A Battle against the Imperial Presidency

by Gregory Bresiger, FFF.org

George Bush, basically unchallenged by Congress in his calamitous war in Iraq, can thank several of his Republican predecessors for his imperial power.

Out of power for some 20 years in the early 1950s, many Republicans had been critics of the secretive foreign policy of Democratic presidents in the 1930s and 1940s. These were the Republicans who supported the Bricker amendment, which aimed to rein in the power of presidents.

The Bricker amendment’s intent was at least twofold.

First, it would prevent presidential executive agreements from undermining the powers of the states as detailed in the Tenth Amendment. Since the Supreme Court had held that treaties, which require the approval of the Senate, override Tenth Amendment provisions, critics feared that executive agreements, which would be issued by imperial presidents without Senate consent, would constitute an even graver assault on the Tenth Amendment.

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What Ever Happened to the Tenth Amendment?

by Dr. Ron Gleason

There are few people today who pound the drum about the Tenth Amendment and still fewer who have any idea what is says. In fact, in general few Americans get exercised about our Constitution at all. Precious few have read it and politicians increasingly avoid it like the plague. With all the excitement that TV offers these days, who has the time or inclination to read the Constitution or The Federalist Papers. We are an uninformed nation and most of that is our fault.

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Limit Government, Not Liberty

by Neal Ross

“Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.”
–Woodrow Wilson

Power is something that is often sought. However, once it is obtained it is like a drug that constantly demands an ever increasing amount of it. Most often it is wielded in a way that only benefits those who have it, with little regard for the welfare of those who do not.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.”

Our Founding Fathers were wise when it came to the temptations which came with unbridled power. Anyone who has taken the time to research the writings of Jefferson, Madison, and the other founders would know that they were wary of a government with unlimited power.

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Cut Government Down to Size!

by Clay Barham

Easier said, but it can be done.  It starts with the new CEO of the Federal Government, the President, telling all those who work for the Executive Branch there will be no more hiring, except for the military.  That means when people die or retire, they will not be replaced by anyone from the outside.  If necessary to replace them, it will be from people already working in other departments of the government, like musical chairs.  That is when you will see impending shrinkage of the bureaucracy.

In addition to that, you eliminate the Cabinet Departments by telling them they may neither hire nor replace at all, ever again, for certain, and if done, heads will roll. Each Cabinet chief comes into the administration for the sole purpose of eliminating the department in, say, four years.  The result is departments will ultimately disappear and have to share necessary functions, if there are any, with the states until they are out of the loop.  This is kind of a Tenth Amendment thing, gradually accomplished by deaths and retirements, and no replacement of those working in the Departments.

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Limiting Government: A Reorganization

by Clay Barham

It is a project long overdue. We know how America runs best, when it worked best and what levels of government are most appropriate. We just need to back up and pare down. I do not know anyone who thinks the Post Office mentality operates any organization better than free people do.

We know our Declaration of Independence qualifies the role of free people and their government, and we know our Federal Constitution, as originally put forth, helped shape the way America functioned organizationally. If that is so, then we need only move back to a time when everything was best. America proved best for all people when compared to all other styles and forms of civil organization.

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Why we have a Tenth Amendment

Guest Commentary by Dan Reale

You can ask anybody what the first amendment prevents infringement upon. They might know about one thing, freedom of speech, but incorrectly, tell you we are granted freedom of speech. Even then, most miss the other four inalienable rights the Constitution limits the federal government from violating.

Most are equally unaware of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and even of their status as militia under U.S. code. Most also don’t know that the third amendment prevents forced slumber parties with soldiers, and further assume that one’s right to be secure in his papers, person and effects can be waived by law – without a rebellion or invasion. They also believe that the seizure of life, liberty or property is okay without a warrant, just compensation or due process is legal.

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Understanding Limited Government

Kevin Gutzman’s new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, might be the best available overview of the principles of limited government as espoused by the Tenth Amendment.

After reading this book, you’ll see quite clearly that the original constitution has very little in common with how this government is run today (if you haven’t noticed already!) The 10th Amendment has been pushed aside and the federal government runs rampant – exercising powers that the founders would never have dreamed of giving to any politician.

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