Conservatives rally around the Tenth Amendment

It’s only 28 words long: “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.”

But the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution is having a powerful effect on conservative ideology these days. Libertarian activists are citing the amendment with renewed fervor and many politicians have been heard reciting it recently as well.

“The reality is the Tenth Amendment really defines what the Constitution was supposed to mean,” Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, told The Daily Caller.

On Capitol Hill, a group of Republican congressmen recently founded the Tenth Amendment Task Force, with the goal of “Dispers[ing] power from Washington and restor[ing] the constitutional balance of power through liberty-enhancing federalism,” according to their website.

Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, one of the founders of the Task Force, told TheDC that the issue of the Tenth Amendment really resonates right now because of the ideological battle going on in Washington.

“We have an administration for the first time in a long time that is not necessarily pragmatic, but is very philosophical. And it’s sharpened the debate as to what should be the role of the federal government,” he said.

Other members of the Tenth Amendment Task Force include Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn of Tennesee and Jason Chaffetz of Utah. Bishop insists that their cause is bipartisan and they plan to reach out to Democrats as well.

And it’s not just House Republicans that have a revived interest in the Tenth Amendment. Several state attorneys general are suing the federal government over the new health care bill on Tenth Amendment grounds. Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has voiced support for the importance of the amendment and Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has also mentioned the Tenth Amendment favorably.

The Tenth Amendment is particularly popular at the state level. After Barack Obama’s election, a handful of states introduced state sovereignty resolutions, which pledged to fight unconstitutional laws.

States have also rebelled on issues ranging from gay marriage to medical marijuana. After Congress considered adopting a national identification card in 2007, 25 states passed laws in opposition, effectively killing the idea.

The Tenth Amendment is one of the most controversial parts of the Constitution, since many argue that it would require a massive transfer of power from the federal government to the states. Its language forbids the federal government from taking on powers that aren’t assigned to it in the Constitution.

  • cmunit
  • rocnjohnny

    There is only one answer. Stop hiring their parents and they won’t be here to have babies. They come here to get a job. Not coming No Job. End of story. Don’t mess with the constitution the 14th or the 10th. Just say No……..Then say NOW

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johan-David-Baumeister/770335407 Johan David Baumeister

    “But generally Jefferson’s view of the Tenth Amendment ruled until Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. After Supreme Court judges struck down many of FDR’s reforms on Tenth Amendment grounds, Roosevelt threatened to expand the high court with his own appointees. Judicial opposition quickly collapsed.”

    Actually, Roosevelt’s attempt to pack the Court failed when Congress said no. It was something of a political disaster for him, and had little bearing on the attitude of the Court towards his New Deal.

  • didacticrogue

    More with the personal attacks: “Your pomposity knows no bounds.”; “(Hahahaha)”; “(You’ve got to be kidding.)”; “Kettles such as yourself”; “incredibly juvenile post.” I’m just sayin’.

    The post which I admitted to truncating “in the name of brevity” was six lines long. You’ve successfully grasped my point that the subject cannot be properly covered in a six-line comment, yet you laugh at its being characterized as brief?

    The footnotes were intended for your benefit, since you’d complained (multiple times, both here and elsewhere) that my writing style confuses (you, your parrot, and, presumably, others) rather than illustrates. I was honestly not trying to be condescending: You indicated that you didn’t understand the meaning of some of the phrases I’d used (e.g., “statist oligarchy”), and characterized my offer to “dumb down” the conversation (OK – that was a bit snarky) as my “spinning out of control,” so I felt the need to define for you the terms I was using without being overtly offensive.

    Anyway, my goal was not to argue, but to engage in discussion, for that, I think – the sharing of opinions and ideas between reasonable people – is the best that a forum like this has to offer its community. Without reasonable discussion between reasonable people, a place like this could easily devolve into the how-dare-you-disagree-with-me echo chamber that, for instance, HuffPo quickly became. Perhaps I had hoped that you could both see and appreciate the difference. That you find a discussion of political views “irrelevant,” regarding an article about the constitution on a site like this is, among other things, disappointing.

    You’ve made several charges and assumptions about me, about which I believe you are mistaken, though perhaps I’ve done the same about you. That we seem to be unable to engage in civil discourse is, I’d like to think, a function of the venue. If we were sharing a few pints at my favorite pub, we’d be able to enjoy some congenial, if spirited, discussion – at least that’s how it works out in my mind’s eye. Let me know if you ever find yourself in NE Georgia – first round’s on me (and I promise to resist any and all urges to snap you like a toothpick).

    • didacticrogue

      OK – that did NOT post where it was intended. Apologies to those who find it confusing out of context.

      • AlexZ

        I never said your writing style confuses me. I said it was unnecessarily pompous and empty of any real substance. You twist language and present false choices in an attempt to further your political position and then state “the choice is clear.” Um, no, it isn’t. Not because I don’t understand it, but because the questions you used to “support” your argument presented false choices.

        Do you walk to school or take your lunch? The choice is clear!

