The Tenth Amendment is for cowards

Wow! It’s almost surreal reading this:

I’ll say the last refuge of cowards in the Tenth Amendment.

The Tenth has been invoked a lot lately. The Tenth has been mentioned as the reason health-care reform is unconstitutional. It’s the way the Speaker of the Tennessee State House says his state can circumvent federal gun laws. It’s the states’ rights argument carried to the extreme.

The amendment 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.”

What that says, in other words, is that if a power is unclaimed by the federal government — or if that power is not denied to the states — then the states have it. The intent is to clarify the basic point that if the feds aren’t in charge, the states are.

It’s a truism, not a grant of power.

Soon after the framers wrote the original document, it was obvious states couldn’t act independently. When the Constitution was written, there wasn’t much interstate commerce at all. Going from one end of the country to the other end didn’t take five hours — it took five months. So the federal government claimed some powers to tie up loose ends.

If states acted on their own when it came to matters of interstate commerce, it would be to easy for states to grant monopolies to business, and too easy for large businesses to fix prices and destroy smaller competition.

Everyone learns at some point in life that there are three remedies to a negative situation: avoid, alter or accept it. Those against health-care legislation or gun-control laws don’t need to accept what they see as bad policy. They should try alter the policy in all the accepted ways.

But reverting to the Tenth Amendment is avoidance. It’s the equivalent of taking your ball and going home. And these issues are too important to do that.

After invoking the Tenth Amendment he goes on (there is more than just that above) to justify the Interstate Commerce clause without even mentioning it as if it were the Tenth Amendment.

And did you notice all the errors in the passages above?

  • The first line says “…in the Tenth…” instead of “…is the Tenth…” but I figure that is just a typo and I give him a pass on that.
  • “It’s a truism, not a grant of power. “? It explicitly states that the Feds are not granted most powers and he turns it around to claim the states are not granted powers.
  • It took five months to travel from one end of the 13 colonies to the other? It’s only about 1500 miles so he is saying the average speed of travel was 10 miles per day. Even with a backpack on and walking on mountain trails I can do better than that.
  • The Tenth Amendment is part of the U.S. Constitution and it’s pretty clear the original intent is being violated. Many other Federal laws have been struck down by the courts as violating various parts of the constitution, including the Tenth Amendment, so it’s entirely reasonable to quest whether this law is in violation.

 So it’s the author that is the coward avoiding the issue. He gets it exactly backward and calls people invoking the Tenth Amendment cowards. It’s called “projection” and it just goes to show he either has mental problems or has crap for brains.

8 thoughts on “The Tenth Amendment is for cowards

  1. Sorry folks, but “not delegated to” does not equal “unclaimed by.” There is much insight to be derived from this simple redefinition. This statement gives the idea that the state and federal governments are in a race to “claim” powers before the other gets them. Sadly, this is what is actually happening across our nation. What is most disturbing is that some people see no problem.

  2. And doesn’t he have his interstate commerce example completely inside out? My understanding was that the Constitution explicitly grants the feds authority over interstate commerce, making it one of the few powers referred to by the Tenth.

    In any case, the dude needs to take his own advice:

    “Everyone learns at some point in life that there are three remedies to a negative situation: avoid, alter or accept it. Those against health-care legislation or gun-control laws don’t need to accept what they see as bad policy. They should try alter the policy in all the accepted ways.”

    And if you want to infringe on state and individual powers and liberties in a way inconsistent with the Constitution, you need to go through the amendment process. I know it’s hard, and the statists don’t _have_ the consensus needed to get the policies they want, but them’s the breaks. If you can’t alter it, accept it; practicing avoidance by ignoring the checks and balances and passing pet laws in defiance of the Constitution isn’t acceptable.

  3. Sir; your reading of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution is so far off the mark as to be laughable if it were not so pathetic. The 10th says that powers not specifically allowed to the federal government by the constitution are reserved to the states. In other words if I do not let you play with my toys, or have any toys, then you are not allowed to have any toys. Do you understand now?

    This is a copy of my email to this moron, I hope it helps him understand. Where do these usefull idiots come from anyway, our institutions of higher unlearning? I doubt it will get posted but will check back later.

