This is the tenth essay of the “Breakdown” series. And the conclusion of the 10 Rights laid out in the Constitution. We’ll explore the individual rights in the Bill of Rights. And where they stand today. Comments appreciated, now let’s begin.
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.
These 28 words cause more discussion than any other Right, except maybe the Second Amendment. The Constitution is a document that lays out what the Federal Government can and cannot do. This statement begins the 10th by explaining that any power that the Federal Government doesn’t have, or isn’t laid out in the Constitution as a Federal power only, is given to the States to decide, or the people of the States. For example, states can’t print their own money.
This seems pretty simple but as the Government grew, the more this was eroded. Unfunded Mandates, decrees to improve gas mileage in vehicles, buy CFL light bulbs, etc. The erosion began under FDR in force, where a farmer who grew wheat for HIS dinner table, wasn’t allowed to. He wouldn’t buy wheat so he interrupted interstate commerce in growing his own food. This is the same argument being used in Obama’s Healthcare bill requiring individuals to BUY insurance, unless you’re the favored few who get a waiver.
States have fought back against this, though the Supreme Court says they can’t pass laws telling the Federal Government to stick it in their ear, by citing the Supremacy Clause. What is the Supremacy Clause?
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”
This says to me with just the first line that only laws made that the Constitution allows has to be followed by the States. I don’t see any exceptions that were made in 1791. You could cite the 14th Amendment and where it says…
“Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
This isn’t a valid argument in that when a Constitutional Amendment is passed it is made part of the Constitution. The 14th recognized the former slaves as citizens of the U.S with full rights. This does not give the government any more power to tell you that you have to buy CFLs. It only gave freedom to the former slaves, which they didn’t fully get until the Civil Rights Act, but we’ll save that conversation for a different day.
States have passed laws saying that the Feds can’t regulate manufacture of firearms IF they stay in the state they are produced, medical marijuana, and the Real ID act. Depending on the Administration, the Feds either push it or leave it alone, like many regulations. And if they’re not going to do nothing then repeal it, but they like to hold that Sword of Damocles over our head.
And the list goes on and on, where federal regulations have overstepped their bounds and we allowed it. Either by force of the Court or by bribery to State Government, quid pro quo. I’ll give you this money IF you pass this law to further enslave your population. Such as the seatbelt law. I don’t want to die in a car wreck so I do wear mine, but if I don’t and am thrown through my windshield, the only one harmed is myself. Just chalk one up for survival of the fittest.
Remember that just societies have a check and balance system. Government makes laws which are enforced by cops. Laws are just words on paper; you don’t have to follow them, which is why we have cops. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the laws that keep the Federal Government in check BUT it’s just words on paper unless enforced by someone. Guess who that is? WE THE PEOPLE, and we are failing miserable due to apathy and complacency. A little monetary or physical security in exchange for freedom and liberty. Not for this wolf, I’m not one of the flock, I’m above it and have taken it upon myself to snap you from your slumber, remove your blindfolds and show you how IT IS!
Another essay to follow on the Eleventh Amendment.
- 5 States To Criminalize Federal Meddling (lewrockwell.com)
- Idaho Resurrects Discredited Idea Of Nullification In Health Care Reform Battle (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Law & Legal Issues answer: Does the bill of rights limit the powers of federal government (wiki.answers.com)
- Factbox: Lawsuits challenging healthcare reform (reuters.com)
- Nullify This, DC (lewrockwell.com)
- Nullification Rises Again (minx.cc)