UVU constitution week concludes with federalism round table discussion

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The Center for Constitutional Studies concluded their week-long activities with a round table discussion, in which they urged students to discuss federalism and its role in the government.

Constitution week engaged students in intellectual conversation about the role of the constitution in modern day politics. The theme of the week was the Evolution of American Federalism, with Rod Smith, director of the Center of Constitutional Studies, as a mediator over the conversation held by panelists at the round table discussion.

Robert Natelson, a retired law professor and scholar of constitutional law, introduced the panel by talking about the scope of commerce power within the constitution.

Utah Republican representative, Kent Ivory went on to explain the role of federalism in the government. He claimed  that a government without  federalism is like playing football on a field with no lines.

He expressed that  Americans should focus less on who is in office, and more on how to fix the government system. According to Ivory, Americans can fix the system by stating a standard of federalism. Federalism being  the divide of power between  the federal, state and local governments.

Ivory hopes to one day find a way to describe federalism in a way that not only describes what it is but it’s history and  it’s present and future role in society.

Michael Melendez, Director of Policy at the Libertas Institute, explained why  Americans don’t restrict government and hold it to the constitution.

“There’s rarely ever a decrease in services,” Melendez said. “The state government will raise taxes and grow [the] government to maintain these funds. And people don’t see the repercussions of this.”

Melendez claimed  that the solution is to implement consequences for raising the national debt.

“There needs to be consequences to bad governments,” said Melendez.

Edward Goebel, a junior studying political science said, “The best thing is that the panelists were able to start this conversation, to start talking about this issue.”

After the round table discussion concluded, the panel opened up for questions. Students asked about federalism and how citizens should  hold the government accountable.

Kenny Ridge-Torres, a sophomore studying political science, said, “There is a lot that needs to be done on our end. As students, as the people, we need to step up and realize we have the power to make the change. I think these panelists understand that and want to put the power back in the people’s hands.”


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