastern, on AM930 WFMD – and the co-founder of We Surround Them Frederick.