Tenth Amendment

Liberals Have Rediscovered the 10th Amendment's Value During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Will they keep it in mind even if Joe Biden becomes president?

|

Amid the grim coronavirus news of death and unemployment, at least there is the comic relief of the left embracing the Tenth Amendment.

Suddenly trendy is the provision of the Bill of Rights that "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."

The rush to the Tenth came in response to President Trump's statement on May 22. "I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now," Trump said. "The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend. If they don't do it, I will override the governors."

The editor of Mother Jones, a left leaning magazine, Clara Jeffrey, wasn't having it. "To be clear, Trump can't do [expletive] to force churches/temples/mosques to open. Little thing called the 10th Amendment," she tweeted.

The White House correspondent of the PBS Newshour, Yamiche Alcindor, made the same point. "Pres Trump says he will 'override the governors' if they don't follow new CDC guidance and open places of worship this weekend. Context: The 10th Amendment of the Constitution says powers not delegated to federal government are reserved to the states," Alcindor tweeted.

A Democratic congressman from California, Jared Huffman, and a Democratic congressman from Maryland, Jamie Raskin, issued a joint statement accusing Trump of "breathtaking arrogance," and of threatening "to trample the sovereign powers of the states under American federalism…and the rights of the people under the First Amendment and the Tenth Amendment."

Rachel Laser of Americans United for Separation of Church and State insisted that Trump lacks the power to override the governors. "The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution forbids the federal government from strongarming the states," Laser said, as quoted by Politico's Josh Gerstein.

What's amusing about this? Well, it's the humor of contrasting it with the attitude toward federal supremacy and states' rights that had obtained some years back, when the Democrats controlled the White House, and when "states rights" was the cry of segregationists, not social-distancers.

A front-page news article in The New York Times back in 2010, when President Obama, a Democrat, was in the White House, cast doubt on states' rights efforts.

"Article 6 of the Constitution says federal authority outranks state authority, and on that bedrock of federalist principle rests centuries of back and forth that states have mostly lost, notably the desegregation of schools in the 1950s and '60s," the Times reported then. The Times quoted a law professor, Ruthann Robson, who claimed, "Article 6 says that that federal law is supreme and that if there's a conflict, federal law prevails."

A different New York Times article from 2010 described the Tenth Amendment as "The Tea Party's favorite part of the Constitution," a reference to the grassroots "Taxed Enough Already" movement that was then organizing protests against Obama's policies.

And a third Times article from 2010, reporting on Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing, observed, "Tea Party supporters believe that much of what the federal government regulates should be left to the states, where voters hold a shorter leash. For this reason, they embrace a strict interpretation of the 10th Amendment, which says that the powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution 'are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.'"

Back in 1996, when a different Democrat, Bill Clinton, controlled the White House, a Times editorial complained, "A headstrong five-justice majority is driving the Supreme Court toward a revolutionary, indeed reactionary, interpretation of federalism, tilting the balance dangerously toward states' rights at the expense of Federal power."

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that support for states' rights or federal power is dependent on whether your guy is the one in the White House giving the orders or the one in the governor's mansion being ordered around. It's less principled or consistent that it is partisan and situational.

The right can vacillate on these matters, too. That's particularly true in religious freedom cases. A strong historical legal case can be made that the First Amendment prohibition on establishing a religion was intended as a restriction on the federal government, not the states. So some conservatives have resisted using federal power to strike down, say, state school prayers or depictions of the Ten Commandments in state courthouses. But many of these same folks are glad Trump is encouraging governors to allow in-person worship, an expression of the free-exercise protection in the same First Amendment.

If the left presses the "state sovereignty" argument against Trump too far, it may find that clashes will be refereed in federal courts, and that Trump is commander-in-chief of a military with firepower that dwarfs any state police or National Guard unit. But Trump, too, may wish to recall a lesson of the Tea Party, which is that if voters are angry enough at Washington that they've discovered the often-obscure Tenth Amendment, there may be some price to be paid by incumbents in the upcoming election.

For skeptics of Washington-imposed central authority or big government, the left's embrace of the Tenth Amendment may be a positive effect of the pandemic. What are the chances that it would last into a Biden administration?

NEXT: 2 Men Arrested for 'Destroying Property' by Doing Donuts in D.A. Candidate's Illegal Rap Video

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. //What are the chances that it would last into a Biden administration?//

    Zero.

    1. Naw, there’s still slim and none. Zero is a bit extreme.

      1. Haven’t you heard? Slim has left town.

        1. There’s still zip, zilch, and Zeppo, and Zeppo has brothers.

          1. Thus, to syllogize:

            Zero is extreme;
            Slim has left town;
            Zip, Zilch, and Zeppo are not extreme.

