The SE Texas Record May 17, 2016, 2:51pm


Is it going to take another American Revolution, or will we be able to walk back the manifold instances of federal overreach one by one?

The usurpations we put up with today are far more numerous than those suffered by the colonists at the hands of King George. Too many of the federal government’s activities today are not authorized by the U.S. Constitution, and many are – or were at one time – prohibited by it.

The usurpations are always justified as contributing to some putative public good (as defined by the usurper) or remedying an alleged infringement of some fanciful right asserted by a recently discovered new minority.

It's all a lot of hooey, and it needs to stop.

A recent example: the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit against the City of Beaumont for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Unfortunately, the city settled, agreeing to pay a $475,000 fine for its alleged discrimination against persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities (and the corporate interests that want to house them in small group homes in residential districts) and promising to change its zoning and land use practices.

This is another example of majority rights being circumscribed.

People who live in single-family homes have every right to establish zoning laws that exclude multifamily units. Cities and towns all across America have reasonable occupancy laws regulating how many persons (and in what relationship to each other) can live in a single dwelling.

The federal government has no business meddling in municipal housing policies. It has no business interfering in many state and local affairs. It has a long history of asserting authority it doesn't have, and every time it's gotten away with an overreach, it's overreached again. It's time for the states and the people to reassert the rights protected by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, and it's time for the federal government to respect its proper boundaries.

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