Like MENSA, Only Thicker

Spokane and the Tenth Amendment

Local citizens challenge published opinions regarding the 10th Amendment:

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The 10th Amendment reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Rep. Matt Shea knows the constitution. The Founding Fathers knew one or two things about a federal government and a constitution: a federal government will, if not carefully circumscribed, tend to pull all powers unto itself. In order to limit that tendency James Madison and others put forth a federal government of very limited and specifically enumerated powers. That wasn’t enough for the citizens. They demanded a Bill of Rights. The citizens understood that a government that could do anything must do everything. Unfettered democracy lends itself to expansion and abuse at the expense of liberty. On of those guarantees was the 10th Amendment. Reinvigorating the 10th Amendment isn’t “a waste of time and effort.” It’s a return to common sense. A return to federalism. Matt Shea knows the constitution and understands government. The Spokesman Review believes that the courts that have gutted the 10th Amendment are the proper venue to re-invigorate the 10th Amendment. I think attorney Matt Shea has the better understanding in this case.

Dave Stevens

Mr. Stevens is a Candidate for County Prosecutor



Freedom cannot withstand a hierarchical form of government where one person or group gets the final say on everything; thus, the founders created a system of distributed power such that every official took an oath to the Constitution, not the men in black robes.

The Constitution was written in plain English, and only through mental gyrations and corrupted case law can the current generation of attorneys and judges claim that one plus one is not two, but really three. Under your argument (editorial, Jan. 26), if the Supreme Court said, “one plus one equals three,” we would all have to accept it, even though they are just political appointees of the institution they are supposed to keep in check. The founders never contemplated judicial review, a power the Marshall court gave itself. Since then, juries, law enforcement offices and elected officials have given false deference to unaccountable officials with lifetime appointments and have allowed one plus one equals three to go unchallenged.

It is time for oath keepers to tell corrupted federal officials, “You made your decision; we will not enforce it.” Remember, the main writer of the Constitution, James Madison, advocated this process of nullification Rep. Matt Shea is proposing.

Chris Bass

Liberty Lake



Your Jan. 26 editorial claims that Rep. Matt Shea’s sovereignty bills are a waste of time. Really?

We elect our representatives to do the people’s business, like passing legislation and budgets. But they’re also elected to watch out for our best interests, which could include “erecting sudden barriers” against a federal government that permeates all areas of our lives.

You state, “it’s wrongheaded to pursue” limiting federal power through state legislatures. Why?

Didn’t the states create the federal government in the first place? Since only the states were party to the compact, are they not the final arbiters on the limits of the central government’s power? Was that authority not explicit in the 10th Amendment?

Does this amendment not imply that a state has the right to nullify any federal law that it deems unconstitutional?

The federal government, ordained and established by “We the People,” was deliberately created with horizontal checks and balances between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. There are also vertical ones between the federal government, the states and the citizenry, established by our Constitution’s 10th Amendment. As a result, the states are obligated to stand between its people and the federal government to resist unconstitutional acts.

John F. Christina



The state sovereignty bills introduced by Rep. Matt Shea are long overdue and sorely needed to help rein in an out-of-control national government.

Your editorial (Jan. 26) talks about the painful budget cuts of 2009, yet the state general fund expenditures are budgeted to be $40 million higher for 2009-11 than the 2007-09 budget. Only people who support the ever-expanding, cradle-to-grave welfare state would consider this slowdown in the rate of growth of spending to be a painful cut. An actual 10 percent cut in the budget accompanied with a real 10 percent reduction in the sales tax and property tax would be a welcome relief.

No, Matt Shea is not wasting time. He is simply trying to stop the state and national government from wasting the time and hard-earned tax dollars of his constituents.

Steve Dunham



Well, how does the Spokesman Reviews editorial reporter become an expert on the Constitution? Representative Shea is a Constitutionally trained attorney so do you think he might just know a little more about this than a newspaper reporter does?

This articles’ opinion and several of the posts here are simply proof of the problem. Our state and all states in the union are sovereign. The attitude that we blindly serve the federal government has been wrongly placed in peoples minds over the years. There is a federal constitution and there is a state constitution.

Quick lesson-The Federal Constitution asserts our God given rights (the 2nd Amendment was smartly placed there to insure protection of the other nine). The 10th Amendment means basically that if you think we forgot something, we didn’t.

As Thomas Jefferson said,  In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

Tim Carson, president
Spokane Valley Republican Action Club



I’m far away from being a US Constitutional expert, but I think the problem of lost state’s power is a result of the 17th Amendment:

Art 1.3.1. of the US Constitution gave each state legislature the power to choose itsrepresentatives to the US Senate~

The 17th Amendment moved that power to the people and created a second House of Representatives~

And killed our Republic in the process~

From: A decentralist

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densa will meet at the S.S. Beryl on Wednesday, February, 10th.    The following Wednesday, dENSA is sending a delegation to the Jeff Dunham Show at The Spokane Arena.  (12 confirmed with two tickets remaining)


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