What does it mean? 11 states, possibly more, have written legal code saying that retain their 10th amendment sovreignty rights.
Here’s a typical talking head on this issue:
A Friend of Unfair Park directs our attention to this Texas Observer item concerning House Concurrent Resolution No. 50, filed Tuesday by three Republican state representatives — Leo Berman of Tyler, Brandon Creighton of Conroe and Bryan Hughes of Marshall — who more or less want to declare Texas a sovereign state.
Implication: asserting 10th amendment sovereignty is a prelude to secession.
More informed reality: asserting 10th amendment sovereignty is a way to keep the feds from putting too many contingent demands — “strings attached” — on their new aid package:
Worried the federal government is increasing its dominance over their affairs, several states are pursuing legislative action to assert their sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution in hopes of warding off demands from Washington on how to spend money or enact policy.
In other states, lawmakers say they are bracing to repeal federal mandates to spend their money that they expect will emanate from Washington once President Obama begins delivering some of the big-ticket programs promised during his presidential campaign.
Another source puts it even more succinctly:
Hearing that the Obama administration is pushing for immediate passage of the nearly $1 trillion deficit spending plan without allowing time for legislators to read the 1400 page document may be the last straw. Some who have read parts of the package have found it to be slanted toward more Democratic-supported social welfare programs, as well as laying the groundwork for sweeping health care reform that should be subject to scrutiny and debate by the people.
Translation: it’s an expansion of the welfare state and the states don’t want to be obligated to do it, because any experienced politician knows that expansion of the welfare state means more crime and parasites.
It’s a sensible response. Instead of trying to cast off the idea of collectivity with civilization entirely, as anarchists and libertarians do, they’re trying to make sure responsible power can exist at the local level.