by Jack Ward

Most of us have a cursory knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and that the Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the Constitution. But few know any of the amendments other than the first (freedom of speech) and the second (gun rights).

But one amendment has been totally ignored by our political leaders. The forgotten amendment is the tenth amendment which enumerates the rights of states and the people.

The tenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution is quite simple. It 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.”

Simply stated, it says that the power granted to the federal government is limited and all other powers are bestowed to the states or the people. The powers granted to the federal government are listed in the first three articles of the Constitution.

You might be amazed to find out that no where in the U.S. Constitution does it give the federal government the power to regulate the temperature in your house, manage your health care, educate your children, or a myriad of things the federal government wants to control.

If our legislators want to expand federal powers to include these things, they can do it through the amendment process. The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times, so change is possible.

The overreaching of our Congress Critters, complicit judges, and presidents has been known and ignored for years. To reign in the abuses to the Constitution, Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ) has proposed legislation to identify those legislators that create these non-constitutional provisions. Of course our Congress Critters wouldn’t consider it.

When former Senator John Glenn (D-OH) was asked about limiting legislation to those provisions allowed in the U.S. Constitution, he was reported to say, “If we passed this, we wouldn’t have anything to do.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry addressed the unconstitutional expansion of the federal government and the violation of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when he said, “I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state. That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”

I would hope that more governors would have the guts to follow Governor Perry’s lead.

Early in the 1800’s President Thomas Jefferson must have envisioned these abuses when he said: “…..we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”

Jefferson recognized the growing problem over 200 years ago. He would be horrified to see how our current politicians have high-jacked our Constitution.

Imagine if the Congress, Courts, and President would honor their oath to abide with the powers enumerated in the Constitution. We could have part time Congress and we wouldn’t have the federal government meddling in our lives. This could unshackle the American free enterprise system and would usher in a new era of economic prosperity that these government meddlers could never achieve.

Jack Ward [send him email] has lived in Santa Cruz, CA for 4+ decades and has written several hundred opinion pieces in local newspapers to the consternation of leftwing local activists.

Copyright by Jack Ward

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.”



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