Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution | Wikipedia audio article
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Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution | Wikipedia audio article

The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United
States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15,
1791. It expresses the principle of federalism and
states’ rights, which strictly supports the entire plan of the original Constitution for
the United States of America, by stating that the federal government possesses only those
powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the
states or the people. The amendment was proposed by the 1st United
States Congress in 1789 during its first term following the adoption of the Constitution. It was considered by many members as a prerequisite
to many state ratifications of the Constitution and particularly to satisfy demands of Anti-Federalists
who opposed the creation of a stronger federal government. The drafters of this amendment had two purposes
in mind: first, as a necessary rule of construction; and second, as a reaffirmation of the nature
of federalism.==Text==
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.==Drafting and adoption==
The Tenth Amendment is similar to an earlier provision of the Articles of Confederation:Each
state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction,
and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States,
in Congress assembled. After the Constitution was ratified, South
Carolina Representative Thomas Tudor Tucker and Massachusetts Representative Elbridge
Gerry separately proposed similar amendments limiting the federal government to powers
“expressly” delegated, which would have denied implied powers. James Madison opposed the amendments, stating
that “it was impossible to confine a Government to the exercise of express powers; there must
necessarily be admitted powers by implication, unless the Constitution descended to recount
every minutia.” When a vote on this version of the amendment
with “expressly delegated” was defeated, Connecticut Representative Roger Sherman drafted the Tenth
Amendment in its ratified form, omitting “expressly.” Sherman’s language allowed for an expansive
reading of the powers implied by the Necessary and Proper Clause.When he introduced the Tenth
Amendment in Congress, James Madison explained that many states were eager to ratify this
amendment, despite critics who deemed the amendment superfluous or unnecessary: I find, from looking into the amendments proposed
by the State conventions, that several are particularly anxious that it should be declared
in the Constitution, that the powers not therein delegated should be reserved to the several
States. Perhaps words which may define this more precisely
than the whole of the instrument now does, may be considered as superfluous. I admit they may be deemed unnecessary: but
there can be no harm in making such a declaration, if gentlemen will allow that the fact is as
stated. I am sure I understand it so, and do therefore
propose it. The states ratified the Tenth Amendment, declining
to signal that there are unenumerated powers in addition to unenumerated rights. The amendment rendered unambiguous what had
previously been at most a mere suggestion or implication. The phrase “…, or to the people.” was appended in handwriting by the clerk of
the Senate as the Bill of Rights circulated between the two Houses of Congress.==Judicial interpretation==
The Tenth Amendment, which makes explicit the idea that the federal government is limited
to only the powers granted in the Constitution, has been declared to be a truism by the Supreme
Court. In United States v. Sprague (1931) the Supreme
Court asserted that the amendment “added nothing to the [Constitution] as originally ratified.”States
and local governments have occasionally attempted to assert exemption from various federal regulations,
especially in the areas of labor and environmental controls, using the Tenth Amendment as a basis
for their claim. An often-repeated quote, from United States
v. Darby Lumber Co., reads as follows: The amendment states but a truism that all
is retained which has not been surrendered. There is nothing in the history of its adoption
to suggest that it was more than declaratory of the relationship between the national and
state governments as it had been established by the Constitution before the amendment or
that its purpose was other than to allay fears that the new national government might seek
to exercise powers not granted, and that the states might not be able to exercise fully
their reserved powers. In Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit
Authority (1985), the Court overruled National League of Cities v. Usery (1976). Under National League of Cities, the determination
of whether there was state immunity from federal regulation turned on whether the state activity
was “traditional” for or “integral” to the state government. In Garcia, the Court noted that this analysis
was “unsound in principle and unworkable in practice”, and concluded that the framers
believed that state sovereignty could be maintained by the political system established by the
Constitution. Noting that the same Congress that extended
the FLSA to cover government-run mass transit systems also provided substantial funding
for those systems, the Court concluded that the structure created by the framers had indeed
protected the states from overreaching by the federal government. In South Carolina v. Baker (1988), the Court
said in dicta that an exception to Garcia would be when a state lacked “any right to
participate” in the federal political process or was left “politically isolated and powerless”
by a federal law.===Commandeering===
Since 1992, the Supreme Court has declared laws unconstitutional for violating the Tenth
Amendment when the federal government compelled the states to enforce federal statutes. In New York v. United States (1992), the Supreme
Court invalidated a portion of a federal law for violating the Tenth Amendment. The case challenged a portion of the Low-Level
Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985. The act provided three incentives for states
to comply with statutory obligations to provide for the disposal of low-level radioactive
waste. The first two incentives were monetary. The third, which was challenged in the case,
obliged states to take title to any waste within their borders that was not disposed
of prior to January 1, 1996, and made each state liable for all damages directly related
to the waste. The Court ruled that the imposition of that
obligation on the states violated the Tenth Amendment. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that the
federal government can encourage the states to adopt certain regulations through the spending
power (e.g. by attaching conditions to the receipt of federal funds, see South Dakota
v. Dole, or through the commerce power (by directly pre-empting state law). However, Congress cannot directly compel states
to enforce federal regulations. In Printz v. United States (1997), the Court
ruled that part of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act violated the Tenth Amendment. The act required state and local law enforcement
officials to conduct background checks on people attempting to purchase handguns. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority,
applied New York v. United States to show that the act violated the Tenth Amendment. Since the act “forced participation of the
State’s executive in the actual administration of a federal program”, it was unconstitutional.In
Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (2018), the Supreme Court ruled that the Professional
