Tenth Amendment

Logyn Hinds

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Text of the Tenth Amendment

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.

Tenth Amendment in My Own Words

If the Constitution does not state that the United States gets a certain power or right in the Constitution, then the power is reserved for the states.

Historical Background

The Tenth Amendment was included in the Constitution because the anti-federalists would not ratify the Constitution until it contained a list of individual rights held by American citizens. In turn, the government added a list of ten amendments that became known as the Bill of Rights. The Tenth amendment assured the people that the government would not expand their power.

Bond VS. United States (2011) Background

Carol Anne Bond was prosecuted by a federal jury for possessing and using a chemical weapon when trying to poison her husband's mistress. She took it to the Supreme Court because she knew that the federal government did not have the power to prosecute her, that was the states' rights.

Court's Decision and Rationale

The Supreme Court agreed that a federal jury did not have the power or right to prosecute Bond because that power is held by the states. The Tenth Amendment states that if the power is not delegated to the United States, then the power is reserved for the states. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the state to be reviewed.

Cited Sources

  1. "Tenth Amendment." Constitutional Amendments: From Freedom of Speech to Flag Burning. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: UXL, 2008. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Dec. 2015
  2. Leavitt, Amie Jane. Bill of Rights in Translation : What It Really Means. Mankato: Capstone, 2009. Ebook
  3. "Tenth Amendment." American Law Yearbook: A Guide to the Year's Major Legal Cases and Developments. 2011 ed. Detroit: Gale, 2012. 214-216. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.