Conservatives rally around the Tenth Amendment

This made the Tenth Amendment a key issue during the health care debate for many on the right. Since health care isn’t specifically mentioned in the Constitution, went the argument, the federal government couldn’t regulate it.

Many progressives say that’s absurd. Ian Millhiser, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, cautions that conservatives are interpreting the Tenth Amendment too narrowly, and that such a reading would abolish popular programs like Social Security and Medicare.

“[T]here is something fundamentally authoritarian about the tenther constitution. Social Security, Medicare, and health-care reform are all wildly popular, yet the tenther constitution would shackle our democracy and forbid Congress from enacting the same policies that the American people elected them to advance,” Millhiser wrote in an article for the American Prospect.