I was planning on saying something here to commemorate Constitution Day, since September 17 marks the anniversary of the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and the beginning of the ratification process that culminated in 1789. (Is it really 220 years? Time flies when you're creating a liberal republic.)
Stumped about what, precisely, to write on this occasion, I found a way to cheat: As I was pondering, a news release from Virginia State Senate candidate Arin Sime arrived in my email box. Since it's not plagiarism if one gives full credit, I decided to republish the Sime campaign's statement here, in full. It reflects much of what I would have said, in any case.
STATE SENATE CANDIDATE ARIN SIME OBSERVES CONSTITUTION DAY
September 17th, 24th District — Arin Sime, Libertarian State Senate candidate for the 24th District, notes that today is Constitution Day. Constitution Day marks the day in 1787 that the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution.
“As a Libertarian, I believe very strongly in taking the Constitution and the Bill of Rights literally, rather than picking and choosing from it,” said Mr. Sime. “Our federal government has vastly exceeded the bounds placed upon it by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, especially the Tenth Amendment*. This affects us not only as individual citizens, but also through its impact upon the operation of the Virginia General Assembly. There are many laws and regulations at the federal level that infringe on the ability of states and localities to govern themselves, including No Child Left Behind, Real ID, and the National Animal Identification System.”
* No Child Left Behind tries to impose national standards on all public schools. Mr. Sime stated that "Education is best left up to parents, not the government; however, where government is involved, the involvement should occur in the most decentralized way possible. No Child Left Behind ties the hands of local governments to run their own schools."
* According to Mr. Sime, "Real ID imposes requirements for biometric identification on state drivers’ licenses that will not do anything realistically to prevent terrorism or illegal immigration. Most importantly, this law poses significant risks to privacy and civil liberties, and is a “back door” national ID card. It is also estimated that it will cost states hundreds of millions of dollars to implement, and Virginia does not have that kind of money to waste."
* The National Animal Identification System was initially proposed as a mandatory program by the federal government, but is now being implemented at the state level as a “voluntary” program. Mr. Sime noted that "NAIS will still impose undue burdens upon small farmers who already face too much regulation from the federal and state government."
“The fact of the matter is that Virginia does not need any more expensive mandates from the federal government. We have enough problems stopping new tax increases and reining in our out of control spending in Virginia without the federal government trying to force us to spend more. On Constitution Day, we should remember that the U.S. Constitution is not a grant of rights to the people by government, but rather a document that defines and strictly limits the power of the federal government. I believe the Virginia General Assembly should take a public stand against these intrusive federal laws, and tell the federal government that it’s time to stop ignoring the 10th Amendment.”
Arin Sime resides in Crozet with his wife and two children and is a small business owner. More information about the campaign is available at http://www.ArinSime.com/
* The Tenth Amendment: "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."###
I don't know if any other General Assembly candidates chose to mark Constitution Day with a statement or celebration; I'd be happy to find out if they did and what they said about it.