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10th 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.”

10th Amendment, U.S. Constitution


Because the powers of the newly formed federal government (consensual agreement of governance between the national and state governments) were in fact enumerated, there was an argument among the Founders that a bill of rights was not necessary.


However, opponents to ratification, including the Antifederalists, insisted that 10 specific amendments, to further secure individual and state’s rights, would need to be added to the Constitution immediately after ratification. These amendments (Bill of rights) are applied to actions by the national government, not to actions by the states. 


Nevertheless, even with the emphasis of the 10th Amendment, the scope and influence of the national government has by far exceeded the limited authority and express constraints placed upon it by the Constitution.  


Our national government (all three branches) should not have been allowed to assume such a posture that it is able to impose policies on states and individuals on matters such as health care, education, social services, etc. Those types of decisions are reserved to the states and the people. 


National Association of Former State Legislators