Since "state's rights" are so clearly a harmful anachronism, used regularly for two centuries to justify "local yokel" laws furthering racism, bigotry, larceny, and evasion of environmental, financial, and civil rights regulations, we may assume that at some point (though possibly still far in the future), the majority of Americans will recognize this fact and support abolition of the vestigial, false "sovereignty" of the States. In fact, we are one nation, and need to live under one set of laws. The Tenth Amendment essentially says, "states can make laws about anything the Constitution doesn't cover". But as we've found over and over consistently for generations, the Constitution actually covers everything--everything that matters.
As a practical matter, how could State "sovereignty" be abolished in favor of a purely Federal legal structure, and what would be the motivation for the common man to support it?
Ideally, such a New Federalization would be accomplished via a leisurely, incremental, and voluntary, state-by-state process, rather than by a single agonizing national upheaval like a Constitutional amendment. Over time, as the benefits to Federalized States became obvious and well-known, more and more citizens would support--even demand--that their own State yield its sovereignty as well. Yet, "holdouts"would be tolerated.
What benefits would motivate average citizens to look well upon the prospect of yielding up their entire state legal system? Here are some possibilities:
* Federal "carrot" money offered to states doing so--increased infrastructure, healthcare, and education funding, for example.
* Citizen benefits, like increased Social Security payments.
* No more state income taxes to pay. Though Federal taxes might have to be somewhat higher to fund formerly State expenses, savings due to the abolition of the entire state revenue bureaucracy (and other local agencies) would likely mean that net total taxes to the state citizens would be lower in Federalized states.
* A simplified legal system wherein the state courts would be integrated as a new operating level of the Federal court system.
* Federal licenses and registrations good anywhere in the Federalized regions--including driver's licenses, bar memberships, etc. etc.--vastly simplifying national business and all that was formerly "interstate" commerce.
As more and more of the nation Federalized, the elimination of State agencies and obligations (which are often redundant with their Federal counterparts) would streamline business and daily life for many citizens and corporations, and likely increase overall national GDP and prosperity, while eliminating vast categories of legal logjams currently clogging the courts.
Perhaps a convenient mechanism for this New Federalization would be a state-by-state legal merger with the District of Columbia, which is already under Federal law alone. However, D.C. has no representation at present in Congress. Therefore, if this mechanism were employed, it is likely that D.C. would have to be granted representation proportional to its population, which would increase dramatically each time a State merged with it.
Alternatively, each State could become a separate Federal District of California, District of Arkansas, District of Massachusetts, and so on. Yet it would be ironic if the tiny District of Columbia, seemingly so insignificant, eventually engulfed all the States one by one!