U.S Constitution & Amendments
The document our country was founded on. To view the U.S. Constitution, click HERE.
The 10th Amendment
The 10th Amendment is the crowning glory of the Bill of Rights. It reminds citizens that the powers delegated to the Federal Government in the U.S. Constitution are few and limited, and that all other political powers and authorities remain with each individual state. This federalist principle inherent in our Constitutional Republic is a vital protection against the central government becoming too powerful. Here is the formal text of the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to
The 9th Amendment
The 9th Amendment is the keystone for Individual Sovereignty in the Bill of Rights. It reminds citizens that even though certain rights are specified in earlier provisions of the Bill of Rights, this listing of rights is not exhaustive, and we as citizens retain all other conceivable rights as well. We do not have to ask for permission from our government to exercise our broad and inalienable rights as human beings. Here is the formal text of the Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Michigan Constitution
We often think of the U.S. Constitution when we consider our guiding political documents. However, each state is sovereign, and each state has its own Constitution that serves as the foundation for its political and civil society. Understanding the content and purpose of your state constitution is as vital as understanding the U.S. Constitution to help ensure that your rights and sovereignty are protected. Click on the link below for the text of the Constitution of the State of Michigan.
The Bill of Rights
To view the U.S. Bill of Rights, click HERE.
Quotes from the Founders regarding States Rights
The Founding Fathers crafted the two most important political documents in the history the world — the Declaration of American Independence and the U.S. Constitution. These crowning achievements of humanity were the outcome of long and intense deliberations by educated and wise statesmen and philosophers. One of the vital principles that emerged from these deliberations was States’ Rights. Click on the link below for a sampling of illuminating quotes from the Founding Fathers regarding this vital principle.
“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.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power no longer susceptible of any definition.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“When all government…in little as in great things…shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power; it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“The general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” (James Madison)
“I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” (James Madison)
“Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite. (Thomas Jefferson)
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” (James Madison)
“The propriety of a law, in a constitutional light, must always be determined by the nature of the powers upon which it is founded.” (Alexander Hamilton)
“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” (Thomas Jefferson)
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” (Benjamin Franklin)
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” (James Madison).
“Our Constitution is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” (Patrick Henry)
“Ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation to the prejudice and oppression of another is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy.” (Benjamin Franklin)
“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” (James Madison)
“In Republics, the great danger is that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.” (James Madison)
“There is a price tag on human liberty. That price is the willingness to assume the responsibilities of being free men. Payment of this price is a personal matter with each of us.” (James Monroe).
“The Federal Government is charged with the external and mutual relations of the states only – the states themselves have principle care of our persons, our property, and our reputation, constituting the great field of human concerns.” (Thomas Jefferson)
Current dangerous political movements
The U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights and the 9th and 10th Amendments, was the most disruptive event in the history of politics. It was disruptive because it was the first instance of a people staking a claim to individual sovereignty in a world that had never known anything but subordination to imperial elites. This revolutionary disruption has triggered those elitists who prefer authoritarian government to wage constant political warfare on the foundations of our Constitutional Republic. Click on the links below for essays on current political movements that are a threat to individual sovereignty:
Thoughts of our Founding Fathers on States Rights
The debate about the relative power of the states versus the relative power of the newly conceived central government was one of the most intense discussions leading up to the founding of the United States. The thoughts expressed by the Founding Fathers during this debate illuminate the importance of the principle of States’ Rights in our Constitutional Republic. They also illuminate the dangers of surrendering this principle to a strong central government. Click on the links below for a sampling of thoughts from the Founding Fathers on our founding principles.
Federalism – An Overview
The concept of Federalism is fundamental to the structure of the American political system. Our country was formed by sovereign states that chose to unify by creating a Federal Government with very limited power. The intent was to gain the benefits of unity, such as common defense, better leverage in international trade, and assurance of free trade between the states, while avoiding the burden of an overreaching central government that they fought a war to separate from.
Current threats to States Rights
There are many political forces in America today that clamor for a strong central government to impose their desired mandates. Additionally, there are many political forces around the world that clamor for a strong world government to impose their desired mandates. Standing as a bulwark against all these collectivist forces is the principle of States’ Rights. Click on the links below for a sampling of the current political threats to this principle.
Historical growth of federal power
The Federal Government was created by the Founders with limited scope and authority. Today it has become a centralized behemoth that is bursting its constitutional chains. There were many key political shifts that enabled this dramatic usurpation of state and individual sovereignty. Most of the shifts were in reaction to extreme crises. Click on the links below for perspectives on the growth of Federal power.
