I've always been a big believer in 'state rights'. (of course, we know that the civil war killed many state rights, or severely restricted. We know why (slavery) yet the states lost much of their former independance.) I suppose it comes down to some simple things.
In a country the size of the U.S. , we cannot expect Federal Government, which is rather huge, to be able and balance out all the issues that come into play. This is why it is vital states are able to pass their own laws, even if in some cases, it goes against Federal Law. Federal Law is important, of course, yet so is the ability of each seperate state to voice and fight for or against it, as they see fit.
Example, you take a city. There is the blanket government, but within that, you have neighborhood watch, homeowners associations, school PTA, unions, etc. The government would be doing a disservice in making decisions that effected all of the above if it did not appy fairly to them. Say...the government decides a new factory is approved on government land...good for the union maybe, and small buisness, but bad for the homeowners and schools that use that land as 'public open space' where they can walk their dogs and let their kids play.
SO they compromise...but they all have to come to the table and negotiate it. Ofcourse, many times people are still angry, or don't get what they believe is 'fair', but at least there is (or should be) the ability to speak out. That, in a way, is what states do with Federal government. Federal government can spread blanket laws...but to expect those laws to be able and appease/help/work in every single corner of the country, in every state, no matter what, is to me, wishful thinking. The states can then put to vote issues that, while maybe they cannot override the Federal law, they can hell at least try and make their voices heard instead of saying..."Oh well, state rights don't mean anything, so we'll all just shut up and accept it."
How this applies to the original subject...of course it does. This is a big country, with different regions and ways of thought. We should never think that state rights is somehow 'fluff' or 'just a dead issue' or 'a waste of time'. I, for one, am interested in the great dance of thoughts and fights, even if I don't agree, I am glad to be able to join the war of words regarding the republic.
edit: and sorry, didn't mean to hijack beyond the original issue.