constitution


Tenth Amendment

Tenth Amendment

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Tenth Amendment

The Tenth Amendment bears a certain resemblance to the Ninth Amendment.  The most important concept
behind the Tenth Amendment is that it provides for the general principles of
Federalism as the form of the United States Government. 
 

Federalism
is the system of government in which the power to govern is shared between a
national or central government and the State governments, which is divided
under Constitutional provisions. This concept had already been addressed under
certain provisions of the Articles of Confederation and were once again
reflected in the drafting of the Constitution.

Under the
Constitution, the branches of Government, the executive, legislative, and
judicial, are granted powers as the central or Federal Government. The Tenth
Amendment serves as a system of checks and balances by providing certain
authority to the states, which would prevent the Federal central Government
from garnering too much power and creating the potential of what the United
States already had experienced with England once more.

The Tenth Amendment is evident in today’s world
and has modern applications. States will employ the Tenth Amendment in certain
situations when they seek exemption from regulations created by the Federal Government.
Federalism allows for states to impose certain laws that are to be governed by
each individual State.

States will
often have their own labor and environment controls that are free from Federal
statutes. Such was the case of
 New York v. United States, where certain Federal laws
imposed certain regulations regarding the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy
Amendments Act.

A particular
provision was questioned and brought before the Supreme Court, with the State
of New York claiming that the Federal Government did not have the authority to
hold states liable for damages regarding waste. Under Federal provisions, states
were responsible for all waste within their borders and would be liable for any
damages incurred by such waste. The Tenth Amendment was upheld and the Supreme
Court ruled that such an imposition violated the provisions under the
Amendment. Another example would be the
 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.  

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