Barnett believes that American citizens of today have not truly consented to be governed. As a result, the Constitution must provide sufficient procedural assurances to protect rights. Indeed, the protection of rights is the only function that justifies restricting personal freedom. He also argues that erroneous Supreme Court precedent has granted plenary power to Congress to regulate in contradiction to the plain reading of the Constitution. The upshot is a weakened state and local governing structure, whereby the people must look to Washington, D.C. for all laws and regulations.