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Tenth Amendment

Tenth Amendment

A Guide to the Tenth Amendment

The Tenth Amendment or Amendment X of the United States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that basically says that any power that is not given to the federal government is given to the people of the states. The Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights was put into the United States Constitution on September 5, 1789, and was voted for by 9 out of 12 states on December 15, 1791.

Text of the Tenth Amendment

The text of the Tenth Amendment is very short and says the following:

“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.”
History of the Tenth Amendment

The Tenth Amendment is very similar to an earlier part of the Articles of Confederation. These articles said that every state would keep its freedom, independence, jurisdiction, rights, and sovereignty.

Once the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the states, some people wanted to add amendments that would only give the federal government’s powers that were mentioned in the Constitution. However, because the world “expressly” did not show up in the Tenth Amendment, the Federal government still had some implied powers.
When James Madison introduced the Tenth Amendment, he explained that many of the states were very eager to ratify the Tenth amendment, even though many people thought it was not necessary. The States ultimately decided to vote for the Tenth Amendment which made it clearer that there were still powers that were not mentioned that the Federal government had.

Modern Use of the Tenth Amendment

Today, the Tenth Amendment is often thought of as something very obvious or self-evident. In a 1931 Supreme Court case, the justices said that the Tenth Amendment did not really add anything new to the United States Constitution. Sometimes, local or state governments try to say that they do not have to follow some federal laws because of the Tenth Amendment.

In the Supreme Court, there have been very few cases that use the Tenth Amendment to call a law unconstitutional. The only times the Court has done this is in situations where the Federal government forces a state to follow their laws. However, in 1996, a Justice said that Congress can try to make a state follow a law by setting certain laws that may involve commerce or spending power, but Congress cannot force a state to follow federal laws.

Facts about the Tenth Amendment

•The Tenth Amendment was introduced to the U.S. Constitution by James Madison.

•The Tenth Amendment is a good example of a part of the Constitution that talks about federalism, which is a type of government that is split up into different governing sections.

•The Tenth Amendment was supposed to help limit Congress’s powers, by preventing any unenumerated rights, but instead, it resulted in more uncertainty about their rights.



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