States Rediscover the Tenth Amendment


David M. Dickson
The Washington Times
February 21, 2009

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Worried the federal government is increasing its dominance over their affairs, several states are pursuing legislative action to assert their sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution in hopes of warding off demands from Washington on how to spend money or enact policy. The growing concerns even have a handful of governors questioning whether to accept federal stimulus money that comes with strings attached.

The sentiments to declare themselves legally independent from Washington have swept across as many as a dozen states, renewing a debate over so-called unfunded mandates that last raged in the 1990s. The states question whether the U.S. government can force states to take actions without paying for them or impose conditions on states if they accept certain federal funding.

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