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.”

There are entire organizations that have dedicated themselves to the dedication of ensuring that nobody forgets about this one.

  1. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution” – If the power or right is not contained in the Constitution…
  2. “nor prohibited by it to the States” – And it’s not a legality that is expressly forbidden by the Constitution…
  3. “are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Give that power/right/legality to the states to decide; leaving it up to the people to figure out how they want to handle it, among themselves.

Other notes:

  • The original point of 10A was to ensure that while the COTUS is “the supreme law of the land”, the fifty unique states of our union also have the power to govern themselves.  State governments will always know better than the federal government in terms of necessity.
  • The federal government was never intended to get as large as it has.  It is the lack of accountability from our own Congress and our state’s representatives.  Many of the organizations and departments that our government has created, are not enumerated anywhere in our COTUS.
  • Noting the phrase “or to the people” is very important.  When you consider that the states are delegated the powers not mentioned in the COTUS, and towns/cities are delegated the powers not mentioned in the state constitution, that would mean that individual citizens are delegated the powers not mentioned in their city or town charters/constitutions.  This is what gives people the ‘power’ to do many of the things that they can do.
  • For the most part, every state’s constitution has a similar layout and design as the US Constitution.  Each has a citizens’ Bill of Rights and a framework for how state government is setup.  Where the individual documents differ is addressing rights and powers that are purposefully delegated to the states.

Each state that has made their constitution available in PDF form will be available for download on this site.  States that don’t have one available in PDF, have made it possible to view in a website format.  One of the things AWIP hopes to do is encourage them to make those paper versions available for all to download.

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