Share this story...
Latest News

Live Mic: Which is it — state’s rights or executive powers?

(Photo: Rob Bishop. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News, file, July 2019)

SALT LAKE CITY — Is when to re-open the economy of each state up to President Donald Trump and his executive powers, or the governors and state’s rights, after the coronavirus pandemic has passed?

Mr. Trump has insisted he alone has the authority to decide when the country reopens after the crisis ends.

“The president of the United States calls the shots. [The states] can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States,” President Trump declared on Monday.

The 10th Amendment:

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.

State’s rights or executive powers?

“Who has the authority to reopen the states?” Lee Lonsberry asked his former boss, Republican Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, on Live Mic on KSL NewsRadio Tuesday.

“The truth is, constitutionally, they both have the authority to do it,” Bishop said.

Bishop said it was never intended under the Constitution’s separation of powers for one to dictate to the other.

“If that were the case, the very basis of our constitutional system would be in jeopardy,” Bishop said.

“As we look at what Trump has been doing in the last few weeks and months, he has given a great deal of flexibility to states, and I think he should be applauded for that,” Bishop said.

“Utah is not the same as New York State. Utah, when it reopens, will open in a different way with different dynamics. Even within the state of Utah, the southeast quadrant of Utah is far different than Park City. They have different needs and different obligations. So how they reopen needs to have that kind of flexibility.

“The federal government has an overall responsibility to set the tone, standards and guidelines, especially as it relates to interstate.

“Trump and the [White House Coronavirus] task force will have the ability of giving some kind of flexibility and variance to states because every state is different,” Bishop said.

Bishop the teacher

Bishop started teaching at Box Elder High School in Brigham City, Utah, in 1974. He retired from teaching in December 2002

“How would you possibly have adapted in a time like this to teach your students if they were all sent home?” Lee asked.

“You mean in the pioneer days when I was a teacher?” he quipped.

“Teachers are going to have to be very agile. Technology can help but only so much. They’re going to have to be very adaptive, and it’s going to make their lives a bit more difficult,” when they come back to the classrooms in the fall, he said.

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.