Governor Kay Ivey recently released a statement pushing back against some of President Biden’s recent vaccine mandates, calling it federal overreach. Many other state leaders and officials have also spoken out against the new mandates for similar reasons.
At the same time, Texas is also challenging federal rulings with its recent abortion ban.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the all the arguments surrounding the issues of masks, vaccines and abortion, I’ve noticed something happening.
People are starting to remind the federal government that the Tenth Amendment exists.
The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “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.”
Looking back, this particular amendment has been ignored time and time again. When the Supreme Court gave its Roe v. Wade ruling, it violated the Tenth Amendment, since abortion is never listed in the Constitution as a power of the federal government. If anything, the Fifth Amendment says that no person can be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. The Constitution never mentions the federal government having any authority over marriage, yet in 2015 the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide, even when states should hold that power according to the Tenth Amendment.
It’s also a problem that the Supreme Court is passing laws, when its only Constitutional duty is to interpret them. While I don’t think mask requirements or vaccine mandates by themselves are as big of a deal as we’re making them out to be, it’s nice to see people standing up and saying that those powers belong to the states or the people, not the federal government. The Tenth Amendment is one of those things that often gets overlooked, whether accidentally or on purpose. As a nation, we need to remember why all of the first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, are so crucial to freedom and liberty.
Before the U.S. was independent, we didn’t have those things. The Bill of Rights is a large part of what makes us free. It was the result of states telling the government that they would not submit to the authority of another tyrannical government. No, they wanted—in writing—clear guarantees of specific rights and freedoms to ensure the new nation would truly be free.
The Tenth Amendment exists so that the federal government can’t just invent new powers for itself, even in emergencies. Otherwise they could just do whatever they want. States and their people need to stand up for their rights, even if they agree with the rules being handed down.
With the pandemic still raging, things are tough. But if we continue to ignore the Tenth Amendment, or let the government continue to do so, then there will be darker days ahead.
See complete story in the Journal Record.