10th Amendment Ignorance On Review: The GOP Debateon August 12th, 2011 at 8:32 am
We have contended that on Constitutional issues there often isn’t much difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. Neither side seems to have ever taken the time to read the Constitution.
The 10th Amendment isn’t 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.”
The 10th Amendment isn’t complicated.
The Constitution lays out what exactly the role of the Federal Government is. Its responsibilities are called enumerated powers and they are listed in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. If the Constitution doesn’t designate powers to the Federal Government, the states and the people retain them under 10th Amendment.
Think about Article 1 Section 8 as a to do list for the government. If items aren’t on the to do list…they are the business of the states to administer.
The 10th Amendment Center (who we are working with to bring a nullify now tour to Va) describes the debate in Orwellian terms. “Recall that Orwell defined doublethink in 1984 as ‘The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them…’ The Ames Debate offered several instances of this very thing, many relating directly to the Tenth Amendment.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Last night Michelle Bachmann claimed that it was unconstitutional for states or the federal government to mandate health coverage. While I think Romney Care in Massachusetts is a disaster and a horrible system, it is not unconstitutional as Ron Paul and Romney both correctly pointed out. (Romney, later in the debate, agreed with Santorum on the information below)
But the award for getting the 10th Amendment wrong goes to Rick Santorum. He then gives this ridiculous statement about the “10th Amendment run amuk.”
“Michelle Bachmann says that she would go in and fight health care being imposed by states, but she wouldn’t go in and fight marriage being imposed by the states. That would be okay. We have Ron Paul saying oh, whatever the states want to do under the Tenth Amendment is fine. So if the states want to pass polygamy, that’s fine. If the states want to impose sterilization, that’s fine. No! Our country is based on moral laws, ladies and gentleman. There are things the states can’t do. Abraham Lincoln said “the states do not have the right to do wrong.” I respect the Tenth Amendment, but we are a nation that has values. We are a nation that was built on a moral enterprise. And states don’t have the right to tramp over those because of the Tenth Amendment.”
As the 10th Amendment Center correctly opines, “States do have the ability, under the constitutional system the Founders put in place, to “do wrong.” They have the sovereign authority to decide whatever they wish on whatever matters they like, provided that this authority has not already been delegated to the federal government, or has not been explicitly denied them in the Constitution.”
The founders wanted to give the sovereign states the power to tailor the specific laws to fit their citizens. At the time of the Constitutional ratification, the majority of states had mandated religious practices. Those have eventually been done away with by the states. But on issues like drug legalization, gay marriage and a host of controversial issues, by the text of the Constitution (which is the supreme law of the land) the Federal government should have no authority.
As Madison wrote in Federalist 45
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
I think the 10th Amendment Center sums it up nicely here…
“The federal government was created by the states, and unless explicitly denied the authority, states retain the ability to pass dumb laws — even horrible ones. In fact, many already do! It is up to the individuals in that state to fix those laws and improve their government. It is not the right or duty of their neighbors to use the federal government to correct their behavior.”
So, do you still think just electing a Republican to run the country will suddenly fix everything? The stage was set for abuse of the Constitution by other politicians prior to Obama. Possibly well intentioned attempts to impose Federal laws to solve issues still violate the 10th Amendment. They enable not so well intentioned politicians to violate the Constitution at will and destroy the Federal system that has served us well for the pass 200 years.
Until the states wise up and realize they have a duty to defend their rights through nullification, the Federal government will continue to trample on the Constitution. That is why we need to raise awareness of this issue through a Nullify Now Tour Stop. Click here to help us bring it here….