"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground:
That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the
people' (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries
thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take
possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any
definition."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, letter to George Washington,15 February 1791,
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Boyd, ed., vol. 19 (276)
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Reader comments about this quote:
We've taken more than a "single step" beyond these boundaries in the past, let's say, 150 years. It's time for the states to wake up and take back their constitutional powers and demand an amendment to re-affirm the absoluteness of the 10th Amendment. And since Congress won't cooperate willingly - we have to bypass Congress by forcing a Constitutional Convention (that's the part of Article V that they don't teach you and don't want you to know about)!
 -- Andy, Portland, OR     
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    Oh No!!! This is the same Thomas Jefferson that is reverenced for his off the cuff "separation of Church and State" statement. Perhaps this one will catch on with our governmentalists as well. Actually, for what its worth, there was an extraordinary Tenth Amendment Resolution in Colorado that advised the Feds that the State was taking back its right under the Constitution. It passed and was awesome. I proprose something similar at every precinct / county / state convention in my state. it always makes it to the platform, but never gets past the legislature. You might want to try it too. God bless.
     -- Michael, Houston, TX     
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    All words from Thomas Jefferson are encouraging and enlightening.
     -- Me Again     
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    Until we intelligently live by The Constitution and stop having our lives dictated by big business, corrupt politicians, and the church, we will continue on our downward path of self destruction. It’s absolutely amazing that we conem the New York Times for telling the truth while we condone the government when it lies to its people.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    And the worse violator of this today is not Congress who is simply not performing their duties, but the great upsurper King George who is acting far beyond any granted set of power and responsibilities.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    The Tenth Amendment died in 1861, when the Federal government told the states that they could not voluntarily and legally leave a union they had voluntarily joined. All the pontificating on states rights will never change that. Government never gives up power once gained voluntarily. That is why a Constitutional Convention will never be allowed to happen.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Boundless power indeed. Another revolution is inevitable -- whether soon or decades from now. The human race is waking up -- it is a long process. But people cannot live on hypocrisy forever so revolutions will continue -- as long as there are seekers of truth and practitioners of love, revolutions will continue.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- P.M      
    Hundreds of thousands of steps beyond the boundaries of the Constitution have been taken. Our government is the greatest joke in the world. We spew the words of freedom from our mouths, as we beat people and governments into submission.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    If Mr. Jefferson were alive today, he'd be labeled an "enemy combatant" by Homeland InSecurity and all his rights denied him. He would be considered a terrorist by our King George's mis-government and imprisoned, where he would commit "suicide" by hanging himself with shoe-strings! Anyone who publicly agreed with his views would soon find themselves in the same predicament until ALL such "terrorist" views would be wiped out and only the cowards or cohorts of the neo-mafia would be left in control. Look around. Has it already happened?
     -- Son of George(Washington, that is), Everytown, U.S.     
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     -- Anonymous      
    Evidently, Obama doesn't see any use for the 10th amendment; defeats his purposes so he'll just ignore it, pretty much like he does most of the wisdom shared with us by the Founders. After all, socialism isn't supported by Founding Fathers' wisdom, henceforth, that wisdom means little to the present administration, as it has in preceding administrations. And now we're stuck with trying to live by the Constitution in the face of an administration that openly defies the Constitution.
     -- Nancy, OH     
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    Nancy, King George's admin wiped their ass with our Constitution.
     -- Steve, DC     
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    present day congress should read this and abide by this .
     -- Anonymous     
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    If you look at modern society you can trace nearly all of our current day problems to where we have strayed from Jeffersonian principles.
     -- J. Allen, Arlington, Va     
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    Good stuff from one of the smartest men who ever lived.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Words from a man having just fought a bloody war against a tyrant. Sadly we are inundated with low thinkers who would have us put back under such a tyranny...and worse.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The statist theocracy now infesting this land has so completely fulfilled the above sentiment that Congress has even found a way to tax the individual's life itself (complete with death panels) Steve in DC, so, what's your point? King George the torturer and Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin both had/have disdain for law, individual inalienable rights and the Constitution.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Perfect! but we must remember that the constitution was primarily forged by the aristocracy and elite of its day and therefore is subject to scrutiny which today must be our first order. Perhaps we should rewrite the constitution like Iceland is doing and in the same manner.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    RBESRQ...Who do you advocate to rewrite the Constitution? The current administation and Congress which is ever so entangled in coruption? These are the people who have won favor with the citizens to capture their current positions so it cannot be doubted that they will also do so with a task as important as rewriting the Constitution. The results of which could only cause more troubles and oppression than we bear today. Best leave the Constitution as it stands until a more enlightened generation sees fit to change it. This may never come to pass until the republic has fallen because the wisdom of founders was gained by the trials they faced during their lives; trials that come from carrying the yoke of a tyrannical government. When our government becomes tyrannical enough to open the eyes of every citizen under its reign, we will be armed with the necessary knowledge to alter or abolish it and establish new guards for our future security. Until then we must strictly enforce the Constitution we have.
     -- Publius     
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     -- Ron, Salem      
    Set up upon A Rock, The "Headstone" of commonsense, granted by way of Natural law. The 10th is befitting for a specific group of people, English speaking by design. Much like the number 5, V amendment, ( and its ability to nullify through convention ), representing death. The Constitution is designed to protect our Declaration of Independence, the sovereign individual, being endowed by our Creator. A Biblical, doctrinal, Legal standing before God and the world, of which the mob and monarchs of tyranny do not like. Simple, perfect, by design in order to form a more perfect union. Singleness of heart within a Free Will association at Liberty. Stand for it,Fight for it, and Die for it. Chophshiy, Eleutheria, and Apeleutheros Liberties, Freedom from bondage and tax at your pleasure, Manumission from slavery, Access to the presence of God a Freed Man. A perfect code/ tri-cord of harmony. coupled with many many more to complete the message, one finds within the numerated laws of nature. Lending practices numerated in like manner, 13 being the key number. A mystery of 3, with sound principles applied, remove the greatest degree of oppression. Semper FI

     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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