From time to time, our work at the Tenth Amendment Center comes under attack from anarcho-capitalists. (Or if you prefer anarchists, voluntarists or simply libertarians.)Details
The confusion that arises due to not following the Constitution is confusion over the most basic idea in society: what is the role of government? Some believe it is to keep us safe. Some believe it is financial stability, both in the form of welfare and in central banks controlling the money supply.Details
Here’s something to think about:
You have better toys and technology – but less freedom than the founding fathers had.
I have often found myself wearing a few different hats when it comes to politics. My personal views are libertarian in nature. I really do believe in both the non-aggression principle and in property rights. I also support the Constitution even when there are aspects of it which are anti-libertarian. The term “Tenther” also applies to me as well.
Remember, the Constitution doesn’t grant us our rights, but acknowledges the natural rights we have which predates it. There are also instances where the Constitution does legally violate our rights. I would argue that the eminent domain clause of the Constitution is such a case. The government shouldn’t be able to force me off my land unless I am willing to sell it. Some will argue that sometimes public need justifies it. Well, I would suggest reviewing the Kelo v. City of New London case in which transferred land from individuals to another private group. This shows how granting power to a government entity will eventually abuse the said power.Details
Sovereignty is the inherent and independent right to do all that is necessary to govern oneself. In the United States, the People are sovereign. In fact, only the individual is truly sovereign, because only the people, and not government, have inherent rights to life, liberty, and property, along with the right to protect and preserve it.
In the United States, we enjoy self-government; that is, government originates from the people, for the people – “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Government arises out of social compact. In other words, because man is a social creature, he forms together into communities. And in order that communities run smoothly and common services be provided to protect everyone’s rights and property, governments are instituted. And so, individuals delegate some of their sovereign power of self-defense and self-preservation to a government. That is why the bulk of government is always supposed to be closest to the individual, where it is most responsible and most accountable. Our rights and liberties are most protected when people have the frequent opportunity to see their elected officials and look them in the eye, and when those officials see a personal story behind acts of legislation, etc.
This is exactly what our Declaration of Independence tells us about our individual sovereignty. In the first paragraph, we are told that our sovereignty is based on Natural Law and God’s Law – “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” The only rightful power our government has is the power that the People – by the consent of the governed and according to the precise language and intent of our Constitution – have temporarily delegated to it. In that grant of power, in a system based on the Sovereignty of the Individual, there is always a mechanism to take that power back. That is why the Declaration explicitly states that the People have the right to “alter or abolish” their government (when it become destructive of its aims). In fact, that right is so important and so fundamental, it is listed with the other inherent rights that individuals possess. In other words, what the Declaration is saying is that the People of the “united States” have the right to reclaim the sovereign power that they temporarily delegated to that government to govern and protect their liberties.Details
At a gathering of TEA Party and Liberty groups leaders this past weekend I repeatedly heard them refer to our constitutional rights in questions put forth to a candidate running for political office. At any other setting, I would have corrected them, but I felt it was not my place to correct them since it wasn’t my event and I was a guest.
I was wrong; I should have.
We DO NOT have constitutional rights; we don’t even have constitutionally protected rights.
We have inalienable rights, or if you prefer – unchallengeable, absolute, immutable, unassailable, incontrovertible, undisputable, indisputable, undeniable, natural or as prefer to call them God given rights.
These rights existed before the Constitution and they existed even before government.Details
A bill has passed through the Texas State Senate that aims to protect the privacy of their residents from the police state by instituting strict limitations on the use of unmanned drones in surveillance by law enforcement.
Dubbed the ‘Texas Privacy Act’, H.B. 912 is an attempt to rein in potential abuses related to the rapidly-developing drone technology that has made its hands into the hands of government at the state and federal levels. The bill was originally authored by Rep. Gooden (R-District 4) and has amassed over 100 co-sponsors since it was introduced Feb. 1, showing vast and bipartisan support for stopping the government’s Orwellian takeover of our skies.
The House passed the bill by a vote of 128-11 on May 10th. (roll call here) And last Friday the Senate passed a slightly amended version of the bill by a vote of 29-1. (roll call here). HB912 will now go back to the State House to either concur on the amendments or form a conference committee to approve a final version acceptable to both the House and Senate. Then it’s off to Governor Perry’s desk for a signature.
