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The Tenth Amendment

Alright all you “States Rights” people,  here’s your Amendment: 

“The Powers not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”  

The Tenth Amendment

This Amendment basically states a truism: that all is retained which has not been surrendered. This was an attempt by the framers to protect the states from overruling the federal government. 

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court in Bond v. U.S., stated that individual states, may have standing to include and define all individuals who are poor (133% below the poverty line). 

The 10th Amendment has been utilized to justify the federal programs of Medicaid and Medicare.  While the 10th Amendment has been said to restrain the federal government, that idea remains questionable. 

However, beginning in Franklin Roosevelt’s tenure, the Supreme Court frequently altered the Commence Clause and unitized it as one of the most frequent bases of Congressional power. Examples: Farm and Home Admin., Federal Trade Comm., Federal Communications Comm., Federal Brd. of Ethics and Elections, Environmental Protection Agency, Occupation and Safety Act (OSCA), Tennessee Valley Authority, etc.

Recently the Federal government has been successfully sued to justify  cannabis and medical marijuana for people in certain states. The Supreme Court has never and will probably never address this controversial legal issue. 

Many legal scholars state there has always been a running legal battle between 10th Amendment “States-Righters” and the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clauses of the Constitution.

Even the 55 mph speed limit of the 70s and 80s imposed on the States by the federal government was justified by the Commerce Clause. 

This legal battle was defined early on when in 1812 the Supreme Court in Marbury vs. Madison the Court united behind the Supremacy Clause, Article VI. The Court noted that the President and Congress had the right to make treaties or to disband them without regard to input from the states. 

At the time, Chief Justice Jay was severely criticized for ignoring  the reservation clause of the 10th Amendment in reference to the rights of the states.  Therefore, there are a lot of folks who believe that the 10th Amendment has not been granted the respect that the original framers had envisioned. 

Note: (Feb. 8) So we have covered the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments of the Constitution which Alexander Hamilton declared superfluous, but Southerners Jefferson, Madison, and Mason declared necessary for the Constitution to be fully ratified. 

There are still 27 more Amendments to cover.

Personally, I believe our Constitution is a relevant, adjustable and great fact of foresightedness, engineered by men who unfortunately did not recognize blacks as citizens, but did value the framer’s language in a working document to guide to a young, barely functioning nation. 

The institution is not “ perfect” but it has acted as a very suitable guide for the United States for almost 240 years. Yet, the Constitution is seldom read or studied by most Americans, and it is widely misinterpreted and misquoted by people everywhere. 

Well, I am still observing a fair number of bald eagles in the valley. But no pairs flying together, only singles or juvenile birds. 

Now get up and go enjoy our beautiful Ozarks outdoors!