As the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes clear: “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.” In other words, unless the Constitution specifically provides that the federal government has a particular power, or specifically takes that power away from the states, the states and the people retain it.
This is the beauty of our system of federalism. The problem, of course, is that the federal government no longer deems that amendment worthy of following. While the amendment specifies that the bulk of the powers resides with the states and the people, the federal government for too long has usurped both.
Congress long ago forgot its proper role in our system of government. No longer do the members worry about the constitutionality of the laws they are drafting. In fact, they don’t even seem to ask that basic question anymore, and if they do ask it, they’re answering it incorrectly time after time.
Most of the time, however, they approach a new law by asking if it will be “good for us”. If they deem it beneficial, in their patriarchal “wisdom”, they pass it, without even the slightest consideration as to the law’s constitutionality in the first place. In so doing, they continue to infringe on the rights of the states and the people, and the Tenth Amendment continues to lose all practical meaning.
This website is dedicated to the discussion of the proper role of the federal government in the lives of its citizens. I believe our federal government views its citizens primarily as wards of the government itself. Instead of the elected officials working for us, they consider themselves our overlords. This attitude, by the way, is not limited to a particular party. Liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans have all been guilty of treating us in this manner. It must stop.
In order to stop it, however, the citizens must educate themselves on the Constitutional limitations placed on government at all levels, not just the federal government. It is our hope that this website will contribute to that education.
If we are charged with a felony we at least get to have a jury of our peers. Now we are made to pay penalties imposed by the arbitrary whims of 535 elected officials and countless unelected Obamic Czars.
Congress should be composed of 535 people representative of the American public. Now it is composed mostly of people with degrees from law schools. If we had a few more chemists, accountants, farmers, storekeepers, bus drivers, welders, et cetera we would be better represented and perhaps better able to interpret the Founding Fathers’ intentions WITH IN the Constitution.
Mark, I agree with you. Many of the 535 are career politicians. it’s time to purge the system. As for your suggestion of having more chemists, accountants, and people of other professions, I also agree with that. And I’m one of those with a law degree!