“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.”

In 1778, James Madison expressed his fear of federal encroachment, “the powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”

Our Constitution was designed to limit the reach of federal government authority into our daily lives. That uniquely American doctrine united 13 colonies into “these United States” by recognizing each state as its own sovereign government within a sovereign national government. In other words, the states were not meant to be mere sub-departments of the national government, but sovereign governments—in their own right—whose powers and sphere of authority could not be infringed on by the national government.

But, over time, the federal government has encroached upon the sovereignty of the states through excessive mandates, over-regulation, and confiscatory taxation.
Too many federal agencies are out of control including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Bureau of Land Management, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Labor Department, and others that issue and enforce regulations never authorized, and often opposed by Congress. Increasingly, the federal government has chosen to not enforce laws regarding immigration, health care, bankruptcy, welfare work requirements and others that Congress did indeed make the law of the land.

The ACRU has filed numerous amicus briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court challenging unconstitutional power grabs by unelected federal bureaucrats. One example was our support for Mike and Chantell Sackett, an Idaho couple victimized by heavy-handed EPA rulings that effectually destroyed their property rights—without even allowing them the opportunity to challenge the EPA rules in federal court.

We consistently challenge the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on numerous fronts and will continue to use every opportunity available to prevent the federal takeover of our healthcare system.

President Ronald Reagan recognized that our Founders’ greatest gift to us was our federalist form of government, which makes each state a laboratory for democracy and problem solving—because the most effective solutions are made by those closest to a problem.

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Citation: https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/tenth_amendment

ACRU Commentary