March 26, 2010

They ignore it, try to play it down, declare it archaic, or say it was written by a bunch of wig wearing old white men who owned slaves and kept their wives in the kitchen or on the birth chair. "They" are the left-wing Democrats who we now lovingly called Progressive-Socialists. What is it they hate? The 10th Amendment! After all, that amendment really limits the Federal Government's power. It is a deterrent to Big Government.

That pesky 10th Amendment! The nerve of those bigoted, narrow-minded, women-hating, aristocrats to insist on such a law that guarantees that the various states and their citizens have rights! 

If only the Democrats ran the table back in 2006 and 2008, hold two-thirds of the seats in both the Senate and the House, they could propose to the several states a repeal of the 10th! Also, a host of other amendments which would strengthen the Federal Government, legalize same-sex marriage, ban the manufacturing, sale and ownership of guns, give blanket amnesty and quick citizenship to illegal aliens and repeal the 22nd amendment so their president can have a life-long tenure in the White House.

But the 10th Amendment is still there - somewhere! It may be buried under the 2200 pages of the heathcare bill, the 1100 pages of cap and tax, the nearly 900 pages of the Stimulus bill and thousands upon thousands of other pages of laws, and proposed laws stemming from back-room politics practiced by the Progressive-Socialists in Congress.

Until recently, the 10th Amendment seems to have often been overlooked in the continuous expansion of the federal government that has taken place since, oh say, Woodrow Wilson was President. Wilson, in fact, regarded the 10th Amendment as archaic and a detriment to the growth and survival of the United States! 

Now, however, it's beginning to become evident that the 10th has merely been hiding behind the scenes, buried under governmental bureaucracy and waiting to once again be called into action. And, now may be the time.

The Tenth Amendment is similar to an earlier provision of the Articles of Confederation: "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled." After the Constitution was ratified, some wanted to add a similar amendment limiting the federal government to powers "expressly" delegated, which would have denied implied powers. However, the word "expressly" ultimately did not appear in the Tenth Amendment as ratified, and therefore the Tenth Amendment did not amend the Necessary and Proper Clause.

The Tenth Amendment, which makes explicit the idea that the federal government is limited only to the powers granted in the Constitution, is generally recognized to be a truism. In United States v. Sprague (1931) the Supreme Court noted that the amendment "added nothing to the [Constitution] as originally ratified.

From time to time states and local governments have attempted to assert exemption from various federal regulations, especially in the areas of labor and environmental controls, using the Tenth Amendment as a basis for their claim. An often-repeated quote, from United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100, 124 (1941), reads as follows:

The amendment states but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered. There is nothing in the history of its adoption to suggest that it was more than declaratory of the relationship between the national and state governments as it had been established by the Constitution before the amendment or that its purpose was other than to allay fears that the new national government might seek to exercise powers not granted, and that the states might not be able to exercise fully their reserved powers.....

Fast forward to 2010 and we see that this little known, almost forgotten amendment is rapidly becoming the center of the debate over the expansion of the federal government's powers that has been taking place since the Obama administration has taken the reins of government and may well become the big gun of the resistance to the takeover of the American health care system. Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, asked: "Will 2010 be the year of the 10th?"

Answering his own question, Boldin noted, "With people looking to resist D.C. through state laws on everything from national health care to medical marijuana, the 10th Amendment appears ready to be front and center in the national debate this year."

The reason is that state legislatures are waking up to the potential of this sleeper provision in the Constitution.

Can the little known and generally ignored 10th Amendment end up saving the nation from expansionist government? It remains to be seen, but there is an encouraging trend in this direction.

The Tenth Amendment Center (www.tenthamendmentcenter.com), a Los Angeles based think tank notes: "In 2009, seven states passed sovereignty resolutions under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States...Already, over a dozen states are considering laws or state constitutional amendments that would effectively ban, or nullify, any proposed national health care plan in their state, and we expect that number to reach at least twenty in 2010...The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state nullifies a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or non-effective, within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned."

"Nullification has been used to stand up for free speech, resist the fugitive slave laws, reduce tariffs and more.  It's a peaceful and effective way to resist the federal government, and might be our only hope for moving towards the constitution.  Legislators drawing this kind of line in the stand should be commended..."

Help to drive back the expansionist Obama administration is provided by the 10th - provided the Progressive-Socialists don't pull a rabbit out of the hat and miraculously has it repealed. They would if they could!

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.