When the Constitution for the United States of America was completed, several of the Republics refused to sign it when they did not feel the language of the document defined clearly enough the rights to be prohibited to the federal government or those to be retained by the states and the people. There were two distinct camps in regard to the proposed level of power to be given to the central government; the federalists and the anti-federalists. The anti-federalists were those men who wanted more checks and balances to insure against federal government encroachment on the rights and lives of the states and the people. They wished to remove a tempting opportunity for a breach of fundamental principles of human liberty in the future. Among them were; Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
In response to the opposition, James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights even though he did not believe it was necessary. The Bill was influenced by George Mason's 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, works of the Age of Enlightenment pertaining to natural rights, and earlier English political documents such as Magna Carta (1215).
The Bill of Rights which is only one through ten is not a list of changes to the Constitution as the word amendment would imply. Rather it is a list of clarifications regarding the already placed limitations contained in that document. It wasn’t until later that actual amendments were added; 11 through 27, some of which were indeed constructed to change the Constitution and some decidedly unlawful and directly prohibited by it. The Bill of Rights restrictions applied only to the federal government and not to the state governments.
Today most people know the first amendment guarantees us the right to free speech, freedom of religion and of the press. They generally know also that the second amendment guarantees us the right to bear arms but few, if asked will be able to say what the 10th amendment’s purpose is and they certainly will not know how it has been twisted to serve those who have wished to usurp the state’s and the people’s rights in the interest of governmental expansion and power.
Tenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution: "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." It is quite clear that the federal government is prohibited any powers except those expressly written and given in the Constitution even if there are some that are also denied the States. So all powers not assigned the federal government by that document are reserved either for the States or the people. This means the States can re-assert their sovereignty in the event of a runaway central government encroaching on their powers, especially when the three federal branches do not hold each other accountable to the true meaning of the Constitution.In Federalist Paper 48, James Madison warned:
“Will it be sufficient to mark, with precision, the boundaries of these departments, in the constitution of the government, and to trust to these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power?... The conclusion which I am warranted in drawing from these observations is, that a mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments, is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.”Federalist Paper 51:
“In a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administration of a single government; and the usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government into distinct and separate departments. In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.”
Madison’s intent was clear as were those of the rest of the founders and the Constitution in its entirety, including the Bill of Rights says exactly what it means and nothing more or less than what it says. The checks and balances therein were placed there because men wrote it, men who knew by reason of their own imperfections, man’s proclivity toward his darker side.
Now, in 2010 after decades of slow encroachment on the rights of the states and the people we have a federal government which is so arrogant it no longer cares to hide how far it is prepared go in order to erase rights, twist the Constitution and place arbitrary unlawful mandates on both. On 3/23/2010 President Obama signed the health care reform bill into law. This bill contains mandates on both the States and the people which are expressly forbidden by the Constitution and have proved to be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” as the population in its outrage over the loss of liberty and control over their government, began to protest loudly in voice and in writing inundating their representatives with petitions, letters and calls.
Among the people, opponents to the bill are the overwhelming majority and yet both Congress and the Senate completely ignored them. To make matters worse those representatives who shoved the bill down the throats of the people staged a juvenile display of victory on the steps of the capitol when the Speaker of the House, led them carrying a huge gavel and wearing a smug grin as they marched through thousands of protestors. This bill is probably the central issue which created, maintained and increasingly adds to the Tea Party movement as citizens across the nation begin to peacefully revolt.
The political pressure has gotten so intense with mid-term elections in November looming that 37 states this year, drafted legislation to reclaim their sovereignty.
7 states passed, Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee
9 states passed senate awaiting governor’s signature, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Texas,
18 states have introduced and awaiting votes, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
3 states introduced but were defeated, Montana, Arkansas, New HampshireThe Oklahoma House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 1003 Feb. 18 by a wide margin, 83 to 13, resolving, "That the State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."
The language of HJR 1003 further serves notice to the federal government "to cease and desist, effectively immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers."
At the Georgia 10th Amendment Summit held in Atlanta, Ray McBerry, candidate for Governor said;
“Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution enumerates the entire scope of Congress and anything outside that sphere can rightly be nullified or resisted by one or more of the states. This is to say, any law contrary to the Constitution is null and void, without effect. States created the U.S. Constitution and the federal government through that ratification. The States maintained lines of sovereignty and concurrent power, which they never ceded to federal control. When these sovereign states determine that their powers and their citizens' liberties are being infringed by the federal government, they have the natural and constitutional right to defend their powers. One way for them to do this is through what is commonly known as Nullification. Nullification in fact has been utilized in every region of the United States since 1787 and is completely an American idea which has served to effectively check the federal government against encroachments upon state sovereignty and personal liberty. Today we see the crucial need for states to use their sovereignty in this manner.” http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/constitution/2834-the-upcoming-tenth-amendment-summit
Debra Medina of Texas running for governor….Restore Sovereignty:
“The U.S. Constitution not only protects citizens' freedoms in the Bill of Rights, it also divides power between the federal and state governments and ultimately reserves final authority for the people themselves. Texas must stop the overreaching federal government and nullify federal mandates in agriculture, energy, education, healthcare, industry, and any other areas D.C. is not granted authority by the Constitution.”
The support given for the Health Care Reform Bill by the representatives has backfired on them to the point they are scrambling to appear repentant in an effort to regain the constituents lost for the upcoming election.
In the meantime, we have Arizona under attack from the federal government for taking the enforcement of immigration laws into their own hands after multiple pleas for help from the federal government in closing the southern borders against invasion from Mexico. The current administration’s response was to bring not one but two law suits against the state for asserting its rights. Again the federal government has no lawful standing under the Constitution to do so but claims its ability by pretending the 10th amendment does not apply strictly to them or possibly they are simply exhibiting yet more blatant arrogance in ignoring it altogether.
Our Constitution is still intact, relevant and is the irrefutable charter of this Republic. The idea that the nation can be cured by a switch of partisan politics in November is irresponsible. The corruption which brought us to this place in this point in time has been systematically perpetrated from both sides of the isle. Our Declaration of Independence clearly instructs us when a government behaves with MALICE TOWARD SOVEREIGNTY, it must be abolished and a return to the lawful Constitution of the land instituted.
English Bill of Rights, 1689
Virginia Declaration of Rights
Two Treatises of Government… John Locke
The Magna Carta, 1215 A.D.
The Federalist Papers
The Anti-Federalist Papers