Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson with the Independence Institute in Denver spoke to KGVO News on Friday on the occasion of National Constitution Day.

Natelson looked back at the rich history of how the U.S. Constitution was developed and crafted.


“The history starts essentially with a charter issued by one of the kings in 1100, “ said Natelson. “It continues through Magna Carta. It continues through documents that were generated in the 17th century in order to preserve liberty in England. It continues through documents that were used by the American colonists in the 18th century, such as the colonial charters and the Massachusetts statement of liberties and others, right through the Articles of Confederation the state constitution to our US Constitution.”

Fast forwarding to today, Natelson identified the major dangers threatening the U.S. Constitution.

“The Constitution has been threatened in many ways over the years,” he said. “Today the biggest threat is from a federal government and federal officials who seem to think that they have no limitations on their power at all. The Constitution gives to our federal officials a fairly generous helping of power, but it also limits it. Most authority over daily life is supposed to be exercised at the state and local and family and individual level.”

Natelson said the founding fathers in their wisdom knew that power must be exercised by the states, rather than by an all-powerful federal government.

“The founders knew from history that when you have a large Republic that sprawls over a large area, the only way to protect liberty and to prevent that Republic from degenerating into despotism was to federate it; to decentralize it. So, most power was exercised at the local or the state level.”

Referencing the current COVID 19 pandemic and the effort by President Biden to force vaccinations, Natelson said the founders determined that the several states should have the power to regulate local issues.

“The states have all the power they need to deal with a pandemic,” he said. “This is not a federal responsibility. The greatest Supreme Court Justice, John Marshall, in an opinion written in 1824 that law students read, affirmed that health care issues are a matter of state concern. That's one reason we have states, and states in the past have been innovative, creative and responsible about developing responses to epidemics and pandemics.”

Natelson is the author of ‘The Original Constitution; What it Actually Said and Meant’, in addition to authoring several papers referenced in Supreme Court cases. He also pens a weekly opinion article in the online newspaper ‘The Epoch Times’.

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