Letter: Let’s use the Tenth
We are distressed by the federal government’s overreach and disregard for the Constitution. But what is the solution?
Amending the Constitution is fraught with pitfalls. And, if Congress won’t abide by the Constitution we have now, why think they would respect an altered one?
But we have the solution—the Tenth Amendment—state nullification. This is based on enforcing the Constitution, which dictates that the federal government may exercise only those powers that were delegated to it. The 10th Amendment 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.” Thus, nullification requires each state’s ability to nullify, or invalidate, unconstitutional federal measures.
Nullification is founded on the fact that the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the contract, they have the ultimate authority to enforce the constitutional limits of the power of the federal government. It is based on upholding the Constitution and the founding principles of the Republic; it can be implemented by individual states, without having to first get other states on board.
There are those who say that nullification is unconstitutional—that the so-called Supremacy Clause dictates that federal laws trump state laws, but the Supremacy Clause does not say that all laws passed by the federal government are the supreme law of the land. It declares that the “laws of the United States made in pursuance of” (in accordance with) the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. In pursuance thereof, not in violation thereof.
None of the provisions of Obamacare, for example, are permissible under the enumerated powers given to Congress in the Constitution. If states would utilize the Tenth Amendment, in a matter of a few weeks, they could make null and void Obamacare, gun controls, government snooping into our personal lives, et al. All it would take would be for the state legislature to pass such a bill and the governor to sign it.
Let’s use the Tenth Amendment.