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Assault on the Tenth 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. - The Bill of Rights

Perhaps the last bulwark of protection the people have against a tyrannical federal government is the 10th Amendment. Progressives amongst us understand this and are doing everything in their power to strip this Tenth Amendment protection from the States and the People in their pursuit to enlarge the federal government and enslave the people.

Thomas JeffersonI'm reminded of the grievances written primarily by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 brought against King George III of Great Britain in the Declaration of Independence. What truly amazes me is how many of those same grievances are violated today by the federal governments tyrannical sway over State rights.

Consider the following words from the Declaration of Independence (emphasized) and examples of grievious violations.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

    The Federal government has long ignored the out of control immigration issues, especially along our border with Mexico. They have refused to uphold existing law and when a state such as Arizona passes their own laws to control immigration on their border, the Federal government has done all that it can to suspend and overturn those laws agreed to by the people.

    When the people of California passed laws to make medical marijuana legal in their state, the Federal Government refused to Assent to those laws and asserts it's unconstitutional powers to make marijuana possession a crime.

  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

    Wannabe tyrannical presidents have created a multitude of new offices (unelected czars, for example) to do their bidding and enforce regulations not passed into law. Washington D.C. is overrun with departments, agencies, and other bureaucrats whose entire mission is to harrass our people and eat out their substance.
    - Consider the IRS and Department of Homeland Security that do nothing but harrass our people and eat out their substance.
    - When offshore banks made bad bets in their investments, the Federal Government bailed them out using taxpayer money, thus depriving the citizens of their substance.
    - When the people of New Orleans needed help following Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Government did little and forbid local authorities to provide aid.
    - While millions of gallons of oil filled the Gulf of Mexico, the Federal government prevented the states from protecting their own shores.

  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    - Our streets, public squares, sporting events, meeting halls, and political rallies have been regularly invaded by armed Federal troops in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act to restrict the rights of citizens. Armed federal troops have been used in natural disasters (Hurricane Katrina, for example) to confiscate guns and enforce unconstitutional regulations spewed forth by bureaucrats far removed from the effects of the disaster.
    - Unconstitutional treaties have been entered in to with foreign governments (NAFTA and CAFTA, for example) to deprive American citizens of their unalienable Rights and to send millions of jobs to those foreign lands.
    - The Federal government is responsible for imposing all sorts of taxes (and hidden fees) on its citizens without their consent. And President Obama is pushing even more of the same in regulations, taxes, and fees with his takeover of the healthcare system and carbon tax credit scheme.
    - It is alleged that the CIA runs a secret global abduction and internment operation of suspected terrorists, known as “extraordinary rendition”, which since 2001 has captured about 3,000 people and transported them around the world for torture and imprisonment.
    - The Federal government has discarded it's sovereign system of laws as it has subjected its citizens to laws and decrees of the United Nations.

  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    On Oct. 1, 2008, the 3rd Infantry Division (United States)’s 1st Brigade Combat Team was assigned to U.S. Northern Command, marking the first time an active unit had been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The force will be known for the first year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, and will serve as an on-call federal response force for terrorist attacks and other natural or man-made emergencies and disasters.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

How much longer will the American people tolerate the injustice foisted upon them? Politicians in Washington have ignored the outcry from the homeland and with each passing day further entrench their treachery as they continue to dismantle every part of our U.S. Constitution.

Some may believe the so-called Tea Party Movement has awakened many people to our Constitutional roots. While that may have been true in the early days of the Tea Party Movement, today the Tea Party Movement today has been largely overrun by NeoCon Republicans and are just about as likely to ignore those portions of the Constitution they don't like.

Take for example the presence of FreeSpeech Zones at Tea Party rallies where they have restricted the free speech of citizens. Members of We Are Change from the San Francisco area were kicked out of a Tea Party event held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California on April 15. It appears only supporters of the Republican hijacked Tea Party were welcome at the event.

Nikita Kruchev said, "Russia does not have to destroy America with missles; America will destroy from within." Later, he removed his boot and banged it on the negotiating table, saying: "WE WILL BURY YOU!" Indeed, America has today embraced all 10 Planks of Communism and Kruchev's proclamation is quickly coming to pass.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Big Government Expansion

The power delegated to the federal government was significantly expanded by amendments to the Constitution following the Civil War, and by some later amendments -- as well as the overall claim of the Civil War, that the states were legally subject to the final dictates of the federal government.

Since the suppression of this sovereignty, the federal government has increased greatly in size and influence, both in terms of its influence on everyday life and relative to the state governments. The Social Security Program, Medicare, the Welfare Program, the IRS, nationally funded student loans, and farm subsidies are all examples of the federal government appropriating power not given it by the Constitution.

Those wanting to erode the Constitution cite several reasons why this protection needs to be removed, including the need to regulate businesses and industries that span state borders, imposition of labor and environmental controls, attempts to secure civil rights, and the provision of social services.

Ron PaulThe Tenth Amendment makes it very clear that all duties and rights not given to the federal government are reserved to the people and the States.The Tenth Amendment makes explicit the idea that the federal government is limited only to the powers granted in the Constitution.

In United States v. Sprague (1931) the Supreme Court noted that the amendment "added nothing to the [Constitution] as originally ratified." The Tenth Amendment makes explicit what had before only been implied.

Ron Paul said during the 2008 presidential race, “As president, one of my priorities will be restoring the 10th amendment and federalism. Decisions about issues like civil unions or right-to-die legislation should be made by the states, not the federal government. I will stop federal judges from imposing new definitions on the States. I will also return control over education to parents and local communities. Decisions about whether or not to fund vouchers, have merit pay for teachers or extend the school year should be made by parents and local school boards, not by D.C.-based bureaucrats.”


Both the Democrat and Republican political parties have used the federal government in violation of the 10th Amendment, and both have played a role in the drift to what departing Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor fears: "Congress will nibble away at state sovereignty, bit by bit, until someday essentially nothing is left but a gutted shell."

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, states that Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with the Indian tribes. The Commerce Clause is an important source of powers delegated to Congress, and therefore its interpretation is very important in determining the scope of Federal power versus state sovereignty.

In 1941 the Supreme Court upheld the Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated the production of goods shipped across state lines. And, in Wickard v. Filburn, (1942) the Court upheld the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which sought to stabilize wide fluctuations in the market price for wheat by stabilizing supply through quotas. Congress could now apply national quotes to wheat grown on one's own land, for one's own consumption, because the total of such local production and consumption was sufficiently large as to impact the overall goal of stabilizing prices.

Thanks in large part to the Great Depression, world wars, and Cold War, the powers of the federal government have grown over the last century into areas clearly accepted as state provinces such as public housing, gun control, voter registration, education, and marriage. The result, according to syndicated columnist George Will, is "a mockery of federalism."

The imposition of the Commerce Clause to erode state sovereignty continued following the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which aimed to prevent business from discriminating against black customers. In Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964), the Court ruled that Congress could regulate a business that served mostly interstate travelers; in Katzenbach v. McClung (1964) the Court ruled that the federal government could regulate Ollie's Barbecue, which served mostly local clientele but sold food that had previously moved across state lines; and in Daniel v. Paul (1969), the Court ruled that the federal government could regulate a recreational facility because three out of the four items sold at its snack bar were purchased from outside the state.

The widening interpretation of the Commerce Clause has made way for many laws which contradict the original intended meaning of the Constitution. Take for example the War on Drugs which wouldn’t be possible if the federal government obeyed the Tenth Amendment.

Armed with the Courts so-called doctrine of "New Federalism" delineated by Gonzales v. Raich (2005), the Court upheld a Federal law regarding marijuana, finding that although the marijuana in question had been grown and consumed within a single state, and had never entered Interstate Commerce, Congress could nonetheless regulate a non-economic good, which is intrastate, if it does so as part of a complete scheme of legislation designed to regulate Interstate Commerce.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stated in his dissent to Gonzales v. Raich (2005),

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything – and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.

State Soverignty

In the face of an oppressive Federal government, state governments across the country are introducing Resolutions that asserts the sovereignty of the state under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. With the so-called "stimulus" being signed into law and the inevitable strings that will come attached to any money that will be flowing to the states as a result of this disaster of federal overreach, many are saying, "enough is enough," and telling the feds to stop treating sovereign states like indentured servants.

Nullification is a legal theory that a U.S. State has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional. The theory is based on a view that the sovereign States formed the Union, and as creators of the compact hold final authority regarding the limits of the power of the central government. Under this, the compact theory, the States and not the Federal Bench are the ultimate interpreters of the extent of the national Government's power.

War on Terrorism

The War on Drugs pales in comparison to the War on Terrorism which has proved an even better excuse for infringing civil rights, as it is even more taboo to be soft on terrorists than on drug users. Thanks to the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government was handed on a silver platter it’s best hope for creating a police state, without having a foreign adversary as frightening as the Nazis or the Communists to justify its actions.

The Bush Administration has given us military tribunals, secret searches, and the Patriot Act.

Although the Posse Comitatus Act (passed on June 16, 1878) and the Insurrection Act substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement, we have seen this law increasingly ignored by our government in recent years. The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress.

In 2006, Congress passed a bill containing controversial provisions that granted the President additional rights to use federal or state National Guard Troops inside the United States in emergency situations. These changes were included in the John Warner Defense Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122.ENR). These changes were repealed in their entirety in 2008, except for the provisions of the Presidential signing statement which retained any powers, the repeal of which, the president may determine to be unconstitutional.

On September 30, 2008 the US Army announced that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) will be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command (NORTHCOM), as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks. This marks the first time an active US Army unit will be given a dedicated assignment to NORTHCOM, where it is stated they may be "called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive attack." These soldiers will also learn how to use non-lethal weapons designed to "subdue unruly or dangerous individuals" without killing them, and also includes equipment to set up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

This also demonstrates the President's full intentions of utilizing federal troops for missions within the United States, essentially eliminating any recognition of Posse Comitatus.

Americans are coming dangerously close to having no rights left at all, except for the few the government spares us. We must turn this around soon, and with the right destination in mind, or we will wake up one day in a dictatorship.

Control Through the Executive Order

When the Executive branch of the federal government fails to persuade the Congress or the Courts to do their bidding, presidents have turned to the Executive Order to accomplish their will.

While visiting Birmingham, England, President Clinton signed the order which officially revoked President Ronald Reagan's EO #12612. Reagan's "Federalism" order reaffirmed federal government's few, limited and enumerated Constitutional powers. Clinton's Executive Order (EO) #13083, simply named "Federalism" not only failed to affirm the limited powers of the executive branch, it effectively revoked the 10th Amendment and arrogates to the President broad new powers tantamount to those of a totalitarian dictatorship. The President declared broad new dictatorial powers over the states for himself and all federal agencies. Under pressure from the states and Congress, President Clinton was eventually forced to "suspend" Executive Order (EO) #13083, simply named "Federalism."

The order, which eliminates the principles of federalism (shared power) that have guided the U.S. for more than 200 years, came on the heels of the President's announcement that he would not spend the last two years in office as a "lame duck" nor be beholden to a "do-nothing Congress." Rather, he pledged to issue a flurry of executive orders to further implement his agenda. Another recently-issued Clinton EO directed the rewriting of all federal regulations pertaining to race & gender discrimination to include "sexual orientation" as a covered group. Thus, Clinton has illegally usurped Congress and taken upon himself authority to dictate the law.

EO #13083 justifies federal action (i.e., intervention) under the following circumstances:

  1. When the matter to be addressed by Federal action occurs interstate as opposed to being contained within one State's boundaries.
  2. When the source of the matter to be addressed occurs in a State different from the State (or States) where a significant amount of the harm occurs.
  3. When there is a need for uniform national standards.
  4. When decentralization increases the costs of government thus imposing additional burdens on the taxpayer.
  5. When States have not adequately protected individual rights and liberties.
  6. When States would be reluctant to impose necessary regulations because of fears that regulated business activity will relocate to other States.
  7. When placing regulatory authority at the State or local level would undermine regulatory goals because high costs or demands for specialized expertise will effectively place the regulatory matter beyond the resources of State authorities.
  8. When the matter relates to Federally owned or managed property or natural resources, trust obligations, or international obligations.
  9. When the matter to be regulated significantly or uniquely affects Indian tribal governments.

Patently unconstitutional, a "Sense of the Senate Resolution," authored by Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) was attached as an amendment to a piece of major legislation, S.2260 (the appropriations bill for the Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary Departments). Although not law, a Sense of the Senate Resolution makes clear what the will of the Senate is on a particular matter and what kind of laws they may pass if legislation becomes necessary. The text reads: "Executive Order No. 13083, issued May 14, 1998, shall have no force and effect," and "Executive Order No. 12612, issued October 26, 1987 [President Reagan's "Federalism" Order], and Executive Order No. 12875, issued October 26, 1993 [President Clinton's initial reaffirmation of Reagan's Order], shall be in effect as though Executive Order No. 13083 never took effect."

The White House announced it would postpone implementation of the President's EO #13083 after representatives of the state governors made a serious protest. Congressional actions and citizen outcry are credited with prompting the White House to indefinitely "suspend" the order until new language is negotiated with the state governors.

Clinton may have pulled back on EO #13083, but the order openly reveals his will and way of thinking. While grassroots Americans received an education about Executive Orders, the President has yet another, similar instrument at his disposal: the Presidential Decision Directive (PDD). Similar to an Executive Order ,a PDD often deals with issues relating to national security, is often issued secretly and is re not broadly publicized. You will be hearing much more about PDDs.

Universal Health Care

The Socialist plans for Universal Health Care is a violation of two of our fundamental rights as stated in our Constitution: The Ninth and Tenth Amendments. The right of the people against an all powerful Federal Government and the right of the people to decide for themselves what the government is NOT given power over by the Constitution.

Every plan being proposed requires certain things of every citizen. One plan requires, mandatory preventative visits to the doctor. Another requires that proof of health care must be rendered before a citizen can be hired on a job. Every program requires that all citizens have some form of health care that is regulated by the government. In addition, each program places several regulatory requirements on the health care industry itself which, at least for the moment is still under the private sector.

For each of these proposed health care programs we as citizens are being told that we must relinquish regulatory control of an aspect of our personal life, namely health care, to the control of the Federal Government. Once government becomes the health care nanny, government will have even more control over your private lives and will dictate to you the appropriate behaviors it considers acceptable.

The Power of the Purse

Where the federal government is limited to using state governments as an instrumentality of the national government, Congress often seeks to exercise its powers by offering or encouraging the States to implement national programs consistent with national minimum standards through its conditioning of allocation of federal funding where certain state laws do not conform to federal guidelines. In this way, the federal government implements programs or regulates, rather than to implement the program directly.

The national government determines such "local" issues as the speed limit on state highways. It does not claim the power to set speed limits within states; it merely tells the states that, if they want federal funds for highway construction and maintenance, they need to post federally approved speed limits.

Another example of federal control of local education is when federal educational funds may not be accepted without implementation of special education programs in compliance with IDEA.

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