Tenth amendament

Tenth amendament

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.

Court case

The Court has found in the Constitution other limitations on states as well. Most significantly, it has interpreted the Commerce Clause not just to be a positive grant of power to Congress, but also to be a limitation on the power of states to regulate interstate commerce in particularly burdensome ways.

The cause of states' rights has risen and fallen over the years. Generally, in eras of conservative Courts states have been given wide latitude to exercise their choices (see Dred Scott v Sandford
, for an extreme example). Recently, the Court has recognized limits on the powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause, given fresh meaning to the 10th Amendment, and expanded the doctrine of state sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment.

Typically today, cases that pit the rights of states against the power of the federal government will be decided by a closely divided Supreme Court. The exception is often in cases applying the Supremacy Clause (preemption doctrine) where views on the merits of the federal law seem to influence votes as much as do any overarching views of how the preemption doctrine should be applied.


Because Member of Congress are unhappy with students’ standardized test scores in many states, they pass a federal law that abolishes local school boards and requires a standardized national curriculum. It violates the rights. Because reservation of power to the people and the states. Under principles of federalism, if the Constitution does not grant the power to the federal government, it is a power reserved to the states and the people.


"Tenth Amendment." TheFreeDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014

"The Question of State's Rights and The U. S. Consitution: American Federalism Considered." The Question of State's Rights and The U. S. Consitution: American Federalism Considered. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.