No Federal Taxation Without Free and Fair Representation

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3 mins read

… [In 1812] the Massachusetts legislature threatened to sequester federal tax money if militia arms due to the state under an 1808 law were not delivered.  

—Donald R. Hickey, “The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict”

This historical fact has caused me to return to my argument that blue state governors must use their economic power to take up the case for democracy in the United States. A vitally important case is coming before the Supreme Court. 

If the current Republican majority (the six justices who are blatant partisans) allow state legislatures to set their own rules for federal elections, then those rules cannot be overturned or reviewed by state courts. That means Republican states can allocate Electoral College votes in any way they see fit. Such a ruling would take away state courts’ ability to protect the rights of voters.

This ruling would not only end free and fair elections for voters in red states, it would also dilute the voting power of all the voters who support the Democratic Party in this country.  

As an example, if the Georgia legislature had been allowed to select electors in the last election, Georgia’s Electoral College votes would have gone to Donald Trump. Current senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff also would have been “defeated” by Republican candidates.

If the Supreme Court does allow state legislatures to set their own federal election rules, I suggest that blue states follow historical precedent and sequester federal tax money until the rights of voters in all of our United States of America are given equal weight.

Does this mean demanding a revision of the current system of elections at the national level? You bet it does. You cannot have a united country with an unfair and biased voting system. 

Unfortunately, the current Supreme Court is hellbent on breaking the country apart and fomenting a legal civil war. Once disparate rules are put in place in each state around the environment, abortion, guns and other issues, we have what I would call  “the united divided States of America.” 

Since getting rid of the Court is virtually impossible, perhaps the new battle cry for the Democratic Party and blue state governors should be “no federal taxation without free and fair representation.”


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Felicity Harley is a published journalist, writer, and a poet. Born to an English father and a Caribbean mother, educated in Europe and a former member of the British Foreign Service posted to Iran, she possesses excellent communication and networking skills. A lifelong activist and advocate across political and social affairs, she served as the Chief Executive of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut (WACCT) until June 2013, when she left to resume her writing career.

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