By: Brenda Poland

The New Jersey Assembly will consider a Tenth Amendment Resolution during the 2012 legislative session.

ACR50  claims state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted by Constitution to federal government. While this resolution does not carry the force of law, it includes forceful language to strengthen the foundation for further state measures designed to nullify federal usurpation.

WHEREAS, Federalism is the constitutional division of powers between the national and state governments; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Jefferson called for “the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies;” and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “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;” and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, In 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Many federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States…

This concurrent resolution recognizes that the Tenth Amendment to the  Constitution of the United States provides:  “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.” This concurrent resolution further recognizes that many federal mandates are in direct violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United  States. Additionally, this resolution notes that in New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), the United States Supreme Court ruled that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states.

As such, this resolution claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted by the Constitution to the federal government and serves as notice and demand to the federal government to cease and desist mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.

The bill is Sponsored by: Assemblyman  Gary R. Chiusano (R) and Assemblywoman  Allison Littell McHose (R), along with five cosponsors.

“Tenth Amendment resolutions serve as a gateway. They not only send a message to D.C., reminding them of their proper place, resolutions often lead to more specific and forceful nullification down the line. I’m excited to see New Jersey working to lay a foundation and I hope they get this pass,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said.

To track Tenth Amendment Resolution bills across the U.S., click HERE.

For model Tenth Amendment Resolution legislation, click HERE.

Brenda Poland
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