            Works for me.

            1. Change Your Life Right Now! Work From Comfort Of Your Home And Receive Your First Paycheck Within A Week. No Experience Needed, No Boss Over Your Shoulder..bmx. Say Goodbye To Your Old Job! Limited Number Of Spots Open…
              Find out how HERE……More here

          2. Wheres a zeppo?

              1. Change Your Life Right Now! Work From Comfort Of Your Home And Receive Your First Paycheck Within A Week. No Experience Needed, No Boss Over Your Shoulder..bmx. Say Goodbye To Your Old Job! Limited Number Of Spots Open…
                Find out how HERE……More here

            1. The Pacific Ocean?

          3. >>Zeppo has brothers

            bunch of stiffs.

            1. I Make Money At H0me.Let’s start work offered by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financially rewarding Job I’ve had . YEr Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earning $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k last month . . I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr

              Heres what I do…… Online Earn

      2. You are right, zero is a bit extreme, it’s more like -100

    2. It would depend on what Biden tried to do. You can’t compare a doddering, old, but functional human being occupying the White House with Donald Trump. The primary difference between the candidates isn’t policy differences, it’s the ability to accept simple facts and reality. The fact that the 25th amendment hasn’t been exercised yet demonstrates Republicans willingness to enable Trump’s detachment from reality. In light of the dual crises of the caronavirus and an untethered President enabled by his party any reasonable person would do all they could to circle the wagons around their Governor. Right now the states are the only sources reality driven leadership. It’s not political, it’s existential.

      1. Methinks you need to be 25th-ed

  2. If the left presses the “state sovereignty” argument against Trump too far, it may find that clashes will be refereed in federal courts, and that Trump is commander-in-chief of a military with firepower that dwarfs any state police or National Guard unit.

    Such a scenario is just a matter of time.

    1. We who live in lockdown against our will also know that we are citizens of the US and protected as such. What we are seeing is power used for the nation-state disguised as the 10th amendment

      1. What many should be learning is the necessity of the 2nd Amendment to make the other ones actually usable.

    2. The First Amendment is a prohibition on all government (Federal, State, & Local) because it references “rights” of the people. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, peaceful assembly, and yes, even freedom of religion. Why are the editors and writers at Reason so clueless.

      Perhaps the idiots at reason can instruct us on how the 2nd Amendment would the states to round up all the firearms and seize them. Do they believe only the 1st is not a limit on the States in addition to the feds? It’s call “The Bill of Rights” and it’s a listing of our rights and a prohibition on all government: Federal, State, County and City. Would these idiots argue that right to a trial by a jury of your peers (with council) only applies to federal crimes?

      1. Bingo we have a winner. As Reason wax about the past and when the feds stepped in regarding racial discrimination they don’t seem to see how clueless they are regarding all of eh other civil rights in the constitution.

        The Jim Crow southern states were mot contending that blacks have no rights. For example, they weren’t trying to deny blacks the right to go to church. It was separate but EQUAL was their contention. Of course it wasn’t but this is quite different.

        The states have to follow the US Constitution duh! That includes the Bill of Rights

    3. I am now getting paid every month more than $31,000 by doing very easy job online from home. I have earned last month $31540 from this easy job just by giving this job only 2 to 3 hrs a day using my laptop. Everybody on this earth can now get this job and start making more cash online just by follow instructions on this web page….. Read More

  3. A strong historical legal case can be made that the First Amendment prohibition on establishing a religion was intended as a restriction on the federal government, not the states.
    Was “Congress shall make no law” a clue?

    1. Then I assume you now support the efforts of religious organizations to not have to fund abortion via national laws embedded in health care reform?

      1. I would say the Founders did not intend the First Amendment to cover abortions either. Third Amendment possibly?

    2. that’s about as clear as “shall not be infringed”. In other words, the courts can decide FYTY whenever they like.

      1. FYTW is part of the secret clauses of the Constitution. We can’t see them, but must trust our betters what they are.

        1. It is a ‘living document’, after all!

  4. To be fair, the states don’t have the authority to close places of worship in the first place since the First Amendment’s religious protection was incorporated in Cantwell v Connecticut…

    1. It was incorporated in 1868, when the 14th Amendment was ratified. The Supreme Court has been all over the map…how can you allow them special authority on this issue when they keep overruling themselves?

      1. I’m not going to argue with your point. But EITHER argument (the 14th Amendment OR individual incorporation) gets you to the same place: the states don’t have the power to abridge any of those rights listed in the BoR.

