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Trump’s Policy: States’ Rights

A number of Americans are unclear as to President Trump’s beliefs on several issues. I hope to clarify that using the President’s own words and actions. However, the results are objectively horrifying.

Trumps Statements/Actions:

First, let’s look at where Donald Trump believes the federal government’s authority supersedes the states.

On January 24th, 2017, Donald Trump tweeted, “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!” What Donald Trump meant exactly us unclear, but it could range from sending in a Federal agency such as the FBI to assert control over local law enforcement to sending in U.S. troops and declaring martial law. In any case, it is clear that he is willing assert federal authority over a U.S. city to prevent crime.

In addition to crime, the president is willing to assert the federal government’s authority over individual states to enforce his immigration policy. On January 23rd, 2017, the president signed an executive order stating that, “the Attorney General…shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.” This order not only denies federal funding to states that do not comply with his immigration policy, it gives the federal government authority over the law enforcement budgets of these states (at least for federal funds).

Now, let’s look at what Donald Trump believes the states do have the right to determine for themselves.

When asked about a woman’s right to an abortion should Roe V. Wade be overturned, Mr. Trump said, “I would think that that will go back to the individual states.” This is the only instance I could find of the President explicitly stating his belief in the states’ autonomy from the federal government.


Based on President Trump’s actions and statements, it is clear that he believes the Federal Government has absolute authority on immigration and crime. He is willing cut federal funding to any state or city that defies the federal government’s authority, and assume control over the federal funds of said states. If the President feels that crime has become too high in a state, he will have federal forces take control of said state. However, States would be able to determine the legality of abortion for themselves should Roe V. Wade be overturned.

All sources cited via hyperlink throughout the article.

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