On Tuesday, 05-26-09, Massachusetts State Representative Jeffrey Davis Perry (R-Sandwich) filed a Resolution before the House of Representatives to protect the Founding Fathersâ€™ intent and the Constitutional protections of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states:
“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.”
â€œThe purpose of this Resolution is to clearly affirm to Congress and the President ourÂ Stateâ€™s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution and to demand that the federal government halt the practice of assuming powers and imposing mandates upon the states for purposes which are not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States of Americaâ€ said Representative Perry from the State House.
As cited by the Tenth Amendment Center, â€œJames Madison, during the Constitutional ratification process, drafted the â€œVirginia Planâ€ to give Congress general legislative authority and to empower the national judiciary to hear any case that might cause friction among the states, to give the congress a veto over state laws, to empower the national government to use the military against the states, and to eliminate the statesâ€™ accustomed role in selecting members of Congress.Â Each one of these proposals was soundly defeated.Â In fact, Madison made many more attempts to authorize a national veto over state laws, and these were repeatedly defeated as wellâ€¦
The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people to the federal government, and also that which is absolutely necessary to advancing those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution of the United States.Â The rest is to be handled by the state governments, or locally, by the people themselves.
The Constitution does not include a congressional power to override state laws.Â It does not give the judicial branch unlimited jurisdiction over all matters.Â It does not provide Congress with the power to legislate over everything. This is verified by the simple fact that attempts to make these principles part of the Constitution were soundly rejected by its signers.â€
The language of the Resolution is as follows:
AFFRIMING THE CONSTITUIONAL PROTECTIONS OF THE 10TH AMENDMENT
WHEREAS,Â The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States specifically provides that, 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 peopleâ€; and
WHEREAS,Â The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being those powers specifically granted to it by the Constitution of the United States and the principle of Federalism is the constitutional division of powers between the national and state governments and is widely regarded as one of Americaâ€™s most valuable contributions to political science; and
WHEREAS,Â The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be limited in its powers relative to those of the various states; and
WHEREAS,Â Many federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and infringe upon Massachusettsâ€™ reserve powers and the peopleâ€™s reserved powers; and
WHEREAS,Â A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now being considered by the present administration and from Congress do infringe on the Statesâ€™ reserve powers and the peopleâ€™s reserved powers, and may further violate the Constitution of the United States; Therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 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 and this Resolution shall serve as a Notice and Demand to the federal government to maintain the balance of powers where the Constitution of the United States; and it be further
RESOLVED,Â That the Clerk of the House shall immediately transmit copies of this Resolution to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of each stateâ€™s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
â€œThe Tenth Amendment was adopted after the Constitutional ratification process.Â A primary purpose was to enshrine the fact that the individual states are unique and retain their own sovereignty.Â The Constitution does not delegate to the federal government an endless supply of power.Â We must always remember that the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect freedoms of individuals and the states, not expand the power of the federal governmentâ€ added Representative Perry.
The Resolution was filed with the House of Representatives Clerk and was cosponsored by Representatives Jones (R-North Reading), Vallee (D-Franklin), Humason (R-Westfield), Webster (R-Pembroke), Evangelidis (R-Holden), Poirier (R- North Attleboro), deMacedo (R-Plymouth), Ross (R-Wrentham), Gifford (R-Wareham), Smola (Three Rivers) and Polito (Shrewsbury).