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. – Amendment X, US Constitution
The Founders were a collection of political geniuses the likes of which the world has never seen since. Having personally lived under a capricious and arbitrary unitary system of government, in which all political power emanated from a king (George III of England), they crafted a political system called federalism that split power between the central government and the state governments. The federal government was further constrained by numerous checks and balances among its various components enshrined in the US Constitution with a specific goal to prevent the consolidation of power and tyranny by any federal entity:
- Three branches of federal government sharing political power, each with overlapping authority to check the other two
- Clear enumeration of the limited powers of the federal government
- All other powers were reserved for the states, with the Tenth Amendment expressly reinforcing that important concept
According to Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution, the enumerated powers of the US Congress include those associated with declaring war, maintaining armed forces, regulating commerce, coining money, protecting intellectual property (patent and copyright laws), defining immigration and naturalization laws, developing uniform bankruptcy laws, and establishing a post office. The Founders also included a statement at the end of Section 8 – called the “Elastic Clause” – that authorized Congress to pass laws that were “necessary and proper” to carry out the enumerated powers listed in Section 8.
There has been tension between the Elastic Clause and the 10th Amendment throughout American history. The “Federalists” wanted a strong federal government and argued that the Elastic Clause allowed Congress to write federal laws governing virtually all aspects of American life while “states rights advocates” argued for limiting the power and authority of the federal government in favor of strong state governments. The Civil War was ultimately a conflict fought to curb the state’s rights claims of the South in order to preserve the primacy of the federal government.
Since the Civil War, the 10th Amendment has taken a back seat to the rise of the federal government through Congress’s use (some would consider abuse) of the Elastic Clause, as well as through the legal opinions of leftist federal judges who favor “big government.” After the passage of the federal income tax (the 16th Amendment) in 1909, the power and authority of the federal government has expanded to the point of federal regulatory control of nearly all human endeavors in America, as well as a continuing infringement of the civil rights of American citizens that are enshrined in the Bill of Rights – especially by the political party of government (the Democrat Party).
Which brings us to the tyranny of what amounts to one-party rule in the US in 2021. With the Hologram in the Oval Office, the Democrats in control of both the House and the Senate and a compromised US Supreme Court, the federal government’s encroachment on state’s rights and civil liberties has become painfully obvious to most Americans. Biden’s 63 executive orders and other actions are similar to the arbitrary and capricious diktats of King George III; they are aimed at destroying jobs, undermining traditional American values, suppressing the constitutionally-guaranteed speech of political adversaries, weaponizing federal agencies against Trump supporters, usurping constitutional provisions granting state legislatures the authority to determine election laws, and attacking the Second Amendment. Add the fever-pitched acceleration of the totalitarians in the cancel culture to the mix, and the result is parallel to the dystopian futures predicted by George Orwell (1984) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World). Even a few Democrats who voted for Biden-Harris and other Democrats are beginning to have second thoughts, if not outright “buyers’ remorse.”
Suddenly, the 10th Amendment, states’ rights, and federalism are back in vogue! Republican-dominated statehouses around the nation are already pushing back on current and planned encroachments, diktats, regulations, and laws by the federal government. Let’s look at several recent actions around the country that the legacy media have essentially ignored in their ongoing narratives focusing on the Democrats’ consolidation of power in Washington, DC.
In South Dakota, a state representative, introduced a bill that would enable the state attorney general to review and reject presidential executive orders that violate the Constitution. What a way to deal with Biden’s unconstitutional executive orders in one fell swoop!
- The Montana state legislature is considering a bill that would designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist group. After watching the violent street riots in 2020 that continue to be unreported by the legacy media this year, this is a no-brainer despite the federal government’s unwillingness to pull that obvious trigger.
- The North Dakota state house passed a bill making mask mandates illegal in direct contraction to mask advocacy by the Center for Disease Control. There is ample evidence to support that bill. As but one example among many, as early as April 2020, there was a review conducted “by two US professors in respiratory and infectious disease from the University of Illinois concluded that face masks do not affect everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties.”
- The Missouri Senate passed a COVID-19 liability bill protecting entities providing businesses and services in the state protection from frivolous lawsuits. Finally! The reestablishment of personal risk assessment and personal responsibility for one’s actions instead of blindly following totalitarian mandates.
- The Missouri Senate also passed a law enforcement bill of rights, with increased penalties for traffic-blocking, monument-vandalizing protesters.” Again, a return to sanity and law and order after a year’s worth of violence in the streets and “defund the police” and the “George Floyd Policing Act” malarkey supported by the national Democrat Party.
- “The Mississippi House approved legislation … that would forbid transgender women, who were born biological men, from participating in women’s sport in the state’s schools and universities.” This was a direct response to Biden’s executive order on transgenderism.
- “The Alabama state Senate voted … to make the use of puberty-blocking hormone therapies and sex-reassignment surgeries on people under 19 a felony with penalties of up to 10 years in prison, and require school counselors to report instances of ‘gender dysphoria.’”
- Georgia enacted the “Faith Protection Act” that establishes Georgia as a “sanctuary state for people of faith” in response continuing federal pressure against religious gatherings in the “COVID era.”
- A Kansas House bill is being considered that would make gold and silver legal tender in the state. This is aimed at undermining the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money and as a protection against hyperinflation.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed new state legislation that would combat Big Tech censorship of conservatives by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Apple. Since Congress punted on changing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the Florida state government is taking matters into its own hands.
- Texas is also considering a similar law. “Senate bill 12 would prohibit social media companies from discriminating against users posting certain viewpoints,” including deplatforming, censorship, and suspension of accounts.
- The Oklahoma House passed a bill that would enable the state attorney general to review all Biden executive orders to determine their constitutionality. If the attorney general deemed an executive order unconstitutional, the bill seems to indicate the attorney general could sue for a court order invalidating the executive order” Furthermore, by majority vote, the state legislature could separately conduct a majority vote to determine if a particular EO is unconstitutional.
- The Arizona House passed the Second Amendment Firearm Freedom Act that would nullify federal gun control measures, “establishing the state as a Second Amendment sanctuary.” Arizona is taking dead aim at the Hologram and leftist House Democrats and their various gun control proposals.
- Tennessee is considering a new law that would “allow people 21 and older, as well as military members age 18 to 20, to carry both open and concealed handguns without a permit.” Another direct smack at Democrat-sponsored gun control actions.
- A Texas state representative introduced a bill to have the Border Wall finished by the Texas Dept of Public Safety (DPS). Why not? Texas has to deal with the direct consequences of Biden’s open borders, not the Democrat elite in DC!
- Finally, the attorneys general of 20 states have sent a letter to US Senate and House leaders that HR-1/SR-1, which would federalize election laws, is a violation of the US Constitution. The letter states, “We will seek legal remedies to protect the Constitution, the sovereignty of all states, our elections, and the rights of our citizens.”
What started as a trickle of state legislation in January is turning into a flood – and the Biden regime is not yet two months old! We have seen glimpses of the future of a Democrat-run totalitarian central government since January 20. Americans of all stripes will not willingly give up their economic and individual freedoms without a struggle. There will be many more confrontations between the states and the federal government’s encroachment on states’ rights and civil liberties over the next four years. State government actions more closely represent the will of the people and are more easily scrutinized by the citizenry. The federal government? Not so much. Long live federalism!