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Constitution Monday: Feds Only Get What’s in Constitution

Today we come to the last of the the original ten amendments to the US Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. The tenth Amendment reads:

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.

This amendment is aimed at the powers of the federal government. While the Ninth Amendment specified that people had rights not spelled out in the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment states that (on paper at least) that if a power is not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution, it does not have that legal power.

In practice, the federal government regulates many areas not specified in the Constitution and many books have been written about why. One reason obvious to me is money. In many instances such as speed limits and No Child Left Behind, the federal regulations are technically voluntary. No state HAS to follow them. But if the regulations are not followed, then the state gets no federal money for related activities. Many states, including Alaska have talked a tough game about slavery from the feds and the need for States Rights or Sovereignty, but none have freed themselves simply by saying “No Thanks.” They don’t do this because it would require more taxes from state residents and at this point no state is willing to pay the price of freedom.

As I said at the beginning of this post, we have reached the end of the Bill of Rights and I hope you will take them to heart as our Founders did. But were are STILL not done with the Constitution. Seventeen more amendments were passed since the Bill of Rights and we will start considering those next week. Hope you’ll stay with me.

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