Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A movement to reclaim for states all rights not specifically designated to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution is exploding across the nation, with 35 states already acting or at least considering such proposals – and one state lawmaker estimating the nation as a whole could save $11 trillion in coming years if it would succeed.
Now, according to the Tenth Amendment Center, such provisions have been launched in at least 35 states. They all address the Tenth Amendment that says: “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.”
South Carolina’s S. 424 is an example. It is titled: “To affirm South Carolina’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution over all powers not enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.”
Essentially it’s a reminder that the United States is made up of individual states; it’s not a federal authority broken up into political subdivisions.
In South Carolina, the proposals remains pending in the state Senate, where Sen. Lee Bright said he still hopes that it will be adopted this year.
The proposal there notes specifically that the “federal government was created by the states … to be an agent of the states,” and the states currently “are treated as agents of the federal government,” many times in violation of the Constitution.
The resolution states:
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring: That the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, claims for the State of South Carolina sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.
Be it further resolved that all federal governmental agencies, quasi-governmental agencies, and their agents and employees operating within the geographic boundaries of the State of South Carolina, and all federal governmental agencies and their agents and employees, whose actions have effect on the inhabitants or lands or waters of the State of South Carolina, shall operate within the confines of the original intent of the Constitution of the United States and abide by the provisions of the Constitution of South Carolina, the South Carolina statutes, or the common law as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
Bright told WND the movement is spreading from state to state as fast as lawmakers discover it.
Among the states where such proposals at least have been considered are Louisiana, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Nevada, Oregon, Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Idaho, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Kentucky, Alaska, Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Minnesota, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Texas, New Hampshire, Missouri, Iowa, Montana, Michigan, Arizona, Washington and Oklahoma.
In North Dakota, it passed the House and Senate both in April, with the House a short time later adopting changes made by the Senate.
In South Dakota, it was approved by both houses of the Legislature and under that state’s rules does not need the governor’s signature.
Just last week, Rep. M.J. “Manny” Steele, a Republican in South Dakota, wrote that he believes up to $11 trillion is being wasted in the coming years by Washington’s efforts “to duplicate and micromanage our states’ affairs.”
He said states should manage their own affairs and not be dependant on a federal cash cow to make ends meet. Likewise with industries, he said, citing federal cash dumps on the banking, insurance and automobile industries.
After all, he agreed, with enough federal money allocated to the industry, Americans all still could be listening to 8-track tapes in their cars, but would that really be the best outcome?
Steele told WND his dollar estimate was based on what President Obama himself has allocated in the coming years to spend on stimulus packages, industry bailouts and the like.
“If we would just let the market take care of these things,” he said.
His letter noted that Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Carolina legislatures joined South Dakota’s in passing some statement on the Tenth Amendment this year. The results vary based on state procedures, however. In Oklahoma, the governor vetoed the plan and it was launched on its second trip through the legislature.
“Over the course of decades, there have been increasing federal mandates and acts designed to effectively step in and legislate the affairs of our various states from Washington D.C.,” Steele said. “Federal usurpation into state affairs severely limits the ability of state governments to operate according to their citizens’ wishes.”