CBS on FFA and the 10th Amendment

At CBS News today, Declan McCullagh has an extremely fair report on a new lawsuit in support of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act. Here’s an excerpt: This is part of a new grassroots movement that’s seeking to invoke the principle of states’ rights — including states’ authority to regulate firearms within their borders — to…

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Misunderstanding Necessary and Proper

In this video, you’ll see an example of a pretty common “rebuttal” to those of us who argue that the federal government is authorized to exercise only those powers which have been delegated to it.

This gentleman builds his position mostly off this statement, near the beginning of the video:

“the 10th Amendment prohibits the federal government from doing anything that isn’t specifically spelled out in the Constitution – end of argument”

He couldn’t be more wrong.

The 10th Amendment doesn’t prohibit the feds from doing anything that “isn’t specifically spelled out in the Constitution” as this person claims, or as he’s saying other people claim. The 10th prevents the feds from exercising any power that hasn’t been delegated to it by We the People.”

While it may seem like an academic distinction, it certainly is not.  The Founders debated this issue in depth and wanted to make sure that the federal government wasn’t hamstrung, and unable to deal with changes the future would obviously bring.  So they called upon the Common Law doctrine of “principals and incidents” to ensure that government could adapt.

This is found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, where Congress is empowered to make laws that are “necessary and proper” for carrying out the other listed powers of the Constitution.

What does this mean? It’s really quite simple.

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Taking it off for the 10th?

A marijuana activist is doing something “special” to bring attention to the fact that the federal government is completely ignoring the 10th Amendment.  Writes Angela Macdonald of Examiner.com: Angela, the host, producer, and writer of The Reefer Report has vowed to wear no clothing during her ten minute news program. “The Federal government is stripping…

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MSNBC: Clueless about the 10th Amendment Again

It’s hard to cover everything that needs to be addressed in this 6+ minute video, but I’ll touch on a few of them below.

Here’s a few observations:

1. Turley is absolutely correct that “decades of precedent” in the courts oppose the view that the federal government is not authorized to enact a national health care plan. But, what he fails to point out, is that under the original meaning, intention and understanding of the Constitution – these kinds of powers would have been unthinkable. The court is, in plain English, wrong.  Learn more here.

2. Neither the host nor Turley seem to have any clue about nullification – or its current efforts. Nullification has nothing to do with getting a positive ruling from the Supreme Court. It’s when a state passes a law simply refusing to implement a federal law. In fact, it has a long history in the American tradition. It’s been used to resist laws against free speech, fugitive slave laws, the use of the militia in war and more. Hardly “right-wing” at all.  Learn more here.

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Shuster: Tenth Amendment is a Bunch of Baloney

From NewsBusters.org “MSNBC’s Shuster: Tenth Amendment a ‘Baloney’ Issue That Appeals to Right-wing Fringe”  (h/t Bob Greenslade) Clearly Dave is mis-informed.  Or, he’s a straight-faced liar.  Either way, as far as Constitutional understanding goes, this guy is as clueless – and dangerous – as it gets. Here’s some introductory reading on the subject: Is Obamacare…

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From Sovereignty Declaration to Implementation

by Pete Ketcham

IN THE BEGINNING

Several months ago I started my efforts to promote action on the 10th Amendment in Idaho. This effort was based on the encouraging fact that the Idaho Legislature passed House Joint Memorial No.4, a sovereignty declaration not requiring the Governor’s signature. My original motivation in this effort was not to promote partisan politics. It was not an emotional effort to “strike a blow for freedom”, nor was it a revengeful effort to put the Federal Government “in its place”.

It was and still is a matter of SURVIVAL.

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Introducing the Louisiana State Sovereignty Committee

After all the Tea Party protests and town hall meetings, the question still lingers in the minds of many Louisianans: “What can I really do to stop the policies in Washington, D. C., that seek to make the federal government all-powerful in many areas of my life and the life of my state?”

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