A quick primer on the 10th Amendment……
Amendment X – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or the people.
- The United States Constitution
Ever heard of the 10th Amendment? It was put in the U.S. Constitution by the founding fathers to protect us from a run away federal government. The Constitution clearly and deliberately delegates the authority that is allocated to the federal government. Everything else falls to either state or local government and allows the will of the citizens to be the deciding factor in many aspects of the law. The idea being that local and state governments would be better able to determine community needs than the federal government.
Why were the founding fathers so intent on delineating state and federal government? Probably because many of them or their families had left Europe to escape oppressive governments or monarchies that thought they knew what was best for everyone on all issues from religion to taxes. By limiting the scope of the federal government they were creating a union of sovereign states that allowed for unique differences based on the desires of each states’ population.
“The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.” James Madison, The Federalist
Continuous over reaching by the federal government for the last twenty years is causing a backlash at the state level. The current administration and their agenda have only accelerated this trend. The movement for state sovereignty has gained momentum because the balance of power has tilted too far and for too long in the direction of the federal government. These bills are not political statements of independence. They are a rejection of the increasing cost of unfunded mandates being placed upon the states by the federal government. Currently, there are at least 30 states with bills before their state legislatures. As out of control federal spending increases, the odds are that some of these sovereignty bills will pass next year increases as well.
Earlier this year, just in time for April 15th and the Tax Day Tea Parties that had been announced, the Department of Homeland Security released a report that detailed the department’s concerns about increased security threats from “right wing extremists”. One of the ideologies warned about in the report was … states’ rights.
We also saw a backlash against our citizens during the Congressional summer break as members held town halls on the healthcare reform issues in their home states. Washington is not listening and the people are growing frustrated with the federal government. A recent Rasmussen poll shows 71% of Americans are angry with the federal government.
This lack of respect is fueling activities at the state level for citizens and state legislators to review their options with regard to the 10th Amendment. States which still have healthier or more stable economies and reasonable state budgets are concerned by Washington’s directives. They do not want to be driven toward bankruptcy by the federal government which seems to have latched on to the California model of how to run a state.
Contrary to rumors and media innuendo, most supporters of states’ rights are not interested in secession or avoiding their tax obligations but rather restoring the appropriate balance (as defined by the Constitution) between states and the federal government. Make no mistake those in power at the federal level are not in favor of reducing the size and scope of Washington’s authority. As this movement gains momentum expect increased friction and fighting over this important issue.
More things to consider as this story continues to unfold…..
“Right wing extremists” and tea parties are not the problem – radical legislators and activist judges are a bigger threat. This is a threat that the founding fathers anticipated, so they provided no Constitutional power for Congress to override state laws. Also if they really intended to give Congress the authority to act in the interest of the “general welfare,” why would Article I, Section 8, have been included ? Keep in mind, it also did not give the judicial branch unlimited jurisdiction over the states.
The Tenth Amendment was written after the Constitutional was ratified. It was added to reinforce that the states remained individual and unique sovereignties and as such, were empowered in areas that the Constitution did not delegate to the federal government. Therefore, any federal attempt to legislate beyond the Constitutional limits of Congress’ authority is a usurpation of state sovereignty making it illegal.
As the Administration and the Congress continue to assert their radical agenda of more bailouts, health care reform and expanded social programs, state governments are wondering where the money will come from. If they don’t comply they can lose federal funding. If they do comply, they are faced with unfunded obligations as many of these programs come with long strings that keep the programs in place long after the money runs out. Reasserting a state’s sovereignty maybe the only way to take a stand against these unfunded, mandated programs.
Wake up America! Use the Constitution and the protection it offers from an overbearing federal government.
Restore the Republic, Reject Federal Mandates! Contact your legislators and tell them that you support the 10th Amendment and reject federal mandates.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” — Patrick Henry
“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison