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Local laws and freedom

    The constitution specificly states that all regulatory powers not vested in the federal government are relegated to the various states and local authorities.
  Amendment 10.  "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."
This was official notice to the citizens that the federal government should not be responsible for their local affairs, except where mandated by the Constitition; it was also a promise of sorts that the nation as a whole would not be micromanaged by the feds, and that each state, and every community, would have the freedom to be run according to local standards set forth by the residents through their elected local leaders. As a protection against fragmentation of the nation, and against legislation in conflict with the principles of the nation as a whole, the Constitution, and in particular the Bill Of Rights was put in place as a guide to how the United States should be run. Amendments in the Constitution specifically forbid certain types of restrictions and laws. When the matter is in doubt, the Supreme court is in place, as the expert and final authority on whether and how local laws are affected. The whole idea of the checks and balances in government is a great idea, and it is one which shows that the founding fathers were what we today would call conservatives. I say this because the entire government is set up to impede the passage of laws. Gridlock, that oft maligned specter of political infighting, was intentionally built into the system by a collection of men who shared a distinct distrust of government.
    Though the federal government pays lip service to the Constitution these days, many of the state legislatures are getting out of control. This is certainly a threat to states in which these events occur, but it is also a great threat to the rest of us for a couple of reasons. Obviously, if one state government is allowed to exceed it's Constitutionally allotted duties, even to the extent of passing laws which violate the Bill Of Rights, what is to stop other states from following suit? There is also another more deceptive danger. In order to illustrate this danger I will use the burning issues of two centuries, and contrast them. The burning issues of the twentieth century have boiled down to the abortion issue, and the gun control issue. The burning issue of the nineteenth century was that of slavery. I have broken things up into sections because this peice was getting too long.
 Local laws as they have affected: