We have all heard people proudly proclaim that the Constitution is a living, breathing document and needs to be “tweaked”. This could not be further from the truth.

“The most numerous objects of legislation belong to the States. Those of the National Legislature [are] but few.”(Rufus King from The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 by Max Ferrand, 1937, p. 198). These men were humble enough to admit that they could not fathom the changes to culture and civilization that would occur centuries after they were gone but intelligent enough to leave behind the only remedy they thought could handle such unforeseen events. They laid out the strict rules for a government they thought would be the most efficient as well as one that respected the unalienable rights of the citizenry. The tenth amendment is a perfect example of their brilliance. Any power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution would remain an issue for each individual sovereign state.

In the news, we are bombarded by stories about homosexual unions and polygamy. People on both sides seem to only be succeeding in raising their blood pressure and losing their voices! The Founders left us the only Constitutionally correct remedy to this quandary in the tenth amendment. It is important to reiterate Constitutionally correct, because, if actions are taken unconstitutionally, they will eventually be repealed.

In order to flesh out the remedy though, we must remove all of the emotion surrounding this debate and focus on the true issue. In an ordered and polite society, the rule of law is the yolk that holds us all together. Disrespecting the process or allowing members of the ruling class to subvert it causes an incremental breakdown that eventually leads either to a police state or an outright dictatorship.(Some may argue we are already there.)

Each individual sovereign state has the power to make laws regarding both homosexual unions and polygamy. This allows the republican form of government, which we were intended to have, shine. California may decide to allow both while Utah only allows one. Oklahoma may elect to allow neither.

This is the way the Founders saw such disputes being resolved. If a large enough group in each state pushed to implement something then it was voted on and applied to that particular state. As such, each state being sovereign, cannot be compelled by another state or the national government to enact something that the people therein do not approve of.(Force of this type could also be repealed in the future.)

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

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.