The growth of the federal government, and the consolidation of power that goes with it, has gained the attention of most people in our country.  Rapid increases in spending levels and additional layers of rules, regulations, an mandates has most of us concerned for our future, and our individual liberty.  Unpopular laws, like Obamacare, have sharpened the differences between the ruling class and the rest of us.

What’s the solution?  Ryan Young & David Deerson writing for RealClearPolicy, propose a new Constitutional amendment that would allow a vote by 2/3 of the states to repeal any law they determine to be unlawful.  In the article, they describe a federalist system, that not only separates powers among the three branches, but also between the states and the central government.

They give a brief history of the balance of power between the feds and the states, noting that the 14th, 16th, and 17th amendments all shifted the balance toward the feds.  True enough. They seem to lament the shifting balance of power from the states, to Washington, DC, over the past century, or so, and suggest that a new “Repeal Amendment” might solve the problem.  In the same paragraph, however, they admit that getting 2/3 of any group to agree on anything would be difficult, but that we have to do something. They tout the support of several Congressmen, and point to efforts by a few states to make similar state laws.

I went back and read the Bill of Rights. The last one of those ten amendments to the Constitution says each and every state has the sovereign authority to decide what is Constitutional, and what is not. Any power not specifically delegated, is reserved.

The 10th Amendment has not been repealed. It has been ignored by media, and suppressed by educators for every one of those hundred years the authors lament, so they probably think it’s safe to assume no one knows it exists.  They make the claim that their proposal is a step back toward states rights, as if nothing like it has ever existed.

If any ONE state can already declare any federal law null and void, wouldn’t a new amendment that requires 2/3 of the states to do the same, be a really big step towards consolidation of more power in Washington?  This proposed amendment, if approved, would shut the door on states rights.

The whole thing is a head fake: let’s pretend the 10th Amendment doesn’t exist, then propose a new amendment, with the same nullification power for the states, but with the bar set much higher.  They propose that it would require not 1, but 34 states, to nullify the usurpation.

The attempt to undermine personal liberty will continue to get more sophisticated, with more, and better, end runs and head fakes.  Stay ahead of those that desire to rule you. Expect that your state Representative doesn’t know the facts, or is happy to play second fiddle to the feds, as long as they send the check each month.

This brings me back to Obamacare, and its mandates on states.  If you nullify the law, your state doesn’t need the money.  If it doesn’t take the money, it doesn’t relinquish sovereignty.  If your state retains sovereignty, there’s a better chance you will too.

Scott Martin

The 10th Amendment

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