We’re sometimes wrongly accused of being a right-wing, anti-Obama hate group. The truth of the matter is that the Tenth Amendment Center – which was founded in 2006 during the Bush Administration – is neither right-wing or left-wing.

You see, fidelity to the Constitution can and should appeal to both “conservatives” and “progressives”.

Frank Cagle recently wrote a pretty good article for Metro Pulse in which he proclaims, “It’s time progressives joined conservatives to preach the virtues of the 10th Amendment.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement.

Whether they realize it or not, those who support drug prohibition and those who support drug decriminalization have one thing in common: neither of them can site the article or clause in the US Constitution that gives the federal government the authority to prohibit or allow drugs. The feds simply don’t have jurisdiction. It’s up to the states per the 10th Amendment.

Likewise, those who support “gay marriage” have a common conundrum with those who advocate “traditional marriage”. Neither of them can show on what authority the federal government gets to decide who can, or cannot, marry who. This decision lies outside of the federal government’s purview. It’s up to the states per the 10th Amendment.

Mr. Cagle also seems to get it right when it comes to the federal government’s frequent misuse of the Commerce Clause:

If a product is produced inside a state’s borders, sold there, consumed there, and is legal under state law, in what way is it interstate commerce? The government has been arguing that actions within a state have an impact on national markets and thus affects interstate commerce. It is a slim reed.

A slim reed, indeed.

This brings to mind the Firearms Freedom Act which has been passed in 8 or 9 states and introduced in twenty-some others. In short, the FFA rightly declares that any firearms made and retained in-state are beyond the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the states.

Mr. Cagle’s article falls short of perfection in that (1) he fails to see the folly in allowing the Supreme Court – a branch of the federal government – to be the final arbiter on the constitutionality of federal acts and (2) he insists that the states lack the authority to “decide on their own whether a law is constitutional or not”.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison vehemently disagree (see the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798).

Scott Landreth

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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