Representative Ryan Zinke never misses an opportunity to tell Montanans how important states’ rights are to him, and how much he opposes federal government “overreach.” But when it comes time to put his words into practice, Zinke’s avowed commitment to states’ rights turns out to be nothing but empty talk.
Last year, Vermont passed a law requiring the labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients. In response, industry groups introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress that would use federal law to prevent states from enacting labeling laws like that in Vermont, in spite of the fact that 90 percent of Americans support labeling of GMO foods.
In the face of such a blatant attack on the ability of states to manage their own affairs, what did Zinke do? He voted for the bill, of course.
For Zinke, as for so many other so-called “conservatives,” states’ rights are sacred when the state wishes to ignore environmental regulations or deny civil rights to certain citizens. But when a state’s efforts to actually govern in the best interests of its people threaten to diminish corporate profits, Zinke is more than willing to turn his back on the Tenth Amendment that he claims to cherish.
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