        Not to mention, in line with the 10th Amendment, you’d also have to show that in any particular state’s constitution, the people had delegated/transferred/surrendered their power to “regulate” their ability to practice their religion away from themselves and to their state of residence…something I think you’d be hard-pressed to find.

        1. Another important point, the state constitutions.

          1. You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t even KNOW their states HAVE constitutions, let alone have READ them. To include members of those states’ militias (National Guard units)…

          2. The state constitutions do not trump the Declaration of Independence or the philosophical underpinnings of the founding.

            The founding generation did not make war against, and secede from, the British Empire to enable states, under the cover of “democracy,” to institute anti-liberty legislation.

            1. Again, though, the point isn’t that the state constitutions could validly violate the Constitutional and inalienable rights of Americans, but even if they COULD, none of them actually DO (I’m not aware of any state constitutions that give their respective states this power, valid or not).

              It’s ANOTHER reason that can be used to explain why governors can’t do this.

              1. A handful of state constitutions do have religious litmus tests for holding state office. I think TN might be one of them, but I can’t remember which states.

  5. No.

  6. Will they keep it in mind even if Joe Biden becomes president?

    No. Next rhetorical question.

  7. Nope because Democrats and leftists are rat bastards who care nothing for the constitution except how they can manipulate it to get whatever statist bullshit passed.

    1. Nope because Democrats and leftists all lawmakers are rat bastards who care nothing for the constitution except how they can manipulate it to get whatever statist bullshit passed.

      1. Well, I think a few of them care for some parts of the constitution.

        1. I’d need to see proof to believe such a thing.

  8. By the “logic” the proggies are using, the states could ban free speech.

    1. They fully support that. What they WOULDN’T like is that by their own logic, states could ban the magically fabricated right to abortions…

      1. They don’t care as long as they get to chose what is banned.

        1. This.

          1. The Right to Choose!

    2. No they couldn’t per the 14th Amendment

      1. The 14th Amendment has nothing to do with free speech.

        And it’s Sua Sponte.

        1. Maybe he’s a boy named Sue?

          1. Maybe it’s a De Opresso Liber sock, since Sua Sponte is the motto of the Army Rangers.

    3. By the “logic” the proggies are using, the states could ban free speech.

      Don’t give’em any ideas. They jack their powerboners to this thought daily.

  9. Something something Commerce Clause something something fuck you that’s why.

    1. The Catholic Church is certainly an interstate organization, but I’m sure we can also agree that even an individual Baptist church affects religious attendance across state lines as well. Clearly, all churches fall under the purview of the Federal Government, not the states or localities.

      1. I’d have to wait for SCOTUS to decide a case regarding whether prayer/meditation at home sufficiently impacts interstate religious activities as to warrant also being under Federal purview. I admit I don’t know enough about the subject.

  10. Legal rationales for federal regulation of local affairs, generally otherwise left under state jurisdiction, have been the 14th Amendment which prevents states from depriving any person of due process of law and not abridging the privileges and immunities of US citizens. This has been consistently been interpreted by SCOTUS to mean that most of the Bill of Rights, like the First Amendment, are incorporated by reference in the 14th Amendment and therefore binding on the states. The other is the Commerce Clause which gives the feds the right to regulate interstate commerce. On this basis, POTUS and his Justice Dept would have jurisdiction to do what Trump wants. Whether that is wise or not is obviously a different question.

    1. Non-lawyer here with a genuine question. I’ve often wondered how to reconcile the 10th and 14th amendments. Seems like one says the states have any remaining rights not granted to the federal government. The other seems to says the federal government is supreme. Are the two contradictory? Who wins?

      1. Not a lawyer either, but would I think that the more recent will be in control. Of course, if I were a professor of Constitutional Law such as Obama bin Lama, and I were being heckled by Tea Partiers, then I would bring this up. So, perhaps the answer is, it’s not as simple as that.

  11. Trump’s statement in support of our First Amendment religious rights (against infringement by state governments) is mostly about election year politics–and his critics in both the press and the Democratic party are foolishly falling into his trap again.

    It’s much like Trump making an issue out of NFL players disrespecting the flag. Baiting the news media and Democratic politicians to denounce him for standing up for the flag is a great way to win over swing voters in Midwestern swing states–and baiting the media and the Democrats into condemning him for standing up for the right of average people to go to church if they want (over the objections of Democratic governors in places like Michigan and Minnesota) is also a winner and for all the exact same reasons.

    Yes, all those states who have ticketed, arrested, or threatened ministers or their congregants would have lost any cases brought to the courts on First Amendment grounds. Yes, the First Amendment is binding on the states on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment. Yes, those states that tried to treat churches differently from other institutions in their states should have their policies struck down on the basis of the First Amendment as well as on the basis of the equal protection of the laws.

