Bill of Rights Countdown to New Jersey’s Senatorial Election: Tenth Amendment

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: “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.”

From the Montclair (N.J.) Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)  July 2013 ‘Proposed Watchung Plaza Historic Business District’ plan (p.12):

The Tenth Amendment reserves powers to the States that are not granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution. The authority reserved to the States by the Tenth Amendment and, in turn, delegated to local governments, enables States to regulate the activity of the individual, including his or her use of property including public health, safety and welfare regulations, land use, building and zoning regulations, and historic preservation issues.

Bill of Rights Countdown to United States Senatorial Election (Wednesday, October 16):

As an American, you are free to get together with your skateboarding buddies on Church Street and softball team members at Nishuane Park, join any of the town’s 42 houses of worship, or react to the Common Core Curriculum, No Child Left Behind and Obamacare as federal overreach and intrusion. Your actions & rights are all based in the United States Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

With ten weeks remaining until New Jerseyans go to the polls on Wednesday, October 16, to choose their next United States Senator, the Montclair Republican Club is using the calendar to remind all of Montclair’s citizens and friends of the Bill of Rights and its foundational principles.

Wikipedia, a marvelous mashup of First Amendment initiative, modern-era technology and epistemology, is a strong source for more reading on Bills of Rights around the world and throughout history. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, himself, cites “freedom, liberty, basically individual rights, that idea of dealing with other people in a matter that is not initiating force against them” as his guiding principles (source: Wikipedia). Let’s start the countdown (and please, share your Bill of Rights stories in return).

TEN:
The United States Bill of Rights: 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.”

The Tenth Amendment cements the premise of a limited Federal government, and the activities outside those limits as belonging to the people and the States. Today’s popular resistance to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the Common Core Curriculum are both natural instincts for Americans thoroughly trained and educated as United States citizens, grounded in our country’s seminal documents and freedoms. Health care, health insurance, and education are not federal-level activities under the United States Constitution, and until very recently, have been clearly defined as state and individual –even, private, and undefined — responsibilities.

According to its website, the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC, http://tenthamendmentcenter.com) is a national think tank that works to preserve and protect the principles of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism. Find more information on the Tenth Amendment there (or with a New Jersey focus at http://newjersey.tenthamendmentcenter.com/). TAC founder Michael Boldin is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (which espouses teaching tolerance) as an extremist. Read more about him in Mother Jones magazine: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/07/michael-boldin-tenth-amendment, and decide for yourself.

The Tenth Amendment Center encourages awareness of the concept of nullification, a legal theory that a state has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional. Efforts at nullification reach back to 1798. Inversely, states have legalized acts that are prohibited by federal law, such as the possession and use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington.

The Tenth Amendment in Montclair

Are you familiar with the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)? The HPC recently relied on the Tenth Amendment as the legal basis for its existence and activity. Reading the July 2013 ‘Proposed Watchung Plaza Historic Business District’ plan places our contemporary, local public and private activities in the context of the 232-year-old Tenth Amendment, and makes an informative local read (you can Google the pdf or click here: MHC Watchung Plaza Historic District Proposal):

“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.” The Tenth Amendment reserves powers to the States that are not granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution. The authority reserved to the States by the Tenth Amendment and, in turn, delegated to local governments, enables States to regulate the activity of the individual, including his or her use of property including public health, safety and welfare regulations, land use, building and zoning regulations, and historic preservation issues.”

After reading the document, whether you agree with this evolution of the government to impose historic preservation regulations or not (nicely covered by Diane Herbst of the Montclair Times: http://www.northjersey.com/news/216869901_Montclair_s_Watchung_Plaza_en_route_to_historic_designation.html), the link between the Bill of Rights and state and local regulatory activity becomes more brightly illuminated.

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