Too often, the 10th Amendment, is referenced with the term “States Right,” which in turn is a reminder of our nation’s dark history in which “states rights” was used in the secession attempts of the southern states for multiple reasons, including the continuation of the practice of slavery. It is for that reason that I offer the following.
The term “States Rights” is somewhat of a misnomer. The correct terminology would be “State Sovereignty” as imbued in the original principles and definition of “Federalism” and as enforced in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.
Historically, the sovereignty of the states was a critical aspect in the formation of our union of states as our nations founders and the original states were, with the exception of Hamilton and a few others, vehemently opposed to centralized governance having just freed the infant nation from the oppression of governance from a foreign central government. In fact the structure of governmental powers as defined by the 9th and 10th Amendments clearly depict a structure of governance emanating from the origin of all governance, “We the People.”Details