    Yes, President Trump would have been wrong to impose his own rules on the states–even if what he was trying to do was protect the First Amendment rights of people in those states from their own state governments. Our First Amendment rights should be protected by the courts–and that was already happening. Yes, both the Democrats and the media cheering them on are completely abandoning their so called principles in their attempt to get rid of President Trump in November–but that’s only the beginning of the most interesting aspect of this.

    We have a term for people who become so obsessed with getting rid of President Trump that it distorts their reason and warps their principles. It’s called “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, and just because it’s become the new norm in the news media doesn’t make it okay. No, progressives arguing for federalism and against the equal protection of the laws doesn’t mean they never really cared about those things. It means that they’ve become so twisted by their obsessive hatred of President Trump that they’ll say or do anything to get rid of him.

    President Trump will take advantage of that weakness. If he can make the left defend people who are disrespecting the flag? If he can make the Democrats attack people for going to work or church in an election year? If he can make the Democrats do or say pretty much anything he wants? Then he can make the Democrats eat their own shit at the polls come November.

    1. That was pretty much my thoughts too.

      Trump didn’t make the statement for the benefit of churchgoers being denied their right to go to church. He made that statement in order to get/solidify their support when governors and the media inevitably and predictably dump all over him for saying he’ll oppose governors on it (which of course he will not do).

      The media is so predictable that they really make it easy for him.

      1. This was particularly relevant in Minnesota.

        “Catholic and Lutheran leaders in Minnesota, working with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, had sent a letter to the Minnesota Governor saying they would reopen their churches this week—without his permission. By Thursday, when the editorial appeared in print, the Governor was meeting with the church leaders. On Friday President Trump said churches were “essential” services and that he would “override” Governors who kept them closed.

        By Saturday all parties agreed to an accommodation allowing churches to hold in-person services starting this Wednesday, provided they follow health guidelines such as limiting services to 25% capacity. What changed Mr. Walz’s mind?

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/minnesotas-essential-churches-11590350478?

        The Democratic Governor of Minnesota (among others) was planning to discriminate against churches.

        President Trump kicked him in the ass, and now they’ve decided not to violate the First Amendment.

        +1 for Trump in the First Amendment column.

        -2 for the Democratic governors everywhere in the upper Midwest. Minnesota probably isn’t in play for Trump in 2020, but Michigan and Wisconsin are important swing states that Trump needs to win–and that, my friends, is what winning looks like. Let the press smear President Trump for sticking up for Catholics and Lutherans in the upper Midwest. The Trump campaign couldn’t buy that kind of advertising if they tried.

        1. I wouldn’t bet on Minnesota not being in play in 2020. It came close to being in play in 2016. Trump won rural areas, except the Northeast areas around Duluth, significantly and only lost by 1.5% (the smallest margin since Reagan nearly took the state in his blowout 1984 re-election). Additionally, Clinton only won 9 counties, five of them with less than 50% of the popular vote. Duluth is an area Trump could do better in. Traditionally white, blue collar, union territory. These types of voters have been trending Republican for a decade. Trump also has a possibility of doing better in the seven rural counties where he won with a plurality of votes but didn’t exceed 50%. Add into this equation that many Minnesotans are not particularly pleased with their governor’s actions, especially in regards to churches, and who knows?

    2. “Trump’s statement in support of our First Amendment religious rights (against infringement by state governments) is mostly about election year politics–and his critics in both the press and the Democratic party are foolishly falling into his trap again.”

      Yeah, I don’t get “States should be allowed to violate all rights” is a winning strategy. You’d think affirmative action hire Alcindor would know a little about the history of states using the 10th to specifically limit the rights of minorities in the past…but, then again, it was Democrats doing it back then, so she’d have probably been on board with it back then, too.

      Democrats really won’t like having the lockdowns as their albatross, but they seem insistent on doing so.

  12. >>But Trump, too, may wish to recall a lesson of the Tea Party, which is …

    never trust (R)

  13. Once again, I exhort the Trumpster to order the arrest of all governors who do not immediately lift ALL lockdown provisions. Such arrests would serve as a reminder that there are no exceptions, Kung flu or otherwise, to the exercise of the rights of assembly, religious worship, speech, association, and the keeping and bearing arms, to name just a few.

    OF course, the simple-minded, mid-wits will scream, “emergency” and / or “pandemic” and / or “suicide pact” and / or “women and minorities hit hardest” in support of the progressive proposition that public officials need to have dictatorial powers in order to safeguard us all.

