Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Tenth Amendment: basis for "nullification" or even secession?

  THE TENTH AMENDMENT will be the focus of our discussion this Saturday, January 12, at 11 a.m. at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Avenue, in Broad Ripple. "Civil Discourse Now" is part of the "Indiana Talks" internet network.

   Our guests will be:

   Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center. Their website (tenthamendmentcenter dot com) is well-constructed and informative about the organization. He is the organization’s communications director. He is a native of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and won two Kentucky Press Association Awards as a sports writer.

   Karen Celestino-Horseman is a former Democratic Party member of the Indianapolis City-County Council and practices law in Indianapolis.

   The Tenth Amendment provides:

  "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."

   When ratification of the Constitution was debated after the 1787 convention in Philadelphia, many made ratification contingent upon promulgation of a Bill of Rights. The individual States’ constitutions contained bills of rights. Some feared without a bill of rights, the central or national government could act unchecked.

   Today some argue the Tenth Amendment is a repository for powers, amongst others, for the States to nullify Federal legislation (most notably the Affordable Health Act a/k/a "Obamacare") or even secede from the Union. A factor that complicates the discussion is that State governments were viewed as plenary in nature. Plenary government is complete in nature.

   Since the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were ratified, we have had sixteen (16) other amendments. (One amendment, the Eighteenth a/k/a Prohibition, was repealed by the Twenty-First.) The concept of Federalism has changed since the Framers met in Philadelphia in the very hot summer of 1787.

   Mike Maharrey will be Skyped® in for The Show. Also, we should be able to take question through Twitter by Saturday.

   All are welcome to join us.

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Comment by Paul K. Ogden on January 8, 2013 at 11:46am

As the Supreme Court has said, the 10th Amendment is merely a "truism," i.e. a statement of how our federal system is set up.   The 10th Amendment was merely an attempt to make explicit what was implicit in terms of national powers versus state powers.

We've had 17 amendments adopted since the Bill of Rights.  I don't know what you're talking about that the concept of federalism has changed.

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