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Returning to our nation's principles


Charles Key April 29th, 2010

On April 13, The Associated Press released a story about militias. It claimed, among other things, I was considering filing legislation about "the militia" next year in Oklahoma.This was simply false....

On April 13, The Associated Press released a story about militias. It claimed, among other things, I was considering filing legislation about "the militia" next year in Oklahoma.

This was simply false. I had made it clear several times in the interview that I had no intention to file, knew of no other legislator who was planning to file such legislation, and hadn't discussed the possibility with anyone.

Two days later, in a meeting with the reporter and his supervisor it was revealed that the AP had decided to write a story on the militia. They were determined to find a connection to the tea parties, conservative legislators and other grassroots constitutional organizations one way or another. The story not only attributed false statements to me and others, but also went national to a willing press who repeated the false information over and over.

Why did this happen? Will the media probe this question of how they got it so terribly wrong with as much zeal as they pursued their predetermined effort to make a connection between militias and conservatives? I wouldn't bet on it.

I believe the bigger issue that we face today is this: Will we return to the principles our nation was founded upon or will we continue to devolve to an inferior political system and fade into history?

The Declaration of Independence lays the foundation for our whole system of laws and government. "We the people" created the government to first secure and protect our God-given rights to life, liberty and property. Secondly, we delegated only certain powers to the federal government so that they could accomplish the first charge. The specific delegated powers are enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment reiterates this fact.

But the federal government has gone far beyond its delegated powers, seldom following the Constitution. We created the government " it did not create us. We are either sovereign over the government that we created or we are merely its servants.

The Supreme Court has correctly observed many times that our system of government is not only characterized by the principle of separation of powers, but also of "dual sovereignty." This refers to the important and equal role state governments play in keeping the federal government in its proper constitutional role.

One of the ways states can do this is through passing laws that invalidate unconstitutional federal actions. This is called nullification, and it isn't a new idea; it has been part of our system of government since the beginning. It usually involves state legislation that refuses to cooperate or enforce a federal law or regulation believed to be unconstitutional.

Freedom has come about throughout Western Civilization because of the dispersal of political power, not the consolidation of it. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and either means what it says or it really doesn't mean anything. We each have a responsibility to require that all government officials follow the Constitution so that our posterity will have the same freedoms and opportunities that we have had.

"Charles Key
Oklahoma City

State Rep. Key, a Republican, represents House District 90.
 
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