The ProFamily Legislators Conference “€“ Ken Ivory: Today we bring you to The ProFamily Legislators Conference with special guest Ken Ivory as he talks about federalism. The title of his session is “repainting the lines on the field.’ Stay tuned to find out more!

Air Date: 01/20/2020

Guest: Ken Ivory

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


Download: Click Here

Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture


Welcome to the Intersection of Faith in the Culture. It’s Wall Builders Live, where we talk about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith in the culture, always from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. And sometimes we dive very deep into that constitutional perspective and give you and frankly, us; I learn so much every day on this program, get in to ask questions of David Barton, America’s premier historian and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of Wall Builders. By the way, my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s constitution coach.

But I love learning on this program. Even though I’m American constitution coach, I’m always learning. There’s something new about the founding fathers or the constitution just to the conversation and the digging deep into these issues, the interviews and in this case, today, go into the presentations, we get at Pro-Family Legislators Conference from folks like Ken Ivory, state representative from Utah and just a fantastic expert on federalism.

Repainting The Lines On The Field

Today he’s going to be talking about repainting the lines on the field. This is such an important presentation today. I urge you to listen carefully and share this program with your friends and family, as many people as you possibly can. And then become a constitution coach yourself. It’s very simple to do. You don’t have to be an expert. You just put in the DVDs and handout the workbooks and we do the rest of the work for you. You can find out more about how to do that at constitutioncoach,com but today listen and learn. Here’s representative kin ivory at the pro family legislators conference talking about federalism, Repainting the Lines on the Field.

Ken Ivory:

I am so excited to be here. I was talking to so many in the hallway and as we’re looking at what’s going on and asking how you’ve enjoyed the conference. And the words that come out are rejuvenated, inspired, refreshed, ready to go back and take on the responsibility. And I think this is my sixth year, coming to the Pro-Family Legislator Conference and I felt that every single time.

I guess as the last speaker, it’s my honor and opportunity to thank David and Tim “€“ hopefully, they didn’t sneak out “€“ David and Cheryl and the amazing Wall Builders staff. We are so grateful for you to remind us of the roots and the heritage and get back to that solid foundation of the secret sauce that formed this nation.

I put a lot of thought”€¦And there was a title in the program, “€˜Repainting the Lines”€™ and we’ll get to that a little bit but as I prayed a lot about what to share and what might be most impactful, a question kept coming back to my mind over and over again “€œDoes God care about federalism? Really?”€ And that question kept lingering in my mind. I thought, “€œI’m going to go with that.”€ Does God care about federalism? And with your permission, I’m going to make that case to you all today because I know He does.

Win My First Election To State Office

Ten years ago this month, I was about to win my first election to state office. And our family was reading the constitution and we got to Article 6. It said, “€œThe members of the state legislature shall be bound by oath or affirmation to uphold the US Constitution.”€ And realizing that I was a week away from everyone saying it was likely I was going to win. And I would raise my hand and I would swear an oath to uphold and defend the US Constitution. It hit me so powerfully, what did the founders mean for me today? What power did I have to uphold and defend the US Constitution?

I won the election, and that question continued to plague me. What could I do? I started to study I looked at a bunch of David’s materials and searched everywhere I could search. I spent a number of weeks and finally, I took all of my notes and I took my trailer and went up into the mountains by myself for a few days, and started writing and just writing and compiling and I compile a little outline for myself, now that I would be in office and swear that oath to uphold the US Constitution.

I shared it with a law professor of constitutional historian Rob Nielsen. Many of you may know, Rob. I still remember the day I got a voicemail from Rob Nielsen. I’m a brand new, newly elected legislator, and I get a voicemail from Rob and he says, “€œThis is really good. You should share this with everyone you could share this too. Let’s publish that. Can I write a foreword to that?”€ And that’s what this little Where’s the Line book is.

Where’s The Line?

In the back of your book and the handout that you have, there’s a link where you can get a free download if you would like that. That was something that I wrote to myself as an outline to answer that question. What power did I have to uphold the oath to uphold and defend the US Constitution?

And as Tim mentioned, I had the opportunity this year to start teaching American federalism. We’re approaching it from what we call a functional federalism standpoint. There’s so many people that can describe what federalism is, but how do we actually do this thing called federalism?

