Nullification, state sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment have become all the rage over the past year, especially in Republican Party, right wing, Tea Party circles. So much so that most mainstream media reports frame the Tenther movement as an exclusively conservative/right wing phenomenon.

But in truth, many of these new-found disciples of the Tenth Amendment seem to view state sovereignty as simply an arrow in their quiver, a weapon effective in fighting legislation they disagree with. When the rubber meets the road, many of these ardent supporters of  “states’ rights” hop ship when the principle begins to clash with their political ideology.

Take Obama’s recent assertion that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. He got it right. The Constitution grants the federal government no authority to regulate marriage. Decisions on marriage rightly belong at the state level. But today, the airwaves and editorial pages can barely contain the social-conservative voices howling in protest. Pundits insist the President overstepped his authority when he directed the Justice Department to discontinue defending the constitutionality of DOMA.

Yet these same voice cheer when states resist the federal health care act, passing Health Care Freedom Acts and even nullifying the act all together.

The difference?

These fair weather Tenthers don’t want health care, but they do support DOMA. It’s pragmatism, not principle.

At the Tenth Amendment Center, we stand on principle.

That means sometimes we battle against federal acts we may philosophically agree with. Why?  Because the Constitution doesn’t grant powers in those areas.

We do it – not because we want to advance a particular political agenda – but because we believe in the principles of freedom and liberty, and we understand that the original Constitution protects those cherished principles.  But only when applied on a consistent basis. One can’t just pick and choose, applying the Constitution only when politically expedient.

At TAC we insist on one thing – Follow the Constitution, every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuse.

Mike Maharrey

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.”



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The 10th Amendment

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