The 10th Amendment
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 of the Constitution may not get as much attention as the other amendments that protect individual rights, so one might ask why do we need to protect states rights. Here is one reason so eloquently put by (I LOVE) Sarah Palin:
On Monday [today, August 10th], [Alaska] lawmakers will meet to override my veto of stimulus funds. As Governor, I did my utmost to warn our legislators that accepting stimulus funds will further tie Alaska to the federal government and chip away at Alaska’s right to chart its own course. Enforcing the federal building code requirements, which Governor Parnell and future governors will be forced to adopt in order to accept these energy funds, will eventually cost the state more than it receives. There are clear ropes attached, and Alaskans will soon find themselves tied down by codes which will dictate how we build and renovate homes and businesses. The state has hundreds of millions of dollars already budgeted for conservation, weatherization and renewable energy development. Legislators don’t need to play politics as usual and accept these funds and the ropes that come with them.
Also this week, Alaskans will join Senators Murkowski and Begich in town hall meetings to discuss the current health care legislation. There are many disturbing details in the current bill that Washington is trying to rush through Congress, but we must stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment. Such tactics diminish our nation’s civil discourse which we need now more than ever because the fine print in this outrageous health care proposal must be understood clearly and not get lost in conscientious voters’ passion to want to make elected officials hear what we are saying. Let’s not give the proponents of nationalized health care any reason to criticize us.
- Sarah Palin
Two things jump out at me with this statement and things that I feel is so important for people to understand. First the federal government is dictating (controlling) state law by putting stipulation with the stimulus money, or I love Sarah Palin's term of "ropes". So much more weightier than string and an appropriate analogy. Secondly, I don't think the general public understand that the states have the right to refuse federal money. They don't understand that the federal government providing money as a result of the state meeting these requirements is a clear volilation of the Constitution. However, when states do comply with the federal requirements and recieve federal funds it opens the door and the States 10th amend rights is slowly reliquished to the federal government.
In order to understand this a little better you must also look at the 17th amendment:
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.The 17th amendment chance Section 3 - The Senate, which orginally stated:
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded by 17th Amendment, section 1) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
The reason the Senate was orginally set up to be elected by the legislature is to make the Senators the voice for the state. When this was changed, the state lost it's voice. Two thirds of the states were able to ratify the amendment to have it added to the Constitution. Did they really consider the consequences or were they looking for away around the 10th amendment? That is the question that comes to my mind, but this happened in 1913 and I am not going to speculate as to motives. It was a different time then. However, I do believe the fact that the Senate is no longer elected by the state legislature, is a huge mis-step in our history with a bunch of unintended consequences as the result. This is why the current health care bill (HR 3200) and Cap n Trade (HR 2454) should not even be a federal issue, hence are unconstitutional.