I’ve often been asked, “Andy, things have gotten too far out of control. How can just the Governor enforce the constitution?”
Well, it’s not only the Governor’s job to enforce the constitution; it is even more significant that it is nobody else’s job. And while it’s true that politicians have stolen power that doesn’t belong to them, the Governor has far more legal, appropriate power than you’ve been lead to believe.
A good part of what the Indiana Governor does these days (taking people’s homes, deciding which businesses thrive, and which die) is unconstitutional, of course. Here is an excellent description of the economics of the problem. And I’ve already written about several breaches of the Indiana Constitution (requires free signup; article starts on page 17). But I bet a lot of people would be surprised by what actually is constitutional.
ARTICLE 3., Section 12. The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and may call out such forces, to execute the laws, or to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion.
ARTICLE 12., Section 2. The Governor is Commander-in-Chief of the militia and other military forces of this state.
That, fellow citizens, is the law; as amended in 1974 and not changed since. It was amended to include “other military forces of this state,” because there didn’t used to be anything but the militia. And what is the militia? The Indiana National Guard, you may think? No, it is not:
ARTICLE 12., Section 1. A militia shall be provided and shall consist of all persons over the age of seventeen (17) years, except those persons who may be exempted by the laws of the United States or of this state. The militia may be divided into active and inactive classes and consist of such military organizations as may be provided by law.
This was amended in 1974 and not changed since. It is the law. The National Guard, or indeed the national standing army, does not exist by any constitutional authority. Our founders were bitterly opposed to standing, professional armies, as they are the root and seed of foreign war and authoritarian rule.
But so badly and far have we departed from the law, that it now seems inconceivable that a state could have so much sovereign power that we now ascribe only to the “federal” (hardly federal; actually, it’s unitary) government. Now it must seem perfectly fine that the President can “federalize” the state militias and deny Governors authority even in state emergencies (e.g., constitutional disasters such as happened in Waco, Texas).
This was supposed to be a nation that wouldn’t go to war at the drop of a pin. We were to be a defensive fighting force, not a global aggressor. Of course, we were to be a nation of free citizens, not a nation of serfs.
Oh my how times have changed…
Well, it’s up to you. What do you want? Do you want failure, or the constitutions that proved to work better than anything else ever tried?