Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Don't tread on me

There is a movement afoot, and it's one that Marcie and I fully endorse. The movement is simple on it's face, and complex in the repercussions. Simply put, eleven states thus far have passed legislation asserting their sovereignty anand more are are likely on the way to doing the same thing:

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. These resolutions call on Obama to “cease and desist” from his reckless government expansion and also indicate that federal laws and regulations implemented in violation of the 10th Amendment can be nullified by the states.

When the Constitution was being ratified during the 1780s, the 10th Amendment was understood to be the linchpin that held the entire Bill of Rights together. The amendment states: “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 use of the 10th Amendment in conjunction with nullification garnered much attention in 1828, when the federal government passed a tariff that southerners believed affected them disproportionately. When the 1828 tariff was complemented by another in 1832, Vice President John C. Calhoun resigned the Vice Presidency to lead his home state of South Carolina in pursuit of an “ordinance of nullification,” which was no less a declaration of the sovereignty of each individual state within the union than the declarations now being made.

Calhoun was simply exercising what he recognized to be his state’s right to defend liberty within its borders by rejecting the dictates of an overbearing central government. While his efforts culminated in a tense affair referred to as the “nullification crisis,” which witnessed everything from threats of a federal invasion of South Carolina to an ongoing and near union-rending debate over national power vs. state’s rights, they also succeeded in turning back the tariffs that had been passed in spite of the Constitutional limits on federal power.

This time around, in 2009, appeals to the 10th Amendment are not based on tariffs but on unfettered government expansion in Obama’s “stimulus bill,” federal mandates on abortion that violate state laws, and infringements on the 1st and 2nd Amendments, among other things.

Read the whole thing, folks. It's well worth your time.

The Tenth Amendment has been a seemingly long-forgotten amendment. The Supreme Court has trampled on it. the federtal government has run roughshod over it. It is high time that the States finally demand their sovereignty be recognized, and abided by. And as the piece in Human Events explains, this goes betyond the stimulus bill. It also includes the prospect of the Freedom of Choice Act's passage and enactment.

The Tenth Amendment was the last check against a strong, central government by making sure it's power stayed limited. That is, to make sure it didn't trample the rights of the States, or the people. Some think that it simply gives states the ability to regulate and legislate on matters not under federal purview. But the states involved in this effort are telling the federal government that if the power isn't enumerated to it via the constitution, they won't recognize the mandate from Congress.

In an age where we witness and ever-encroaching federal government, emboldened by one-party rule, this effort is something that every state in the Union should be enacting to send a message to DC "This far, and no further." All we can add is congratulations to state legislatures for locating their spines and their brains, and to DC, don't press your luck. This nation will resist any further, radical encroachments.

Publius II


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