10th Amendment Serves as Freedom's Bulwark

Since taking office in January 2009, President Barack Obama has done his utmost to expand the federal government to an unprecedented size. He has bailed out banks and automakers, absorbed student loans, and most recently taken on the role of providing health insurance for every American in this country.

Because there is no such thing as “Obama money,” lucid citizens know that all these actions either were or will be funded by taxpayer dollars.

This means that regardless of what we think about bailing out car manufacturers that were driven into the ground by union thugs or insuring Americans who may not want to be insured in the first place, portions of our paychecks will be confiscated to pay for these ventures.

When our money is taken, our freedom is taken as well. And this is but one more reason why many states have responded Obama’s recklessness by cleaving to the 10th Amendment for the preservation of their sovereignty and the protection of their rights.

The 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads: “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.” These words were meant to defend the powers of the states from the dangers of an overreaching federal government.

This is why Texas’ Governor Rick Perry spoke of the need to return “to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential Tenth Amendment,” at an Austin, Texas Tea Party on April 15, 2009. It is why Minnesota state lawmakers were in open opposition to Obamacare before it squeaked through the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010. And it’s why Virginia’s Governor, Bob McDonnell, is preparing to sign a bill “making it illegal for the federal government to require [Virginians] to purchase health insurance.”

The 10th Amendment is also the basis on which states like Montana, Tennessee, and Wyoming have passed legislation clarifying the federal government’s inability to infringe on the 2nd Amendment. To that end, all three of these states have adopted “an exemption from federal regulations for [personal firearms],” described as “weapons built, sold and kept within state borders.”

Wyoming’s Governor Dave Freudenthal went even further on March 12, 2010, by signing legislation that makes it a felony for any federal agent to enforce or attempt “to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm.”

Of course, the 10th Amendment is not just for states, it’s also for the people within those states. Thus the language of the amendment indicates that all powers not explicitly given to the federal government by the Constitution “are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

This means that Governors Perry, Freudenthal, and McDonnell, the Minnesota lawmakers, and the legislative bodies of Montana, Tennessee, and Wyoming aren’t just defending their states as entities but their people as citizens of those states: people with rights that are not to be infringed.

This also explains why Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has come out swinging against Obamacare not only on the basis that it “violates the United States Constitution” but also on the grounds that it “infringes upon Texans’ individual liberties.” Abbott understands that a federal violation of “individual liberties” is a violation of the 10th Amendment.

The bottom line is clear: The 10th Amendment is freedom’s bulwark. It was given us by the Founding Fathers for the purpose of protecting the sovereignty and rights both of the states and the citizens in the states. Never has it been as needed as it is right now.