Must we lose our liberties before we can appreciate them?

The SE Texas Record Apr. 3, 2012, 4:00am

For Texans and other Americans living along the Gulf Coast, snowfalls are rare. For us, snow is something quite extraordinary.

For Americans living on the Canadian border, from Maine to Washington State, snow is commonplace. It's something they've grown up with, something they see a lot of, something they tend to take for granted.

Americans North and South share the same political climate, however: a government "of the people, by the people, for the people." Because we've grown up with the blessings of liberty, we tend to take them for granted, forgetting how unusual our country is and how fortunate we are to live in it.

We also tend to assume that our freedom is constant and costless, forgetting Thomas Jefferson's warning that "eternal vigilance" is its price.

The increasing overreaching of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington reminds us how fleeting our freedom might be if we fail to respond to usurpation.

Fortunately, here in Texas, we have a champion in State Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Two years ago, we commended Abbott for challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's endangerment ruling on so-called greenhouse gases and described his lawsuit against the EPA as "a welcome defense of our vitally important Ninth and Tenth Amendments."

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments stipulate that our Bill of Rights is not an exhaustive list of our individual rights and that the States and the people retain all powers not expressly granted to the Federal Government.

Now we commend Abbott again as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the challenge that he and 25 other state attorneys general have raised against the constitutionality of Obamacare.
Gov. Rick Perry describes this occasion as "a landmark moment in the ongoing struggle against the Obama Administration's continued pattern of massive federal overreach and consolidation of power, as well as the resulting erosion of individual liberties."
Those liberties are something quite extraordinary. Let's not take them for granted, lest they "perish from the earth."

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