        You have written I don’t know how many words in response to my original criticism of your fallacious argument, but you neither admit nor dispute it, do you? Please look up the terms false choice, straw man, and logical fallacies and understand the concept before you present a list of “clear” choices in the future if you want me to take what you have to say seriously. Maybe the junior college you attend will give a course in logic this fall. Take it.

        There are those who use the language to obfuscate and those who use it to illuminate. You, sir, are the former. You have a professorial vocabulary, but you don’t seem to know how to present an argument that is not full of fallacies. And you throw insults like a child here, albeit a child with a big vocabulary, then tsk tsk others when they hurt your feelings. Um, grow up, will you?

        Daily Caller is also a “how dare you disagree with me” echo chamber. Except here you and other people like you put words in my and other people’s mouths (as you have done above) so you feel justified in railing on.

        Over and out, didact. Pull my chain when you actually have something to say.

        • middleageinva

          Geese, Alex… at least someone was willing to intelligently answer your questions. And what did you do? Prove that you really are lost and should be over at DailyKos. But, as DC says “we watch because we’re paid to” on Keith Olberman. I suppose you must be getting paid to be on a web site that you clearly indicate you don’t like, don’t approve of, and when intelligently (and needlessly in my opinion) are engaged out of respect, you just slink into that chamber of “pay attention to me because I disagree” over and over and over again. Her is the link to where you can get into a discussion with really intelligent people: http://www.dailykos.com Otherwise, you really don’t deserve any further response from the author of the article. You lost your last opportunity for anyone to really be impressed with your need for attention. I’m a member of DailyKos so I am not using that as a pejorative (oh, let me know if you want me to get a definition of that for you or if I used it improperly so we can all see how educated you really are and therefore why you must be “right”, eh?), but as a suggestion that your “type” of exchange really belongs with the more passionate and vociferous groups over there. But, in lieu of your taking my suggestions, welcome to our world: the one where we’re ready to engage intelligently and respectfully.

          I’m sure now you’re hooked!

          • AlexZ

            middleage, sorry, but you’ve come into this a little late, and you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • didacticrogue

          I’m shattered – though not the least bit surprised – that you chose to piss on the offered olive branch.

          By repeatedly pontificating on the intellectual inadequacies of the posters here while resolutely thwarting (even dismissing as “irrelevant”) any efforts to draw you into substantive discussion, you’ve proven yourself the prototypical troll: “someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic [congratulations: you’ve hit the troll trifecta!] messages … with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” You’ll be pleased to know that I wasted far too much time (retrospectively, anything greater than zero) this weekend in an attempt to engage you in meaningful discourse, so … “primary intent” accomplished.

          If you’re not already on Mr. Soros’ payroll, you may want to give him a call: I understand he has positions available for “your kind.”

          • AlexZ

            didact —

            Let’s make this simple.

            How come you can’t admit that your original post presented false choices? Or defend your “logic”? Why do you keep trying to steer the conversation elsewhere?

          • didacticrogue

            I refer you to the following quote from my response to your initial charge of my having presented a false choice: “Yes, in the name of brevity … I … boiled down the larger issue into three illustrative bullet points …” In your defense, you may have missed the meaning of the sentence, being heavily distracted by your hearty belly laugh “(Hahahaha)” at the word “brevity” being used to describe my initial six-line post.

            I’m afraid the “yes” in that sentence is as much of an “admission” as you’re going to get. The fallacy out of which – mistakenly or intentionally – you’ve built your entire straw man is that I intended for those illustrative bullet points to lay out a proper Boolean formula on which to base a logical argument. In fact, they weren’t designed to be anything other than illustrative of my opinion. Most got that (in case you’ve missed it, I’ve given you an opening to – yet again – denigrate the posters here for their intellectual frailty). You, clearly, did not … or, just as – if not more – likely, you chose to intentionally obfuscate in order to fuel a conflagration (“it’s kind of fun to watch people like you spin out of control.”)

            It’s been at least thirty-five years since I last took a class in logic and critical thinking – longer than you’ve probably been alive, judging by your demeanor. Just a personal observation, but it probably wouldn’t hurt for you to present your opinions and make your points a little less acerbically.

            And to answer your repeatedly-asked questions, I seldom walked to school past the third grade (and never past the sixth), and I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I remember taking my lunch. And that, I can state unequivocally, is the truth.

          • AlexZ

            didact, So then, your original post was not intended to be logical, it was intended to illustrate your point. Ahhhhhhh, I get it now! And I believe we’re in agreement. All is well. Let’s have that beer you promised me.

          • didacticrogue

            If we’re talking metaphorical beer, на здоровье! If not, as I said, let me know if you ever find yourself in NE Georgia – the offer stands.

        • truebearing

          You are criticizing someone for having nothing to say? You blather on interminably, but never say anything. Your vacuity is exceeded only by your intellectual dishonesty.

          BTW, you have the childish idea that accusing someone of not being logical proves it. Why don’t you provide an analysis, with examples and insight? Oh, that’s right. You can’t. You don’t have a clue as to how it would be done.

