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AOL NEWS: Will Populist Backlash Stand Up in Court?

WASHINGTON (Aug. 4) — Voters in Missouri show Congress what they think of a federal mandate to purchase health insurance. Lawmakers in Arizona take immigration enforcement into their own hands. And senators in Washington talk about amending the U.S. Constitution to block children born to those here illegally from automatic citizenship.

“We’re looking at the greatest showdown on states’ rights that we’ve had in a couple of generations,” said Richard Reuben, a University of Missouri law professor. “This is a historic time.”

Arizona conservatives sing the national anthem at a rally against illegal immigration Sunday in Phoenix.

Republicans have issued a tea party-friendly Contract From America based on “individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.” Democrats have countered with a parody whose No. 1 priority is to repeal health insurance reform, their No. 1 achievement.

Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said the current revolt encompasses the tea party but is broader than that. He sees the prevailing public mood as the latest in a series of American populist movements. But unlike, say, the prairie populism of the 1890s that gave rise to the progressive movement, today there are more ways to express discontent, whether at the ballot box or on the Internet.

This time the growing number of lawsuits, ballot initiatives and legislation is part of a grassroots conservative movement that disapproves of the liberal political establishment in Washington. Said Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor and founder of The Volokh Conspiracy blog: “They are trying to have their voice heard — to mixed results.”

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  • http://facebook Rhett Millsaps

    I believe our nation is awake, finally. I pray that our people will remove this Congress and stop the out of control spending, the weakening of our values and take back our country. The world can have it’s order, but we, as Americans, enjoy freedom that the world has never known. This generation doesn’t have a clue as to how much freedom cost and they will find out if we don’t turn from this path of destruction. History has shown that our people are willing to die for our freedom and for that, our children will be shocked to see if they believe what they have been taught in this system of education. We need to check all these colleges out and when you do, you will find they have been teaching our children the current socialist agenda for decades. This is a problem that will be solved only when the people of this country realize it is wrong and demand a balance on education. Our people have been divided before, this is not new, it is just a fact. Instead of fighting in the streets, we have a ballot box, but we have seen that billions of dollars have been stolen from the people by this group in Congress. We must prevail against a stacked deck and with God’s help, we will. If we fail to vote these people out of power, we might as well prepare to live in a nation that is not the leader of the world anymore, and we must prepare to be occupied by armed people who will try to take every last freedom we have and this is not to say right wing or left wing gone crazy, this is to say the truth, wake up friends, we are at the dark end of the street.