In the many discussions across several states, questions have arisen concerning exactly how the "Tenth Amendment Resolution" will help. A few have also wondered, "What's Next?."
Some insight might be gained if we look at the reasons the Resolution came to life. This discussion is primarily intended for legislators, but can be useful for those of you who are working to have it introduced in your state. It may help in your discussions with legislators who you are asking to sponsor or support the resolution.
The principal motivation came from the myriad of federal mandates which have been placed and are planned to be placed on the states. State legislatures feel they have little choice but to implement these mostly-unfunded mandates and pass the cost for implementation to the state taxpayers. For most state legislators, this is a very frustrating dilemma.
The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp. Article IV, Section 4 says, "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government.....", and the Ninth Amendment states that..."The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people".
We have, through apathy and lack of will, allowed federal legislators and bureaucrats to assert their will over us and commandeer our funds for their own use.... most of it today outside the authority granted to them by the Constitution.
When a state passes this resolution proclaiming its sovereignty, that state may then claim exemption to most federal mandates under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This was what happened with New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992). The federal government was attempting to mandate that the State of New York accept radioactive waste for disposal. New York pleaded they were exempt from the mandate under the Tenth Amendment and the court affirmed the Tenth Amendment protection. Thus, by having proclaimed sovereignty, a state is in the position to select those mandates they will follow, now by choice, not by edict.
A sovereignty resolution does not preclude any state from participating in any program they choose, but the proponent may no longer claim, "It's a federal mandate. We have to do it". Each state legislator, in compliance with his/her oath of office, must then examine closely before passage, the Constitutionality of any law being considered.
Needless to say, the feds may be unimpressed with a statement of sovereignty and attempt to impose economic sanctions against the state, as has become their pattern over the years. In anticipation of this, each state should also create escrow funds for each federally-funded major program. That is, the states will collect the major sources of federal funds, such as gas tax and income tax, in behalf of the federal government and make monthly disbursements to the feds from these escrow funds... but only if the funds are to be used for purposes which are allowed in the Constitution.
The cost for maintaining this flow-through operation can be borne through the short term interest gained from the escrow accounts. It is easy to see the savings that are possible when the bureaucracies established on the federal level to dole out funds to the states are no longer needed.
Additionally, the tremendous tax burden on all Americans can be eased because of the decreased spending. Should the feds then decide to place economic sanctions, generally meaning the withholding of certain funds, the state could then simply stop making the monthly disbursement to the feds and retain the funds in the escrow accounts. When the matter is resolved, and it certainly will be, the disbursements could continue.
This approach also allows the placing of surcharges on those federal payments in order to pay for the cost of implementing federal programs. The exact mechanism for creating these funds will vary from state to state, but the idea is fairly universal. In most cases, the funds in question properly belong to the state in question to begin with. There are those who believe there is no such quantity as "federal funds" in the first place. Every dollar disbursed by the feds originated somewhere through the sweat of someone's labor.
The sovereignty proclaimed by the state simply inserts the authority of the state, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, at a point to re-assert control which should never have been given over. This measure will then relieve the pressure of frustration from a federal government wildly out of control and move the decision process much closer to the people.
Should the feds decide to utilize their hired guns -- the judicial system -- in order to coerce obedience, sovereignty again allows the state to ignore orders of the court. The feds will not, in my opinion, go to more forceful coercions beyond the court system for fear of triggering their ultimate demise. They do not want this and neither do we. We are perfectly within our rights to proclaim protection from federal oppression by our United States Constitution. It was created with exactly these protections in mind.
The following will suggest a few ideas you may want to use to introduce and assure the success of the passage of the 10th Amendment-State Sovereignty Resolution in your state. Every measure in any state legislature must be introduced by the legislators for that state. The resolution needs a prime sponsor in the House of Representatives, a prime sponsor in the Senate and as many co-sponsors as can be enlisted.
Ordinarily, a legislator who would be interested in a strong Tenth Amendment stance will have an interest in other patriot issues such as Constitutional rights and freedoms, a balanced budget, the right to keep and bear arms, honoring veterans and our American flag, and opposing federal mandates. If you don't know who these might be, visit or call your state capitol and ask for a status sheet. This is a document that gives the name, number, status and usually the prime sponsor of a bill. Look for key words common to a patriot's vocabulary, such as those mentioned above.
Then, contact those legislators and discuss the resolution with them. If the legislator you contact has no interest he will generally know another who shares our views and interests. Be certain of the legislator's stance on patriot issues before you ask him or her to be the prime sponsor. Some legislators will agree, or even ask to be the prime sponsor for the express purpose of inflicting fatal damage to the resolution. Needless to say, these legislators are not our friends and should be avoided.
Now, let's say you have found a legislator who is acceptable and who has agreed to be the resolution's prime sponsor. In many states, measures are first assigned to a committee for hearing. This is usually the place where public input is allowed and sought. If possible, find co-sponsors who are on the committee to which the resolution is likely to be assigned... the Chairman of that committee would be excellent. If you have a committee chairman who opposes the resolution, regardless the number of co-sponsors, the resolution could die in that committee as it is the Chairman who decides whether or not to call a measure for vote.
Usually a prime sponsor can ask for an alternate committee assignment if the most probable committee assignment is determined to be a hostile committee. Your prime sponsor should know the likely committee of assignment and the names of the members of that committee. The Committee Chairman can also tell you who the influential members of that committee are. Supporters of the resolution in your state can help the prime sponsor by contacting the members of the committee and asking for their favorable consideration. Be polite. Most legislators lead a fairly demanding lifestyle and a little courtesy will go a long way towards insuring the successful passage of the resolution.
Make preparations to have people from your state testify at the committee hearings. Positive citizen testimony is worth a great deal. Regardless of your anger at the direction your government is going, speak instead of the brighter future that lies ahead for those with the courage to reclaim our freedom as secured by our Constitution. Your prime sponsor will also know the ins and outs of measures in your state. Follow their lead, but offer and be willing to help the process along. The stakes are high (potentially losing our Country).... and the reward is great.
Locate the talk show hosts and columnists in your area who express patriot views. Contact those hosts and columnists and solicit their help in your effort. This should not be difficult, as this subject is of keen interest across America and will generate listeners and readers. The Tenth Amendment is fairly easy to understand and explain, but the implications of its assertion are far-reaching. Some in the media will see that and be glad to lend their support. Finally, enlist your friends, family, neighbors, other groups and organizations to assist you in contacting every member of your state legislature to encourage their support. Pay particular attention to those who refuse, for they are major contributors to the problems facing America. There is strength in numbers.
Take strength from the knowledge that there are those who also love their country and are active in their own states.
Take courage from the spirit that founded our Country.
United in this strength and courage America can and will be once again the great nation which our forefathers envisioned.
Note: Our only disagreement with the above article is in the following sentence: "When a state passes this resolution proclaiming its sovereignty, that state may then claim exemption to most federal mandates under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution." A state does NOT have to pass a 10th Amendment resolution to claim exemption to unConstitutional federal mandates. Notice the sentence following regarding New York.... which had NOT passed a sovereignty resolution: "This was what happened with New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992). The federal government was attempting to mandate that the State of New York accept radioactive waste for disposal. New York pleaded they were exempt from the mandate under the Tenth Amendment and the court affirmed the Tenth Amendment protection. Thus, by having proclaimed sovereignty, a state is in the position to select those mandates they will follow, now by choice, not by edict. "