I also had an opportunity. This year, we started working on a project in Utah to determine the fair taxable value of all the federal lands in Utah. I’ve shared with some of you, and we’ll talk a little bit more. But out of that, I had a very exciting company offered me a position that would take my full time and attention together with this professor position. And so in August, I’ve resigned my position in the legislature, and I hope to continue to associate with you all and help in my academic pursuits to support you in the critically important work that you do.

We Need To Be Secure In Our Life

God loves his children. We’ve heard that over and over and over again in this conference. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ, Romans 8 tells us. And we’ve heard from Pastor Brooks, not only is God want us to be happy, he commands us to be happy to be glad in it right. So, one of my favorite quotes spiritual leader Thomas S. Monson said, “€œGod left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth, He left the rivers unbridged, the forests unfilled, and the city’s unbuilt. God gives man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted the music unsung, and the problems unsolved that man might know the joys and the glories of creation.”€

Our happiness comes from creating, as our father creates. To create, we need to be secure in our life, liberty and property. And we were given the greatest happiness formula that has ever existed on the history of the earth, endowed by the creator with inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.

The pursuit of happiness is to create with these God-given rights. To secure these rights, governments exist among men. But the great debate was what kind of government? Democracy? “€œNo, that is a short in its life as it is violent in his death,”€ Madison tells us in federalist 10. Republic? We knew it should be some form of a republican government, but a single Republic, separated by legislative executive judicial separation of powers, that wouldn’t work in such an extensive territory. So diverse, founded on the principles of self-governance.

Front Sight Firearms Training Institute


Hey everyone, it”€™s Rick Green here from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Green, Tim Barton, David Barton, what do all these folks have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the constitution and educate America on the Constitution? They’re all raving about Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. In fact, if you go to my website right now today at, you can watch the video of Dennis Prager training at Front Sight or Larry elder training in Front Sight, or Tim Barton myself training out their Front Sight. It’s an opportunity for you to learn how to defend yourself and your family to make sure that you’re ready and able to do that.

It is a fantastic place to train. They train literally 30, 40,000 people a year and they’re just wonderful to work with. And you can go with us. We’re headed back out, we’re going to have a great time out there as the WallBuilders family and if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we have an amazing deal for you, it’s actually going to cost you one 10th of the normal price to attend this two-day handgun training because you’re going with us and you’ll also get the constitution crash course. I’ll be teaching them the constitution you get the intellectual ammunition that you need to defend the Second Amendment and our Constitution, as well as getting the physical training on how to defend yourself and your family. And this is for everyone, guys, gals, everyone should take this class will no matter how much you’ve shot your whole life or if you’ve never touched a gun, learn how to defend your family.

We’re going to be going several times throughout the year and we would love to have you be a part of that. Check out today to find out the dates and all the specifics and get all of your questions answered. Check out today to join us on this front side trip for both your constitutional and your handgun defense training.

Geodesic Dome Greenhouses

Ken Ivory:

In America, in the compound republic of America, the powers first divided among two distinct governments, and they control each other as a double security to the rights of the people. Some of the most intricate system, the most elaborate system, unprecedented system that has ever existed before since on the face of the earth. In the compound republic of America, the power is divided among two distinct governments to form a double security. We want happiness so much, our formula for happiness that we can protect life, liberty and property so that we can create in a God-like manner. We want to double security to those rights.

I learned something really critical about this about three years ago. It was our 20th anniversary, and we were planning a trip and I told my wife, “€œI know the perfect place to go. Let’s go to Pagosa Springs, Colorado because they have these really cool geodesic dome greenhouses. They’re awesome. And I’m a greenhouse geek and I love to garden, and so for our anniversary, Honey, let’s go to Pagosa Springs, Colorado and look at greenhouses.”€ And because she loves me enough, she says, “€œYeah, honey, that’d be really great. Let’s go to Springs, Colorado andlook at greenhouses.”€