  4. Well, I wouldn’t harp on the traveling part too much. When the country first gained independence, there weren’t convenience stores and motels at the end of every day’s walk. Quite a few people emigrated west in stages, settling for months, or even years in spots to build up enough wherewithal to continue. When you have to hand-make all the necessities of life, and there are no roads, and you’re carrying all of those necessities, I could see it taking a few months to travel that distance.

    The rest of it is standard boilerplate collectivism.

  5. I set out to state what Rob (a different Rob) did in the first comment, so because he stated it better than I likely would I shall move on to the expansion.

    The left uses three basic methods in its debating:
    -Changing the subject
    -Changing the terms (often the simple meanings of words)
    -Ad Hominem

    This argument uses all three.

    Mr Coward (see, I can do it too) commences with an Ad Hominem attack in the assertion that people who attend to honoring the 10th are “cowards”. This is completely un-needed for the discussion, but in starting with it the reader is unsettled.

    Then the meaning of words is challenged. Here is where Rob landed directly upon it. The change is subtle, until seen. By sliding in the assertion that FedGov can “claim” powers (at least he didn’t call them “rights”), he has changed the meaning. This is the same fault as St. Anslem’s ontological arguement for the existence of God. As a Christian, I DO believe in God, and therefore His existence, but the Ontological argument is, simply put, trickery. It says completely reasonable – even lofty – things and gets you going. Well down in the process it shifts a meaning and at the end you find yourself thinking, “Huh? How’d I get here?”

    St. Anselm starts with “There is ‘that which no greater can be conceived'”. Then he embroiders this and at the end the pulls the shift to say that this conception, which has also stated must be everywhere, all powerful, all knowledgable and EXISITNG – is God. Pure assertion, but smoothly delivered. The premises can be challenged, but the real error is in the bald assertion that this is somehow magically God. The cleverness is in weaving in the oft stated common attributes of God (omni presence, potence and precience). When the end is reached it seems perfectly reasonable. “Of course this is God. He just described God” It suffers from circularity as do most arguments of this sort.

    The error of Mr. Coward is that he didn’t even bother to bury this shift – this is plain sloppiness, laziness or perhaps he doesn’t even realize he is using the form. The shift from the states and citizens thereof granting powers to FedGov claiming them should have been buried further down. The Left uses this time and again in there argumentation. They bury the truly loony bits underneath a pile of seemingly innocuous assertions. The key is to examine each argument as it comes, not wait for the conclusion. The left WILL use flawed premises and hide them in properly formed arguments. The premises must be valid as well as properly forming the reasoning.

    He changes the terms by bringing in the commerce clause.

    He starts with the error that FedGov can “claim” powers. Then, he compounds the error with his use of the Commerce Clause to justify it. I see this as circular. “I am FedGov and I can have any power I deem needful, because I am FedGov.” A document which otherwise tightly limits FedGov has a sneaky bit to blow the whole thing up? I think not.

    The Constitution is a limiting document, even D’ohbama understands this. It was crafted to allow just enough power, by explicit grant by the states and citizens thereof, to operate as a nation – and no more. This has been corrupted for decades – one could argue almost from the moment the ink dried – and it is this corruption that we must fight.

  6. Jesus Joe, where do you find these screwballs? Are you working on a prototype screwball-detector over there with the Boys From Redmond?

    Thank goodness for the anti-Federalists!

    http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/about-the-tenth-amendment/

    Beyond this, the central government cheer-leading squad doesn’t seem to understand that the argument over the Bill of Rights wasn’t about what additional powers the federal gov’t should have, but whether it was necessary to explicitly (redundantly) state the fact that it had few powers.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/amendment-x-to-the-u-s-constitution

  7. “•It took five months to travel from one end of the 13 colonies to the other? It’s only about 1500 miles so he is saying the average speed of travel was 10 miles per day. Even with a backpack on and walking on mountain trails I can do better than that.”

    Considering it took the miners six months to get to California (in 1850) from wherever they started from in the midwest (else they ended up like the Donner Party), I suspect the five month claim to be true.

    As mentioned above, no convenience stores, no motels; but even worse: no bridges, having to carry everything with you and catch your own food everyday without modern guns.

    My own ancestors stopped travelling before one of those big Midwestern rivers (Missippi? Ohio?) because they didn’t want to cross another one.

    Ten miles a day seems like pretty good travel time to me.

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