The principle the essay describes — the expansion of authoritarian federal police powers — is certainly real, but its application to the current wave of insurrectionist protests strikes me as overwrought. We should, instead, be thankful for the deployment of federal police against the rioters.
For reference, the 10th Amendment to the Constitution states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Nothing in that simple language prohibits the creation of federal police powers and, in fact, Congress has created many such powers, placing them under the command-and-control authority of the Executive. As a result, the idea that the federal police powers currently being used actually nullify the 10th Amendment is absurd.
One counter argument is that the state and local police authorities have nullified themselves by abdicating their responsibility to prevent or respond to violence and property damage. That federal police step in to restore order is a good thing.
Theoretically, too, the federal jurisdiction to respond is appropriate. It is well established that many of the instigators of the violence we are seeing represent interstate, even international networks. To the extent these networks promote anti-American ideologies it makes perfect sense for the federal police to go after them, regardless of sovereign state authority.
The question therefore becomes, simply: Are the federal police who appear to be doing the right thing in this instance really the good guys or the bad guys?
I’m skeptical either way, but challenge anyone wishing to to judge the matter to support their opinion without resorting to abstract Constitutional theory or unprovable conspiracy allegations.
The idea that the legitimate law enforcement authorities of the federal government have become too expansive and too poorly regulated has merit. It deserves to be explored and tested, just not hysterically as in the essay.