Federalism in the Courts and the State Legislatures
The individual and state sovereignty asserted by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments only have force if individuals and states are willing to actively advocate for them through the courts and the state legislatures. The Federal Government will always have a bias toward usurping more and more power. The only defense against this usurpation is for citizens to have a bias toward resisting it through the federalist structure of our Republic.
Supreme Court cases & Federalism - Past & Current
The U.S. Supreme Court was established by the Founders as one of the major checks and balances to maintain the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the other two branches of the Federal Government from eroding state and individual sovereignty. But has the Supreme Court lived up to this responsibility, or has it become an enabler for Big Government? Click on the link below for brief overviews of the critical Supreme Court decisions that have shaped, and are shaping, the evolution of our government.
Active lawsuits by states against the federal government
It is vital for the preservation of federalism that state governors and attorneys general push back against usurpations of state and individual sovereignty by the Federal Government. One key tool for pushback is the court system of the United States. Click on the lick below for a brief overview of active lawsuits filed by states against the Federal Government.
Michigan state legislation & Federalism
It is vital for the preservation of federalism that state legislators push back against usurpations of state and individual sovereignty by the Federal Government. The most effective push back is to enact state-level legislation that negates the federal usurpation. This sets the stage for lawsuits against encroachments by the Federal Government when it acts outside the boundaries of the Constitution. Click on the link below for a brief overview of active state legislation that is challenging federal overreach.
U.S. Government Contacts
President & Vice-President
We need to make our voices heard to stop the erosion of our Constitution by an ever-expanding Federal Government. Click on the link below for contact information to reach out to the President and Vice President of the United States.
House of Representatives
We need to make our voices heard to stop the erosion of our Constitution by an ever-expanding Federal Government. Click on the link below for contact information to reach out to all the members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
We need to make our voices heard to stop the erosion of our Constitution by an ever-expanding Federal Government. Click on the link below for contact information to reach out to all the members of the U.S. Senate.
Michigan Government Contacts
Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State
We need to hold the key elected officials in our state accountable to stand firm against usurpations of state and individual sovereignty by the Federal Government. Click on the link below for contact information to reach out to your Governor, your Attorney General, and your Secretary of State.
We need to hold our elected State Representatives accountable to stand firm against the usurpations of state and individual sovereignty by the Federal Government. It is vital that they enact state-level legislation to counter federal encroachments. Click on the link below for contact information to reach out to all the State Representatives in Michigan.
We need to hold our elected State Senators accountable to stand firm against the usurpations of state and individual sovereignty by the Federal Government. It is vital that they enact state-level legislation to counter federal encroachments. Click on the link below for contact information to reach out to all the State Senators in Michigan.
Other Contacts and Templates
MIchigan Citizen's Guide
Active state citizenship requires an effective understanding of the structure of state government, the mechanics of state administration, an awareness of who the state leaders are, and familiarity with how to reach out to those leaders to express your views and concerns. Linked below is the Michigan Citizen’s Guide which explains all of the above and much more! Please click on this link to help yourself become a more powerful voice in Michigan politics.
Governors - All States
We need to encourage all the conservative Governors around the country to link arms and unite their energies and resources against the usurpations of state and individual sovereignty by the Federal Government. The only remaining check against the Federal Government is for the conservative Governors to stand in unison against it. Click on the link below for contact information to reach out to the Governors in all fifty states.
News and Media Outlets
We have strong voices, but the best way to amplify them is to leverage the megaphones and platforms of the media. Click on the links below for contact information to reach out to the major news and media outlets in the State of Michigan.
Social Media Connections
We have strong voices, but the best way to amplify them is to leverage the megaphones and platforms of social media. Click on the link below for social media channels and platforms associated with Our State, Our Rights.
Questions to ask candidates, by office
Are you wondering which candidates truly support the constitutional principles of States’ Rights and Individual Sovereignty and which ones are willing to challenge the Federal Government once they are elected? Click on the link below for sample questions to ask candidates for various offices that will make clear their commitment to the 9th and 10th Amendments.
Guidelines for Contacting Political Leaders
Do you want to help influence elected politicians to stand firm behind the constitutional principles of States’ Rights and Individual Sovereignty, but are unsure how to communicate your message to them? Click on the links below for important information on how to best reach out to your elected leaders to encourage their support of the 9th and 10th Amendments.