On the "South is gonna rise again types", I’ll assume ya’ll are talking about the various groups that would undermine the inalienable rights of individuals … Otherwise, I’d have to go on a flaming rant. I’ll just say that for the most part, they are an embarrassment, and most especially to me … since I consider myself about as "Southern" as a person can be. If however, "States’ Rights" are taken to mean the States only having "rights" with respect to the federal govt., I am inclined to agree with the "States’ Rights" crowd.
IMO, the 14th Amendment erases any rights of a State with respect to it’s people in the same way that the federal govt. has no rights with respect to the people. The governments of the States and the federal govt. have only powers, and what is called "States’ Rights" today is more like a separation of powers issue. Full incorporation of the 14th is the only correct answer, but to do it all at once would mean the legal equivalent of a revolution (or a civil war … depending on which side won). I doubt you’ll find anyone on the bench that was both principled and courageous enough to start it. To tell the truth, I have little hope that the operation of the US govt will ever return to the principles upon which it was founded, much less that those principles would be fully applied to the States.
To me, the NRA argument against full incorporation is like a group of sailors preoccupied with a small breach in a sinking ship saying "the big hole in the hull is on the other side of the ship, causing it to list, and is helping us to clear our compartment of water … keep bailing". Whether or not those sailors could do anything about the big hole is, of course, another question. If they couldn’t do anything about the big hole, I’d much rather see the sailors trying to patch the breach than contributing to the water accumulating on the other side of the ship.
Still, one must strive for what he believes to be right regardless of his chance for success, and it seems that an incremental approach to full incorporation might one day succeed where a single all encompassing battle would surely fail. It would however, be nice if those fighting in the legal arena to protect one right would be mindful of causing damage to other rights.
Thanks for the patient responses to the questions of a common carpenter from Mississippi. They are greatly appreciated and have given me some direction in my reading. (I actually like reading old-timey language.) After looking over this post, I feel like I should apologize for being such a pessimist. Maybe tax season just got me down. Dunno really …
I can’t apologize for believing that "if it is just and written in the law, then it should be followed until it is erased". Good thing I wasn't alive in 1861. I would have fought for the Confederacy and opposed slavery as its most shameful institution, just as some in my family did. No one in my family fought for the North.
Keep smiling ... it'll just make 'em wonder what you're up to...