(Episode 29) At Whom the Buck Stops (the Tenth 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."
Though in the modern-day, the text of the Tenth Amendment seems like an obvious point, the historical context in which the Amendment was proposed (and ultimately included) shows just how important it was. In that way, it's similar to the Ninth Amendment we covered last episode. While the Ninth Amendment talks about how there are more rights of the people that aren't listed in the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment essentially says, "Hey, federal government: if the power isn't listed, you don't have it - states or people do."
Is that still true today? Think about how big the federal government is and the scope of its powers. Now, think back to your high school U.S. History class. When might that have started? Is it a good thing, a bad thing, or a mixed bag?
Or was the Supreme Court right when it said that the Tenth Amendment is "but a truism"? Or is it "A Truism with Teeth"? If it has sort of died out or lost its luster, should we try to revive it or let it be?
If you're thinking we have a lot of questions about this, you're right. Join us as we explore the implications of the Tenth Amendment - including its impact on things like medical marijuana - and see whether we end up finding any answers.
Some other great sources we used include: