by Kay B. Day, The US Report

The Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution isn’t a daily news header, but it should be. More than 35 states have passed, or are considering, a resolution to remind the federal government there is a limit to central government power. That limit was set forth in the 10th amendment, part of the Bill of Rights Patrick Henry and others wanted added to the US Constitution.

In an excellent essay at the Library of Congress, excerpted from the introduction to the book ‘A More Perfect Union,’ Roger A. Bruns wrote, “The anti-Federalists, demanding a more concise, unequivocal Constitution, one that laid out for all to see the right of the people and limitations of the power of government, claimed that the brevity of the document only revealed its inferior nature.” Bruns wrote, “By the fall of 1788 [James] Madison had been convinced that not only was a bill of rights necessary to ensure acceptance of the Constitution but that it would have positive effects.”

Many Americans don’t realize the Bill of Rights came after the main body of the Constitution, a response to concerns about the scope of a government made possible by the Constitution.

The Tenth Amendment Center is a repository for information about the movement based specifically on language in the amendment it is named for: “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.”

Over the last decade, administrations from both parties seem to have forgotten this amendment. The federal government has been on one long march to complete centralization of power for many years. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an excellent example of a president who ignored limits on federal governance, and that can be said of many recent presidents as well.

The current administration, despite being praised for intellectual rigor, seems bent on near-complete dismissal of the Tenth Amendment. Many of us believe socialism too kind a word for the direction our country is taking—it’s closer to totalitarianism.

If that sounds shocking, consider this definition of a totalitarian: “relating to or operating a centralized government system in which a single party without opposition rules over political, economic, social, and cultural life.”

Americans are beginning to see the light as personal freedoms erode. We face record taxes on many different levels of income and commodities. Soon we may be subject to a government mandate to buy health insurance whether we want to or not. Tax dollars have gone to select corporations, many of them with union pensions that needed a bailout. We see science politicized, with promises of record consumer costs for energy if the Democratic Congress has its way.

We see Senate seats bartered in an open market, and senators who have served beyond healthy limits such as Teddy Kennedy, Robert Byrd and Harry Reid. A Rasmussen poll found 44 percent of those surveyed believe the Constitution doesn’t restrict government enough. The way I see it, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights do restrict government enough. Congress, the executive and the judicial branch simply ignore it and voters for unfathomable reasons keep people like Kennedy in office.

A states’ rights movement has never been more timely considering the complete abandonment of common sense in growing a government we cannot sustain, in growing a government that will ultimately own your body if single payer health insurance comes to fruition. More than 200 years ago, a visionary saw the writing on the wall and his words seem prophetic today.

“The United States are to be melted down into a despotic empire dominated by ‘well-born’ aristocrats,” said Samuel Bryan in an essay published in 1787.

The Tenth Amendment movement is a response to that fulfilled prophecy.

Kay B. Day [send her email] is editor of The US Report, and lives in Jacksonville, FL.  Her writing has been syndicated in numerous publications including UPI, the CS Monitor, and Sky News.

**This article is published with permission of the author and

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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