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

The saving grace of the trip, however, is that Pagosa Springs, Colorado has a beautiful hot spring resort. So we looked at the greenhouses, and then we sat in the hot springs, and then it was time for massages. And she was in her massage room. I was in the massage room. The Masuda was a 20 year transplant from New York; ponytail down to his backside, Birkenstocks mountain bike in the massage room. Just reporting the facts. And he says, “€œSo who are you?”€ “€œWell, I’m Ken Ivory, I’m in the Utah legislature.”€ He says, “€œWhat do you do?”€ And I think if I tell him federalism, I may as well speak to him in Japanese. I said, “€œWell, let me put it this way. You’ve got that bike there. There’s writing on the tires. Do you know what’s written on the tires?”€ He says, “€œOh, yeah, that’s the tire pressure.”€ I said, “€œYou know how much a tire pressure is?”€ He said, “€œSure. It’s 55 pounds per square inch. So what if your front tire is 105 pounds and your back tire is less than five?”€ He says, “€œOh, that’d be a disaster.”€

You Have To Fix The Bike

So remind you, this is September of 2016. There was an election going on that year. I said, “€œWhat if you just rode the bike harder?”€ He said, “€œNo, that wouldn’t work.”€ I said, “€œWhat if you’ve got Lance Armstrong all hopped up on steroids to ride the bike? Maybe that would fix your problem.”€ He said, “€œNo, that wouldn’t work.”€ I said, “€œI got. I got it. I got it. What if you just steered the bike harder to the right or maybe you steer it harder to the left?”€ “€œNo, that doesn’t work.”€ He says, “€œYou have to fix the bike.”€ “€œSo that’s what I’m working on.

The Powers Of Government

You see, in our system, we had two spheres of government and powers divided among the two spheres of government, and one was supposed to have few and defined powers and the other numerous and indefinite powers. And today, the front tire is so bloated is about to explode, and the back tire is so flat, it”€™s about to chew the rubber right off the rim, and all we talk about is should Trump or Clinton ride the bike, and should they steer to the right or steer to the left? I said, “€œI’m working to fix the bike.”€ He got so excited, he said, “€œI never knew actually, I’ve learned more about government in three minutes than I’ve known my whole life.”€ He said, “€œYou have to tell everybody this. We have to fix the bike.”€

And elective despotism is not the government we fought for, not only one that should be founded on true free principles but in which the powers of government should be so divided, balanced among the general powers of magistracy that no one could transcend their legal limits without being checked and restrained by the others.

There Are No Lines On The Field Anywhere

So I was speaking in Des Moines, Iowa 2017 right before the legislative session, the week before the legislative session, I was speaking on federalism. I was sick, I wanted to get home I wanted to prepare for the session and as I got to the airport, Friday afternoon, freezing rain. Everything was shut down. We sat on the plane, we sat on the plane, nothing was taking off and I thought, “€œMan, I’m going to miss my plane and be stuck in Iowa with a session starting on Monday. I just want to get home.”€

Finally, the plane takes off. We’re supposed to connect through Minneapolis. As we got close to Minneapolis, I was trying to see where the gate might be and how I could get to that, could I make my connecting flight. I saw this giant of a man with a bright red University of Utah football t-shirt on. I said, “€œWell, that guy’s going where I’m going, he’s going to Salt Lake I’m going to follow him.”€ And I got off the plane, I got behind him, I grabbed my bag and off we went. He was just carving a wave through the sea of people. And as he’s going through, I’m right behind him going through. I wasn’t even positive. He was going to the same place. But he got to the gate just as they’re closing the door. They let us in.

We sat in the exit row together and introduce ourselves. And he said he was the linebacker coach for University of Utah. I was on a recruiting trip, but he had played football at BYU. And he said, “€œWell, what do you do?”€ I said, “€œWell, I’m in the legislature.”€ He said, “€œWell, what do you do?”€ And I said, “€œWell, again, if I do federalism,”€ I said, “€œLet me see if I can put it this way. This game, BYU Utah, you know, Utah football that’s called the holy war. And it’s a pretty big deal.”€ I said, “€œThat’s kind of a big game, right?”€ He says, “€œYeah.”€ “€œSo the week is different, isn’t it?”€ “€œYeah.”€ “€œPractice is different, right?”€ “€œYep.”€ “€œSo the media is different, preparation is different, Saturday morning the speech is different. You get ready to run out of the tunnel, it’s different. The stadium is packed and it’s different, just electric. Imagine you get on the 50-yard line, and you get ready to buckle your chinstrap, you’re facing off against the other team and you look down and there are no lines on the field anywhere.”€ He said, “€œOh, that’d be a disaster.”€ I said, “€œThat’s kind of what government”€™s like today.”€

