"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." That's the clear message of the now-meaningless 10th Amendment to our Constitution.

California has joined Colorado, Missouri, Hawaii and Illinois in asserting 10th Amendment rights, demanding that the federal government cease and desist all mandates and interferences exceeding those delegated by the Constitution. Under the leadership of state Sen. Don Rogers, a resolution claiming state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment won approval in the California Assembly by a vote of 54 to 12 and in the state Senate by 22 to 9. Similar resolutions are in the introductory or drafting stage in 12 other states.Were it not for the 10th Amendment, our founders would have never ratified the Constitution. They correctly feared the development and consolidation of a powerful and meddlesome federal government. In "The Federalist Papers," James Madison explained Washington's role: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. . . . The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the state."

The meaning of the 10th Amendment is clear. Our power-hungry Congress and derelict Supreme Court have allowed Madison's vision to be stood on its head. Today, the powers of the federal government are "numerous and indefinite," and those of the state are "few."

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The 10th Amendment movement may be America's last chance to peacefully get Congress to obey the Constitution. Politicians have seriously underestimated public anger and are blind to the rebellion spreading across the land. In response to the heavy hand of the U.S. Forest Service, New Mexico's Catron County officials enacted the U.S. Constitution as a county ordinance and put federal officials on notice that, before they even dared to breathe in Catron County, they'd better get permission. Following Catron County's lead, five other New Mexico counties, every Utah county, and Clark and Siskiyou counties in Nevada have begun resisting congressional and bureaucratic tyranny.

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