Atlanta, Georgia (TAC) March 1, 2010

For two days last week, candidates for both state and federal offices in the 2010 elections gathered together to discuss strategies for upholding a strict interpretation of the 10th Amendment, which 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.” The candidates presented their views and ideas to a capacity crowd last Friday.

In a joint statement read to the crowd, the nearly two-dozen candidate participants pledged to “limit and restrain all federal government exercise of power that exceeds in any way the plain language of those few powers listed in the Constitution and to nullify all others that exceed such limit.”

Speakers such as Ray McBerry, Gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, and Roy Moore, Gubernatorial candidate in Alabama and former Supreme Court Justice for that state, slammed what they called federal overreach on traditional conservative issues such as gun rights, health care, and education.

But conservative issues were far from the only viewpoint that the so-called “Tenther” candidates championed. Adam Kokesh, an Iraq War Veteran and Congressional candidate in New Mexico’s 3rd District, proudly proclaimed, “During my deployment I realized that the greatest enemies of the Constitution to which I swore an oath to support and defend are not to be found in the sands of some far off land, but rather, right here at home!”

Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, also railed on U.S. foreign and domestic policy. He received standing ovations when listing what he considered to be ongoing violations of the constitution by the federal government, including the Department of Education, the Patriot Act, undeclared wars since 1941, federal gun regulations, and proposed national health care mandates.

Many of the participants expressed their gratitude for the Summit. Lex Green, candidate for Governor of Illinois, explained the results of the event, saying, “I went to the Tenth Amendment Summit with confidence in the power of state sovereignty, but looking for direction. I came away knowing that those powers that are reserved to the states and to the people provide the best way to protect our freedoms, and to help guide the nation back to prosperity.”

The Tenth Amendment Summit, sponsored by Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Ray McBerry, and Los Angeles-based think tank the Tenth Amendment Center, was a two-day event on Thursday and Friday, February 25-26 at the Atlanta Airport Hilton. Thursday was a closed-door strategy session for candidates and organizers only. The all-day public event on Friday was attended by over 300, according to organizers.