Bring A Speaker To Your Area


Hey, this is Tim Burton with WallBuilders. And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard the wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties about all the things that makes America exceptional. And you might be thinking as incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group, whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school or public school, or some political event or activity. If you’re interested in having a WallBuilder speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at and there’s a tab for scheduling.

And if you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speaker”€™s bios, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and bring a speaker to your area.

Security For Those Rights Of The People That Allow Us To Pursue Happiness

Ken Ivory:

There are no lines on the field. We don’t know where the line of scrimmage is, and we don’t know what’s out of bounds anymore. We don’t know what a first down looks like and we don’t know what the end zone looks like anymore. And you’ve got two teams to have a healthy competition. We don’t know where the lines are anymore. So I’m working to repaint the lines on the field. That’s what federalism is about.

Lines, James Wilson said, “€œThe constitution deserves praise for the accuracy with which we drew the line. We drew the line as minutely as was possible.”€ That’s what they did. That’s what they gave us. In the limits, of course, you know, James Madison, federalist 45, he said that the powers delegated the federal government few and defined, those reserved to the states numerous and indefinite, very clear lines, very clear limits. And then it was intended to be balanced. Alexander Hamilton in the New York ratifying convention, “€œThis balance between the national state governments ought to be dwelt on with particular attention. It is of the utmost importance because it forms, again, double security for those rights of the people that allow us to pursue happiness.”€

My Nickname Was Chunky

So when I was a young man, how tell you a secret if you promise not to tell anyone, I had a nickname as a young man, and I absolutely hated it. And if you promise not to tell anyone at all, I’ll share it with you because the scars are still painful. They’re still deep. Now, if you”€™re ready for this. I had a nickname as a young man, they called me chunky. Can you believe it? That”€™s terrible. Chunky, right? I hate it. I still hate it. I still hate it. There was only one advantage in my mind of being chunky because I got to be at the end of the tug of war when they had the tug of war. I was at the end of the rope. I never got pulled into the mud. And as they would line up, you know, they would go everybody’s pulled in the mud. I’m just hanging in the back.

We Have To Pull Always

Our government is like a tug of war. It was designed that way. It was designed to have healthy tension, one against 13. Madison and Hamilton both said there”€™s no contest at all, 13 sets of representatives against one set of representatives. They’re closer to the people, they have more powers. It’s no contest at all to keep this balance. The states have to pull, they don’t have to pull hard but they have to pull always.

But as 13 States became 50, one by one, they began dropping the rope. “€œI forgot why we’re pulling the rope in the first place. I’m getting tired of pulling rope. He dropped the rope, I’m going to drop the rope. You know that big guy is looking pretty scary, I’m going to drop the rope. You know that guy on the other side, he’s paying me not to pull on the rope.”€ And one by one by one, all 50 have dropped the rope. And all of it is on the federal side. And our language today is maybe we can get somebody on the other side to push on the rope.

Maybe if we get somebody really good in Washington, they can push on the rope. It was never designed to be that way. We have to pull. We have to pull together. We don’t have to pull hard but we have to pull always.

Structural Protections Of Freedom, Separation Of Powers And Federalism

State legislators”€”This is James Madison introducing the Bill of Rights in Congress. The state legislators will jealously and closely watch the operations of this national government and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power better than any power on earth can do because the state legislators are the sure guardians of the people’s liberty.

Justice Kennedy in the dissent in the NFIB decision said the frame is considered these structural protections of freedom, separation of powers and federalism to be the most important ones. That’s why they were put in the constitution and not left the later amendments. This has become the motto of our federalism committee in Utah. The fragmentation of power produced by the structure of our government is central to liberty. And when we destroy it, we put liberty at peril.

