Opinion: States’ rights now the rallying cry of the left - Jon Margolis, VT Digger

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California refers to his domain as a “nation-state.” Other left-leaning governors are showing similar independent tendencies. Wait - whatever happened to the right carrying the states’ rights banner?

“It didn’t take federal action to spur us into action and it’s not going to be the federal government that determines when we take appropriate steps here in Vermont,” said Phil Scott, rather bluntly. Some of these governors are getting downright uppity. So what else is new? Tension between state and federal power first arose during the presidency of George Washington. But for most of the last 230 years, when governors resisted federal authority they did so as conservatives, if not reactionaries. “States’ rights” were employed to battle racial equality, clean water, labor unions. What is new is that states are challenging federal power from the left, and Vermont, in its own small way, is among those challengers. No one is going to describe Republican Phil Scott as a leftist; leftists do not veto minimum wage bills. But in dealing with the pandemic, Scott is employing the powers of state government more robustly than the conservative president finds tolerable.."



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