(HT: Think Progress)

Here’s some video from yesterday’s unofficial debate between John Boccieri and his opponent at his opponent’s “town hall” event.

The federal government needs to get out of the way and have local governments on civil rights.  Says its not a federal issue…

RENACCI: […] A lot of the problems you’re talking about are local issues. And I’m also a firm believer that the federal government and our Constitution was based on freedom, and was based on the freedoms that our number one goal of our military is freedom. We need to get our federal government out of the way and we need to allow our local governments to become more involved in many of the issues you’re talking about. I don’t believe these are federal issues to come down. I believe the federal government’s number one goal is to protect our freedoms. So the answer to your question is I believe a lot of things need to come back to the local level, and I believe things like you’re talking about do need to go back to the local level. And they need to be looked at in the cities. I was a mayor of my community. I think those are important ways of looking at all that. It’s not the federal government’s job.

What little coherence I could discern from Renacci’s rambling answer is, of course, entirely WRONG.

Perhaps Jim Rennaci should read the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution sometime:

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

The United States Constitution, through the 14th Amendment, not only makes civil rights a federal issue, but it specifically makes the body Mr. Rennaci is running to be a member of, Congress, responsible for making sure that local governments do not infringe the civil rights of our fellow citizens.

But beyond the demonstration of Mr. Rennaci’s constitutional ignorance, there’s a historical ignorance that the gentleman who asked the question is acutely aware.  There’s a reason why we haven’t entrusted civil rights as solely a local matter.