Free Markets, Free People

The 10th Amendment Movement Continues To Grow

And it’s about time:

State governors — looking down the gun barrel of long-term spending forced on them by the Obama “stimulus” plan — are saying they will refuse to take the money. This is a Constitutional confrontation between the federal government and the states unlike any in our time.

In the first five weeks of his presidency, Barack Obama has acted so rashly that at least 11 states have decided that his brand of “hope” equates to an intolerable expansion of the federal government’s authority over the states. These states — “Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, California…Georgia,” South Carolina, and Texas — “have all introduced bills and resolutions” reminding Obama that the 10th Amendment protects the rights of the states, which are the rights of the people, by limting the power of the federal government.

Although critics have panned these refusals as sour grapes by Republicans or attempts to thwart President Obama’s stimulus of the economy, in fact it is a fight the states should have undertaken years ago.

One reason is many of the laws passed at a federal level mandate funds be provided for the program at a state level as well. I’d be interested in anyone who can find Constitutional backing for such a requirement by the federal government, but it is what has happened in the past.

Secondly, there’s the matter of law. Much of what is driving this 10th Amendment movement is the realization that the Fed is attempting to extend its control deeper and deeper into the states. Many are driven by what some would call “wedge issues”, but as Bryan points out in his “MYOB” post, states more accurately reflect their citizenry than does the federal government and the imposition of “one-size-fits-all” legislation, especially when it exceeds the constitutional reach of the Federal government, is something to be resisted:

For example, Family Security Matters reports that Missouri’s “House Concurrent Resolution 0004 (2009) reasserts its sovereignty based on Barack Obama’s stated intention to sign into law a federal ‘Freedom of Choice Act’, [because] the federal Freedom of Choice Act would nullify any federal or state law ‘enacted, adopted, or implemented before, on, or after the date of [its] enactment’ and would effectively prevent the State of Missouri from enacting similar protective measures in the future.”

The resolution in Montana grew out of concerns over coming attacks on the 2nd Amendment, thus its preface describes it as, “An Act Exempting From Federal Regulation Under The Commerce Clause Of The Constitution Of The United States A Firearm, A Firearm Accessory, Or Ammunition Manufactured And Retained In Montana.”

New Hampshire’s resolution actually references certain federal actions that would be nullified within that state were they pushed by Obama’s administration, according to Among these are “Any act regarding religion; further limitations on freedom of political speech; or further limitations on freedom of the press, [and any] further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition.

I sincerely hope this trend continues and that we see some states challenge the Federal government in court over 10th amendment issues in an effort to stop the mandates and the attempts to modify or change state law.

For those who have forgotten what the 10th Amendment says or aren’t familiar with it, it reserves to the states and people those powers not explicity delegated the federal government:

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.

I’d also remind everyone that the 10th amendment is a part of the Constitution known as the “Bill of Rights”. As we’ve all observed over the years, the rights of states have been all but rendered null and void. To regain a semblance of the federalism under which the nation was founded, movements like this are not only critical but necessary. It is one very important way we can curb the growth of the Federal government – assuming the Supreme Court agrees (which is not at all a given) since I’m sure this argument will eventually end up being settled there.


8 Responses to The 10th Amendment Movement Continues To Grow

  • I wish them luck, though I can’t help feeling that that ship sailed decades ago.

  • Don tthey know that the constitution cant stand in the way ofthe annointed one.

  • … in fact it is a fight the states should have undertaken years ago.

  • Anybody see the story about Trashcan Chuckie threatening the governors who are considering refusing some or part of Porkulus, especially Jindal?

    A US Senator seeks to order and threaten the governors of some of the United States.

    Where, oh where, is Preston Brooks when we need him???

  • Thumbs up ! the rights of the people and the states have to be upheld.the federal government has
    side steped its constitutional athority for far to long. and used money that it dont even have to blackmail states into obeying federal laws and regulations. What happened to a government for the people by the people?

  • Absolute power corrups absolutely.  That’s where we are today, USA.
    Government is best that is closest to the citizen (voters can get their hands on local political servants).
    Federal ‘mandates’ imposed without 100% federal payment are theft.
    “Taxes” are theft.
    “Taxpayers” are slaves.
    Free people don’t pay taxes.

  • For too long, Americans have allowed their politicians to interpret and bend the rules of the Constitution.

    Our government representatives have taken an oath to uphold the US Constitution and their State Constitution.

    Denying the passage of this resolution would demonstrate the disregard of these representatives loyalty to the oath and the people of this great state.

    Not passing such resolution demonstrates the denying of the US Constitution and the State Constitutions.