The Tenth Amendment wasn’t really necessary.
Wow! A pretty shocking statement from somebody who works for the Tenth Amendment Center, huh?
But it’s true.
Because the Tenth Amendment, along with its partner the Ninth Amendment, don’t really DO anything. In fact, if those two amendments didn’t exist, the Constitution would remain unchanged. The federal government would still operate with only a few delegated powers, and all other power would still remain with the states and the people.
The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are “rules of construction.” In other words, they tell us how to read the original document. They don’t add anything to the Constitution, and they don’t take anything away. The Ninth and Tenth simply make explicit what was already implicit in the original construction of our founding document.
The enumeration of specific powers in Article 1 Sec. 8 (along with the other delegated powers sprinkled through the rest of the Constitution) naturally preclude the federal government from exercising any other powers. In fact, many in the founding era didn’t see the point of including the Ninth or Tenth Amendments, or even a Bill of Rights, arguing that it was self-evident that enumeration excluded any other authority – Designato unius est exclusio alterius – a legal maxim meaning, “the designation of one is the exclusion of the other.”Details