  • loudog

    While ignoring the 4th in AZ.

    • truebearing

      Which “4th” was ignored? Not the 4th of July! What 4th was ignored, oh foolish one?

      Please provide intelligent polemic. LOL!

      • loudog

        Sorry, I don’t feed the trolls.

        • theprofessor

          You don’t feed yourself? Doesn’t surprise me. I’ve had suspicions for quite some time that you required spoon feeding.

        • truebearing

          So someone has to feed you too? And here I thought you were just spoon fed leftist dogma.

          Do you have a favorite bib?

          • AlexZ

            nice example of “intelligent polemic”

          • truebearing

            That’s right Alex, keep your comments short, and copy the words of others. You won’t look quite as stupid that way.

  • S-D-M

    A key element in tipping the balance of power to centralized control and perhaps despotism is neutralizing states rights. States must stand up for and demand to have independence as individual Republics. True power was designed into the Constitution to be wielded by the States in order to prevent the federal government from doing exactly what is attempting to do now. As States rights are erased, America is erased.

    • Buckoux

      There is no such references to “States Rights” in the text of the US Constitution, only “Powers”. In the text of the US Constitution only “person”, “persons” and “the people” have “Rights”. The federal government and states have only “Powers” and are the only Constitutional quality being capable of being “delegated”. “Rights” are inalienable. James Madison, and the other Founding Fathers, did not play fast and lose with the words, text and language of the Constitution. “Rights” and “Powers” are NEVER used interchangeably in the entire Constitution. So your “States Rights” argument falls flat in the text and context of the Constitution. However, there is an important use of the word “Powers” in the relation of states to the federal government, therefore, you should ask: “Do you, the US Government, have such a power delegated to you over me, a State, by the Constitution”? The US AG will simply stutter in reply.

      FWIW, the Constitution does finally mix “Rights” and “Powers” in one final amendment, the 10th. All through the Constitution “Powers” are the abstract quality delegated by the people to the States and the Federal Government, except for those NOT delegated by the Constitution. These remain with “the people”. Madison put everything that Americans need to fight off the collectivists/monarchists authority of the Leftists in the US. All we have to do is use it.

  • libertyatstake

    Liberty vs. Tyranny USA 2010 proceeding according to expectations.

    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]

  • sunnyr

    Thank goodness someone is fighting this incompetent Narcissist/Communist-in Chief for our REPUBLIC! He has usurped the Constitution at every single turn since he was elected and it’s time to kick his stupid ass OUT OF OFFICE through IMPEACHMENT. At least the boob, Joe Biden, would be controllable. The Idiot-in Chief is running his party right off the cliff, to total destruction. RIP!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johan-David-Baumeister/770335407 Johan David Baumeister

      Gosh, all you’d have to do is change “Communist” to Fascist, change the line about Biden to something about how Cheney shoots his hunting partners, and you’d sound just like an extreme liberal four years ago.

      The lesson here: extremists always view it as a disaster when their side isn’t calling all the shots. Reasonable people learn to find common ground so at least some good can be accomplished from a political defeat. Too bad reason seems to be in such short supply these days.

  • Broken Window

    I’m not sure I mind being called a Tenther, except that it makes it seem like I value 10A above 1A or 2A or any of the others. “Constitutionalist” would be more accurate, I suppose — explaining why I would be against abrogating any single part of the ratified constitution (as the Progressive judges have done to 10A).

    We have an amendment process, after all. If the statists thought they had the votes to remove the checks and balances enshrined in the federal system, they would propose amendments and debate them in the open. The stealthy marxists refuse to do that.

    • truebearing

      I don’t mind being called a “tenther” either, and i think this penchant for coining derisionyms may backfire on the left this time. It will get people to read the 10A, and maybe the entire constitution, and that can’t be helpful to their agenda.

      I still maintain that we label them for what, in effect, they are: slavers.

  • truebearing

    You know that when a statement issues forth from The Center for American Progress, filled with idiotic, twisted, Commie-speak, the situation they are trying to demagogue is seen as a threat to their Progressive coup. This 10th Amendment issue is going to prove to be the issue that either halts the Progressive coup, or sends us into a constitutional crisis, and maybe civil war, and you can bet George Soros sees that and is pulling strings fast and furious at CAP to try to discredit the “tenthers”

    Whenever a new derisionym is coined by the left it is a direct indication of the threat they feel needs to be derided out of existence.

    Maybe Ian Millhiser, mouthpiece of George Sauron, will soon become Obama’s Czar of Derisionyms, but one thing is clear. This is the constitutional battle line. Success by the “tenthers” would be a devasting blow to the Slavers.

    • loudog


      • truebearing

        Thinking of self describing adjectives for your autobiography again? Good for you! “Moronic” does capture your comments quite well. Have you considered some other words that will enhance your self-mirroring, like: dull, vacuous, obtuse, or dense? Stupid is always good, and in your case redundancy can only help make your book more accurate. Are you still calling it: The Audacity of Dopes?