- The federal government has taken on regulations that belong at the state level.
- Local government often leads to better representation
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 to the people.
The tenth amendment appears in what we know as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights lists restraints on the federal government. The Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution and their colleagues agreed to the acceptance of the Bill of Rights – the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution – as an essential part of the Constitution.
Nevertheless, our congressional representatives – all of whom swear an oath to uphold the Constitution – flagrantly disregard the 10th Amendment. They do this largely by using public funds to pay for government agencies that constantly violate this Amendment and by the issuance of “mandates” that dictate “required” state and local actions.
What excuse do congressmen give for violating the 10th Amendment? Mostly, they just ignore it, without giving any excuse at all. If pressed, some point to the Constitution.
“We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States . . .
~Article 1, Section 8
Citing the phrase “promote (or provide for) the general Welfare,” they claim that this permits Congress to do anything it decides will be good for general welfare – anything at all! This is bogus.
By their reading, the Constitution could have consisted of just one sentence. “The government will promote the general welfare.” “Hey, guys, do your best.”
The Constitution gives, as one of its goals, the promotion of the general welfare, and then goes on to establish – by means of the body of the Constitution and Bill of Rights – the rules of government that will be followed in order to do that. The 10th Amendment is one of those rules.
We are beginning to see a state-level movement to insist that Congress honor and adhere to the 10th Amendment. This movement, being inherently constitutional, will increase in coming years. We are going to see a restoration of the constitutional limits that are placed on the power of the government in Washington. I am in favor of such restrictions, because they are essential to liberty, and because they are a part of the Constitution.
To vote in Congress as if these limitations did not exist is a violation of constitutional principle. It is a violation of the member of Congress’s oath of office. It is time for states to reassert their authority, as assured by the 10th Amendment.