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What level of government should determine what is obscene?

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What level of government (federal, state, or local) should determine what is obscene?

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What level of government (federal, state, or local) should determine what is obscene?

A little history...............
The issue of state's right versus strong federal government has been an ongoing one. Our history, as established by the Constitution recognizes the sovereignty of both the state governments and the federal government by giving them mutually exclusive powers as well as concurrent powers. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution grants the states all powers not specifically issued to the federal government in the US constitution.

One issue that is on debate today is the health care reform bill passed by President Obama which many states feel has overstepped on the state's power. The states argue that the federal government has no authority to force people to buy health insurance. They use the 10th Amendment to make their argument for challenging the federal government. The federal government on the other hand argues that federal law trumps state laws and use the Supremacy Clause to invoke their argument that as the supreme laws of the land, federal law must prevail over any conflicting or inconsistent state law.

Another issue is the one regarding same-sex marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional by a US District Judge citing the 10th amendment that the federal law banning gay marriage interferes with the right of a state to define the institution of marriage. DOMA defines for purposes of federal law to mean the union between a man and a woman. Champions of state's rights argue that the sovereign nature of the state should give them the ability to define the marital status of its citizens. Again, the 10th Amendment is used in this argument repeatedly, that each state has exclusive power to make rules about marriage.

So what level should determine what is ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses what level of government (federal, state, or local) should determine what is obscene in our society. Specific examples are given about the health care reform bill passed by President Obama and The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It briefly discusses Civil Liberties and Civil Rights and uses past Supreme Court rulings as examples on the topic.

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