The bill states that “a person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image.” The offender would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if they were caught violating this part of the law.
Data gathered by law enforcement illegally ‘may not be used as evidence in any criminal or juvenile proceeding, civil action, or administrative proceeding’ according to the bill and ‘is not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for its release.’ This incentivizes police to not misuse the drone technology unless they wish to risk jeopardizing their entire investigation.Details
We at the Tenth Amendment Center have promoted the idea that nullification brings people from both sides of the political equation together. And although we have seen mainstream voices from the establishment left and establishment right come together to denounce nullification, the idea continues to catch on amongst the freedom-starved American people. One recent example of nullification catching on comes from the left as author W.W. Houston wrote a recent article for the Economist on May 9 triumphing the idea of nullification and states rights.
Houston began his article with an interesting anecdote about the founding of the Republic of Texas. According to legend, freedom fighters in Texas held up a flag over their cannon that said ‘COME AND TAKE IT’ in defiance of their Mexican oppressors. Houston brought up a recent bill that had passed the Texas House that declared all federal gun control laws to be null and void, comparing it to their revolutionary ancestors. Usually, you would expect a mainstream media outlet at this point to go on a tyrade against this legislation calling it “crazy”, “racist”, “extreme” and every other derogatory term they could come up with. However, this time the Economist has thrown us a curve ball and is actually running the pro-States Rights point of view.
The article goes on to give a solid description of the arguments and counter-arguments for nullification before closing tremendously with an eloquent defense of states rights. “The discretion of states to decide what federal laws they will enforce strikes me as part of a healthy division and balance of government power. Requiring that states devote its citizens’ resources to the enforcement of laws with which the state legislature disagrees seems to me straightforwardly to deny the democratic sovereignty of the state’s people,” Houston said.Details
The “winners” write the history, and always in favor of their side of the “argument”.
Government’s job is to “control” the people. Control takes power and power comes at a price: the people’s liberty. In a nutshell, government power stands as the enemy of liberty. And when it comes to the war between power and liberty, power generally triumphs.
And government writes our history.
Most people allow the government to educate their children and that means they learn the approved government version of history. Sadly, it is totally corrupt. Few Americans realize it and can’t, or wont, correct the mistake.
I will try to help correct a piece of the disinformation surrounding the 10th Amendment and put it all into the correct perspective for you.
We’ve watched government trample on the Constitution throughout most of our recent history. We do not have to look very far to see examples. President Bush’s Administration created the The Patriot Act, anything but patriotic. Throughout his terms in office, Bush completely disregarded what the Constitution said and wielded the arms of war with wanton disregard.
President Obama continues in the same vein with more anti-constitutional measures. When Congress does not do what Obama wants he creates Executive Orders with the force of law. Effectively legislating from the White House and overstepping his constitutional boundaries without any regard to the laws our country.
Our Constitution is a document designed to LIMIT the power of the federal government. It enumerates the exact duties, responsibilities and powers of each branch of the federal government. In other words, the federal government ONLY has the powers over things that are specifically spelled out in the Constitution. ALL OTHER POWERS are reserved for the states and people. This is succinctly spelled out in 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.”
“The Second Amendment Preservation Act” successfully made its way through a Missouri State Senate Committee on Wednesday, bringing the state ever closer to protecting the natural rights of their citizens.
HB 436 was passed by a Senate Committee on a 4-1 vote. The bill was already passed by a strong veto-proof majority in the State House. It now awaits a full vote in the State Senate before it is fully passed and sent to the governor.
UPDATED 04-26 We’ve been informed that the Senate committee removed an unrelated amendment that the house inserted, so after passing the full senate it will first go back to the House for concurrence, then to the governor’s desk.
If passed into law, HB436 would nullify virtually every federal gun control measure on the books – or planned for the future. It reads, in part:
All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.
(2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
(a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
(b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
(c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.
The bill also does a service of providing the State Legislature and the public-at-large with a history lesson that is particularly appreciated by Tenthers, saying, “The limitation of the federal government’s power is affirmed under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States is reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves.”Details