Constitutional Scholar Rob Natelson on Monday’s Talk Back Show
Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson with the Independence Institute was on the KGVO Talk Back show on Monday for the full 90 minutes to answer questions from listeners on a variety of topics.
Natelson commented on the trend in the United States to ask the government to solve all of society’s problems, which he said is not constitutional.
“Part of their campaign is convincing the American people that the federal government is their school board, their health board, their daddy, their mommy and everything else conceivable, when in fact, the Constitution limits federal power significantly,” said Natelson. “COVID-19 is a very good example of this. The power that the Constitution gives the federal government over healthcare related subjects is really very, very small. I would argue that the whole Centers for Disease Control, the whole institution is probably unconstitutional except insofar as it serves national defense.”
Natelson pointed out that the Constitution gives the several states the power to order their own affairs, especially when it comes to our healthcare.
“Health issues have traditionally been a state and local responsibility, and that makes sense when you reflect that health measures that make sense in New York City would be ridiculous in Montana or South Dakota,” he said. “So the article (Natelson wrote for the Epoch Times) explains the reasons behind the various limits that are put on the federal government by the Constitution.”
Natelson said the federal government was not crafted by the founders to solve every problem, but to empower the states and local communities to handle their own issues.
“Climate change is an excellent case for saying the best way to respond to that, is the flexibility the free market, that keeping government out of the business because the government can rarely calibrate its actions right,” he said. It will either under act or over act, but you never hear anybody concerned about climate change allegedly say that. They always say, well, it's a federal action. What's really going on is centralizing power in the federal government, and not curing the problem.”
Closer to home, Natelson encouraged Montanans to pay very close attention to the battle brewing between the Republican controlled legislature and what he sees as a very liberal Montana Supreme Court.
“A word to Montanans, and that is to pay very close attention to this current dispute involving the Montana Supreme Court,” he said. “Because the court really has been in many ways the most powerful agency of state government, even though it's not elected to exercise policy at all, it’s elected to decide legal questions. The court needs to be held to the same standards of transparency that other branches of government are.”
Natelson is a former law professor at the University of Montana, but now works with the Independence Institute in Denver, as well as authoring a weekly opinion column in the online news site called Epoch Times.