Lenhart: Riots at the Capitol

The riots and break-in at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, shocked and saddened the nation. They happened during a crucial—but normally uneventful—process whereby Congress counts the electoral votes to confirm the winner of the presidential election. But Congress’s effort to count the votes was disrupted this year by violence. These events are hard to fully comprehend—no one thought they would ever see rioters breaking into the House and Senate chambers. But these events are better understood against the backdrop of Constitutional provisions that were in play leading up to the Jan. 6 riots.

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The Peoples’ Constitution – Local Power

With so many laws and regulations coming out of Washington, DC, it can seem like the federal government doesn’t leave much room for local governments to operate. On top of that, our Constitution holds that federal laws have top priority—any state or local laws to the contrary are void. So where does this leave states or localities if they want to run their own affairs and pass their own laws?

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