Last week, the City of Santa Monica filed a brief citing the 10th Amendment in a legal battle against the FAA.Â The city recently passed a local ordinance banning larger, faster jets at the local Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
As reported in The Lookout News, the FAA is attempting to block the city from imposing its own rules, and is attempting to use force to prevent the city from continuing the ordinance.
In its legal brief:
the City argues that it is likely to prevail in its effort to stay a lower court order prohibiting enforcement of the ordinance banning C and D aircraft at the 62-year-old municipal airport.
In its motion and supporting brief, the City argues that it is likely to prevail on the merits of the case against the Federal Aviation Administrationâ€™s (FAA) determination that the ordinance is illegal because the City is merely trying to implement federal runway standards.
The City also contends that the FAAâ€™s interim cease and desist orders were issued illegally without a hearing, that as airport proprietor it has the legal right to protect public safety and limit its own liability and that the Tenth Amendment protects the City from federal coercion.
This is definitely a correct application of the 10th Amendment.Â Whether you agree with the ordinance or not, the principle remains the same.Â Issues related to liability and public safety are to be left in the hands of local governments.
One-size-fits all was not the intention of the founding fathers, and to ensure that states and localities could govern themselves on most issues they passed the 10th amendment:
â€œThe 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.â€
The Constitution was written under a simple principle – positive grant. In short, what this means is this: The federal government is authorized to exercise only those powers which are specifically given to it in the Constitution.
Everything else is â€œreserved to the States, respectively, or to the People.â€
And that includes local ordinances over what kind of plane can operate at the Santa Monica municipal airport.