Patriot Academy


Have you noticed the vacuum of leadership in America? It’s not just that we have a few bad leaders taking us away from our founding principles and down a road of destruction. The real challenge is that we’re looking around for leaders of principle to step up and too often, no one is there. This is a generational challenge, and we must have a generational solution. God is raising up a generation of young leaders with a passion for impacting the world around them. They’re crying out for the mentorship and leadership training they need and we need to equip them for the purpose God has laid on their hearts.

Patriot Academy was created to meet that need. You, the listeners of WallBuilders Live have supported Patriot Academy. Over the years, you’ve sent your children and grandchildren to the program and the results have been remarkable. Patriot Academy graduates now serve in state capitals around America in the halls of Congress and business in the film industry and the pulpit in every area of the culture they’re leading effectively and impacting the world around them.

Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now’s your chance to experience this life changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit for dates and locations. Our core program is still for young leaders 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults, so visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America. Join us in training champions to change the world at

We Have To Pull

Ken Ivory:

You remember what George Barna said with data, the data backs it up. George Barna said, “€œThe people want to be happy. This requires liberty. Liberty requires limited government.”€ And I would add, limited government requires you.

And so in your books, in your handouts, we have a potential model resolution, we have to pull. Washington is not going to push. It’s not going to happen. It was never designed to be that way. This was an intricate system that requires that healthy tension. It requires us.

Unfortunately, as state legislators, we have agents, we have Alec and NCSL and CSG that work for state legislators. And so what this resolution would do is call upon those three organizations to create a national federalism task force to begin to repaint the lines on the field, to hold a series of federalism summits to look at what are those lines? What is the line in transportation anymore? What is the line in education? Because we cannot defend a line that we can’t define, right? We don’t know are no better than rights we don’t have.

God Really Does Care About Federalism

James Madison in federalist 14, left this council and admonition to us, “€œHappily for America happily, we trust for the whole human race because if the light goes out here it goes out everywhere. The founders accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human history, they reared the fabrics of government, which have no model on the face of the globe, they formed the design of a great Confederacy, which it is incumbent upon their successors to improve, and to perpetuate.”€

My dear friends, God really does care about federalism. He loves His children, He wants us to be happy. We’re happiest when we’re creating good. Creating good requires security in our life, liberty and property, and governments exist to secure these rights. And it’s the divisions and the limits and the balance that secure that liberty as a double security of the rights of the people. And you’re the guardians of the people’s liberty. God”€™s raise you up for such a time as this, to restore the structure and the system, not the rider, not the direction, we’ve got to fix the bike to improve and perpetuate the designer. There’s some precedent and structure enabling Americans to happily create good to the glory of our amazing God. God does care about federalism. That’s why I called you to repaint these lines on the field.

We Are Blessed With The Opportunity To Stand For Something

I’ll just close with this. I love this quote. I heard it from David Barton the first time and I”€™ll use it to close out. Ronald Reagan said, “€œThis is a wonderful time to be alive. We’re lucky not to live in pale and timid times. We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to stand for something.”€

And Dear friends, I encourage you look at that resolution. Now as an academic egghead and a wonderful constitutional Studies Center at the Utah Valley University, I pledge my full support to help you. We’re building a federalism index. We have some amazing tools on federalism curriculum. And please let us know what you need. If you’re able to work on this, we want to coordinate with you. It’s up to us to bring this back to restore these lines and divisions on the field. And that great Hamilton line, I know that history has its eyes on you. Thank you so very much.

Support WallBuilders Today


Well, friends, you were just listening to Ken Ivory on the subject of federalism, Repainting the Lines on the Field, great presentation at the pro-family legislators conference. We have a lot of great information for you at our website, is where you can listen to archives the program, and that’s also where you can make a one-time contribution today or a monthly contribution. So be sure and click on that contribute button. Be sure to find out how you can take this kind of information on federalism and how our system works, how our constitution was designed and become a force multiplier.

You be the catalyst in your community so that others can learn these things as well. You can do that as one of our constitution coaches. Go to today, to find out more get signed up. It’s so easy to do, anyone can do it. You”€™ve just got to be able to hit play on your computer or your DVD player. And we’ll do the rest of the work for you. But you”€™ve got to get people in the room, pass out those workbooks and get it started. Become a catalyst in your community to save America’s constitution. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.