and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which prohibited states that banned sports
betting when the law was enacted from legalizing it, violated the anti-commandeering doctrine
and invalided the entire law. The Court ruled that the anti-commandeering
doctrine applied to congressional attempts to prevent the states from taking a certain
action as much as it applied in New York and Printz to Congress requiring states to enforce
federal law.===Commerce Clause===
In the 20th century, the Commerce Clause has become one of the most frequently-used sources
of Congress’s power, and thus its interpretation is very important in determining the allowable
scope of federal government. Complex economic challenges arising from the
Great Depression triggered a reevaluation in both Congress and the Supreme Court of
the use of Commerce Clause powers to maintain a strong national economy.In Wickard v. Filburn
(1942), in the context of World War II, the Court ruled that federal regulations of wheat
production could constitutionally be applied to wheat grown for “home consumption” on a
farm – that is, wheat grown to be fed to farm animals or otherwise consumed on the
farm. The rationale was that a farmer’s growing
“his own wheat” can have a substantial cumulative effect on interstate commerce, because if
all farmers were to exceed their production quotas, a significant amount of wheat would
either not be sold on the market or would be bought from other producers. Hence, in the aggregate, if farmers were allowed
to consume their own wheat, it would affect the interstate market in wheat. In United States v. Lopez (1995), a federal
law mandating a “gun-free zone” on and around public school campuses was struck down because,
the Supreme Court ruled, there was no clause in the Constitution authorizing it. This was the first modern Supreme Court opinion
to limit the government’s power under the Commerce Clause. The opinion did not mention the Tenth Amendment
or the Court’s 1985 Garcia decision. Most recently, in Gonzales v. Raich (2005),
a California woman sued the Drug Enforcement Administration after her medical cannabis
crop was seized and destroyed by federal agents. Medical cannabis was explicitly made legal
under California state law by Proposition 215, despite cannabis being prohibited at
the federal level by the Controlled Substances Act. Even though the woman grew cannabis strictly
for her own consumption and never sold any, the Supreme Court stated that growing one’s
own cannabis affects the interstate market of cannabis. The theory was that the cannabis could enter
the stream of interstate commerce, even if it clearly wasn’t grown for that purpose and
that was unlikely ever to happen (the same reasoning as in Wickard v. Filburn). It therefore ruled that this practice may
be regulated by the federal government under the authority of the Commerce Clause.===Supremacy Clause===
In Cooper v. Aaron (1958), the Supreme Court dealt with states’ rights and the Tenth Amendment. The case came about when conflicts arose in
direct response to the ruling of another landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education (1954). In Brown, the Supreme Court unanimously declared
racial segregation of children in public schools unconstitutional. Following Brown, the court ordered district
courts and school boards to proceed with desegregation “with all deliberate speed.” In other words, the Court’s decision not only
ruled segregation as an unconstitutional and illegal practice, but also prompted all public
schools to open its doors to black students and provide access to facilities to white
and black students equally. This ruling quickly spurred upsetting conflicts
between those trying to enforce the ruling and those refusing to abide by it. Among those opposing the decision and all
efforts of desegregation ordered by the Court was the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus. In Little Rock, Arkansas, a group of nine
black students known as the “Little Rock Nine” was to attend the previously all-white Central
High School under the school board’s attempt to follow the order of Brown. However, the tension between the state legislature
and the Governor versus the Supreme Court and the federal government became severe when
Governor Faubus ordered the National Guard to prevent the nine black students from entering
the high school and President Eisenhower responded by sending federal troops to escort them in. Because the Little Rock school board implementing
the desegregation program fell under both the state and federal jurisdiction, it sought
to alleviate itself from this distraught situation through legal means. Five months after the integration crisis happened,
the school board filed suit in the United States District Court of the Eastern District
of Arkansas requesting a two and a half year delay in implementing desegregation. Although the district court granted the relief,
the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court’s
decision on August 18, 1958, and stayed its mandate pending appeal to the supreme Court. By this time, the incident had evolved into
a national issue: it had become a debate on not only racism and segregation but also states’
rights and the Tenth Amendment. The Court, citing first, the Supremacy Clause
of Article VI declaring the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and second, the
Marbury v. Madison decision asserting the Court as the supreme interpreter of the Constitution
as evidence of their superior authority, reaffirmed the decision of Brown and held that the states
must abide by the Court’s decisions despite their disagreement with them. Expectedly, many states’ right advocates and
state officials criticized the ruling as an attack on the Tenth Amendment that reserves
the states’ right to resist the implementation of federal law or the Federal Constitution. Moreover, they claimed the Court’s decision
on Cooper as being inconsistent with the constitutional vision of the Framers.===Federal funding===
The federal system limits the ability of the federal government to use state governments
as an instrument of the national government, as held in Printz v. United States.For this
reason, Congress often seeks to exercise its powers by encouraging States to implement
national programs consistent with national minimum standards; a system known as cooperative
federalism. One example of the exercise of this device
was to condition allocation of federal funding where certain state laws do not conform to
federal guidelines. For example, federal educational funds may
not be accepted without implementation of special education programs in compliance with
IDEA. Similarly, the nationwide state 55 mph (90
km/h) speed limit, 0.08 legal blood alcohol limit, and the nationwide state 21-year drinking
age were imposed through this method; the states would lose highway funding if they
refused to pass such laws (though the national speed limit has since been repealed). In National Federation of Independent Business
v. Sebelius (2012), the Court ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(commonly referred to as the ACA or Obamacare) unconstitutionally coerced the states to expand
Medicaid. The Court classified the ACA’s language as
coercive because it effectively forced States to join the federal program by conditioning
the continued provision of Medicaid funds on states agreeing to materially alter Medicaid
eligibility to include all individuals who fell below 133% of the poverty line.==See also==
State legislation in protest of federal law in the United States
States’ rights Tenther movement

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