DON­NER

The Washington Times Daily - - CELEBRATING FREEDOM - This Con­sti­tu­tion, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pur­suance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, un­der the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in ev­ery State sha

served to grad­u­ally es­ca­late the power of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and di­min­ish the in­de­pen­dent authority ex­er­cised by the states.

De­fend­ers of this in­creas­ingly un­bal­anced dual fed­er­al­ism are em­bold­ened by the so-called supremacy clause in Ar­ti­cle 6 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, which reads: Politi­cians tend to be quite se­lec­tive when it comes to the ap­pli­ca­tion of the

10th Amend­ment, as they are with so many other el­e­ments of the Con­sti­tu­tion. For the last 60 years or so, op­po­si­tion to fed­eral power and sup­port for states’ rights was largely con­cen­trated among those at­tempt­ing to re­ject racial de­seg­re­ga­tion in the South. But now we are be­gin­ning to wit­ness the re­verse. With the fed­eral gov­ern­ment weeks away from be­ing con­trolled en­tirely by Repub­li­cans, more and more Democrats are adopt­ing the states’ rights po­si­tion on so-called sanc­tu­ary cities that pro­vide a safe harbor for il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

The 10th Amend­ment is also un­der­go­ing a se­ri­ous test on the is­sue of

mar­i­juana. The drug is il­le­gal un­der fed­eral law, but nine states have le­gal­ized it for both recre­ational use and sale (and sev­eral other states have voted to le­gal­ize recre­ational and/or med­i­cal use). Fed­eral and state laws will at some point — likely in the near fu­ture — need to be rec­on­ciled.

Gay mar­riage was an is­sue thought by many to be the do­min­ion of in­di­vid­ual states but the de­bate was ef­fec­tively ended in 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled it a con­sti­tu­tional right for all Amer­i­cans. With the change of ad­min­is­tra­tions and the Court now likely to be dom­i­nated by strict con­struc­tion­ists and orig­i­nal­ists in the tra­di­tion of the late Jus­tice An­tonin Scalia, it is pos­si­ble that this is­sue will be re­vis­ited in ar­gu­ments about both dual fed­er­al­ism and the proper role of the fed­eral ju­di­ciary.

To be sure, a gen­uine re­vival of fed­er­al­ism will hardly hap­pen overnight. It may not be at the fore­front of peo­ple’s thoughts with the chang­ing of the guard in our na­tion’s cap­i­tal, but these is­sues re­gard­ing sanc­tu­ary cities, mar­i­juana and gay mar­riage have, at a min­i­mum, put the proper ap­pli­ca­tion of the 10th Amend­ment back in the dis­cus­sion for the months and years ahead.

But when it comes to the amend­ment that has been the most ig­nored, mis­in­ter­preted or abused, few could ar­gue against the 10th Amend­ment.

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