2010 Regular Session
By: Representative Upshaw
House Concurrent Resolution 2
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REINFORCING THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE AND AUTHORITY OF STATE SOVEREIGNTY UNDER THE TENTH AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OVER CERTAIN POWERS AND DISCOURAGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROM IMPOSING CERTAIN RESTRICTIVE MANDATES.
WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads: "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"; and WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and
WHEREAS, Federalism is the constitutional division of powers between the national and state governments and is widely regarded as one of America's most valuable contributions to political science; and
WHEREAS, James Madison, "the Father of the Constitution," said, "The powers delegated 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, such 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, liberties, and properties of the people"; and
WHEREAS, Thomas Jefferson emphasized that the states are not "subordinate" to the national government, but rather the two are "coordinate departments of one simple and integral whole. The one is the domestic, the other the foreign branch of the same government"; and
WHEREAS, Alexander Hamilton expressed his hope that "the people will always take care to preserve the constitutional equilibrium between the general and the state governments." He believed that "this balance between the national and state governments forms a double security to the people. If one government encroaches on their rights, they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by the certain rivalship which will ever subsist between them"; and
WHEREAS, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and
WHEREAS, today, in 2010, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and
WHEREAS, many federal mandates appear to be in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and the United States Supreme Court's ruling in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), stated that Congress may not simply "commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the States by directly compelling them to enact and enforce a federal regulatory program"; and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court in that case went on to express that, "No matter how powerful the federal interest involved, the Constitution simply does not give Congress the authority to require the States to regulate. The Constitution instead gives Congress the authority to regulate matters directly and to pre-empt contrary state regulation. Where a federal interest is sufficiently strong to cause Congress to legislate, it must do so directly; it may not conscript state governments as its agents"; and
WHEREAS, a number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from Congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon the Mississippi Legislature, as an agent for the people of the State of Mississippi, to remind the federal government to act only in ways that will ensure the protection and preservation of constitutional rights granted to each state in the framework of the Constitution of the United States as crafted by our nation's founding fathers, so as not to deny each state the enumerated right of self-governance without an over-reaching arm of federal government mandates and implications:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That the State of Mississippi hereby reinforces the fundamental principles and authority of state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States and discourage the federal government, as our agent, from imposing certain restrictive mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, each member of the Mississippi Congressional Delegation and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.