Reading an article in this April’s Chronicles magazine, “Cajuns
Uncaged,” made my day.
Last October, by nearly a 60 percent majority, Louisianians approved
Amendment 1 to their state constitution. Amendment 1 declares: “The
people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing
themselves as a free and sovereign state; and do, and forever hereafter
shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right
pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them
expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.”
Louisiana’s amendment would be entirely unnecessary if the White
House, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t have disdain for the
U.S. Constitution. What the citizens of Louisiana seek is already part
of the protections found in our Constitution. The Ninth Amendment reads,
“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The 10th
Amendment reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the
States respectively, or to the people.”
Both the Ninth and 10th Amendments are held in the deepest contempt
and disrespect by the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court. Why?
Because these amendments were written to protect against consolidation
of power by the federal government. Dismissal of the Ninth and 10th
Amendments allows Congress to control our schools, mandate speed limits,
and require employment and college admissions quotas, as well as other
forms of Washington tyranny. Today, little states can do nothing without
Washington’s permission. That was not the Framers’ vision.
What would Williams do if he were Louisiana governor with such a
mandate from the people? I would write Congress, stating that Louisiana
citizens are reclaiming their rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Respecting the Constitution and disobeying Congress would surely invite
retaliation. Congress might threaten to cut off Medicaid reimbursements
and highway-construction funds if Louisiana didn’t follow their
Faced with congressional threats, I would go to the state legislature
to establish a law enabling the state treasurer to establish a federal
tax escrow account. All Louisiana citizens and businesses with federal
tax obligations would be required by law to make those payments to
Louisiana’s federal tax escrow account. From that account, Louisiana
citizens’ federal obligations (income, profit and excise taxes) would
periodically be sent to Washington.
Then I’d send Congress another letter, informing them that if they
retaliate against Louisiana citizens for obeying the Constitution by
cutting off, say, $10 billion worth of Medicaid reimbursements or
highway construction funds, we’re simply going to reduce by $10 billion
our periodic payments of tax obligations to Washington.
You say, “Hey, Williams, things could get pretty nasty after that!”
You’re right and Congress might use armed force. “Governor” Williams
would ask Louisianians just how far they are willing to go and what
they’re willing to sacrifice to protect those precious rights the
Framers sought to guarantee by our Constitution.
You say, “Williams, have you lost your marbles, challenging a
powerful federal government?” I haven’t lost my marbles any more than
James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and others lost
theirs. After all, in 1776 — when our Founders handed King George III
the Declaration of Independence — Great Britain was the mightiest power
on the face of the earth. They knew that if they lost they’d be hung as
Of course, all of this would be irrelevant if Congress, the White
House and the Supreme Court followed their oaths of office to “protect
and defend the Constitution of the United States.”