The Local Control Excuse

There are some people who mistakenly argue that local government, by virtue of being local, is somehow allowed to violate individual rights.  Some will even argue that when state and local governments conflict, that the 'conservative' position is to support the local government regardless of the issue.  That is, frankly, absurd.  

The relationship between the states and the federal government is the exact inverse of the relationship of the states and local governments.  The federal government was created by the people and the states, with a very limited scope as laid out in Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution.  Conversely, local governments are merely political subdivisions of the state - created by the state and, like the federal government, assigned limited governmental duties.  Local governments did not form state governments and state governments are in no way subservient to local governments.  The primary duty of both the federal and state governments, as defined by their respective constitutions, is to protect the rights of its citizens.  After all, that is the reason why people form a government in the first place - to band together for physical protection and the protection of their rights against outsiders or their neighbors.  It is not now, not has it ever been a 'conservative value' for the state or federal government to allow local governments to trample upon the rights of its citizens.

There are numerous examples of local governments trampling on the rights of their citizens in which the state government, and sometimes federal government must intervene to ensure the protection of citizen rights.  One such situation is state firearm preemption laws, which  prohibit local governments from regulating firearms, and were required to prevent a patchwork quilt of local laws that fly in the face of citizen's constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  Another example are state laws that govern local taxation, zoning, or parcel subdivision, to stop local governments that have run amok to prevent otherwise lawful use of ones land and property.

Those who cheer overzealous local governments in trampling upon individual rights, have a fundamental misunderstanding of the American political system.


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