We can see the absurdity of the Heritage position by considering the actual relationship between the NSA and the city of Bluffdale, Utah. The state constitution allows its political subdivisions to run public utilities. Under this provision, Bluffdale serves as a water supplier. When the NSA proposed building a new data center in the city, Bluffdale negotiated a sweetheart deal to sell water to the agency. Notice an important point: the federal government had to negotiate a contract for water. Now, would Heritage suggest that had the city declined to enter into an agreement to sell water, it was acting unconstitutionally because it was impeding the NSA’s plans? Would Heritage suggested that absent a contract to purchase water, the federal government could simply come in and seize water from Bluffdale? Of course not. The very existence of a contract implies the freedom of both parties to enter into and end the relationship.
The city was always free to supply water or not supply water. And it remains free to supply water or not supply water. As a political subdivision of the state, Bluffdale is subject to state control. So, the state maintains the authority to prohibit its political subdivision from supplying its resources to the NSA. Simply put, the NSA can’t just take the water. So, if the state decides to decline all material support to the NSA moving forward, that would legally begin the process of turning off the water.
FK – “…NSA can’t just take the water?”
Someone should ask the ‘native Americans’ and the southern states what the Federal government can’t take when it decides to.
Don’t understand? Start here.