    Let them scream. Just ignore them. If they won’t let you ignore them, give them a vicious beating.

  14. Ha! Don’t count on it. It’s principals not principles.

  15. Fat and slim.

    1. Had a conversation about race.

  16. Rhombus might be on to something here. If you read Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, this lockdown is illegal at the State level.
    “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    The part I am referring to is “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”
    These directives from the Governors are exactly that “directives”. They are not laws because they were never ratified by the State Legislatures. We are having our liberty and in the case of business owners property removed or restricted, with there being no law in place to do so.

    1. You missed this part in the 14th Amendment – “unless Donald Trump gets elected”.

  17. This isn’t intrinsic to liberals at any stretch. Both parties want their way and will do what they want to get it. Republicans surely in just a bit more unethical and illegal means.

    1. AHAHAHAAH your guys are tyrants and you are desperate to “other side too!” this ahahahahaajah

    2. It’s not Republicans threatening churches if they dare to….abide by their First Amendment rights.

  18. “A strong historical legal case can be made that the First Amendment prohibition on establishing a religion was intended as a restriction on the federal government, not the states.”

    OK, sure, but what about the 14th Amendment with its reference to the privileges/immunities of U. S. citizens?

  19. Does this mean Trump supporters have abandoned states’ rights?

    1. We don’t support the violation of Constitutional rights by states, no. Wish Democrats would join us.

  20. They didn’t rediscover the 10th Amendment, at least not in any reasonable meaning of it. The 10th Amendment reserves all rights and powers to the states and the people. The 10th Amendment is a restriction on federal government power. It is not a license for the states to ignore the constitution and violate their own people’s rights. By the Democrats’ logic here, Eisenhower sending federal troops to Little Rock to enforce a federal court order and ensure the federally protected rights of Arkansas’s citizens would be violating the 10th Amendment. I mean where does the Constitution give the feds the power to stop the states form violating the federal rights of its citizens?

    1. The 10th isn’t JUST a restriction on Federal power, it’s ALSO a restriction on state power.

      The phrasing seems somewhat strange and confusing, but if you read it logically, the 10th says: “The Feds can’t do anything that WASN’T delegated to them by the US Constitution (and by extension its ratifiers, i.e. the states), and all of the remaining powers MAY be held by the states IF the people (respectively) delegate those powers to the states (through a state constitution).” The people are the ORIGINATORS of all the powers. If the people didn’t delegate the power to the states through the states’ constitutions, they retain ANY un-enumerated powers.

      If an individual state’s constitution doesn’t give the governor plenary power to shut down businesses, places of worship, public gatherings, etc., then the governor doesn’t have those powers.

      1. that’s cold comfort when your legislature, governor, and courts all line up against you.

        1. Agreed.

      2. Ya, the courts have systematically ignored that last phrase, though. The 10th is almost ubiquitously interpreted to grant general police powers to the states, and I can’t recall a single instance where high courts decided it protected individual rights.

        In the context of the 9th, it seems so obvious that the framers intended these two amendments to prevent the encroachment of government upon individual liberties, but I’m constantly miffed at how poorly the 10th is worded in this regard.

        1. The ongoing problem with all of this is the failure of SCOTUS to enforce the written Constitution, particularly since FDR’s court-packing threat. As I’ve said previously, we need an Amendment to limit the number and term of justices. It’s not a perfect solution, but the status quo invites Roberts and his sort to come up with insanities such as the “penal-tax” rather that be honest and throw the whole bleeping bad law out. Heck, I’d rather have a whole bunch of RBGs, but be certain that on thus and such a date at latest, each one would have to step down. (I suspect that the leftist thinkers would probably accept the deal, but substitute some other name in there.)

  21. There’s an article up at WSJ by a liberal insider who is calling for the news media to get rid of their pretensions of being unbiased.

    “If Mr. Trump prevails in November, what’s the next act, if any, for journalists and the resistance? They will likely find Mr. Trump more dangerous and offensive in a second term than in the first.

    More important, how will a large segment of the public ever put stock in journalism it considers hostile to the country’s best interests? Unfortunately, dominant media organizations have bonded with another large segment of the public—one that embraces its new approach. Pulling back from anti-Trump activism could prove commercially harmful.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-liberal-leaning-media-has-passed-its-tipping-point-11590430876?

    When the only people watching your broadcasts anymore are the people who are only watching because of your biased coverage, you can’t stop being biased without giving up on the only reason people are watching.

    So why do they keep up the pretenses of being objective or mainstream?

    Part of it must be that there is only a tiny sliver of the American people who watch CNN or MSNBC. If you can get five million Americans to watch during some of those prime time shows, you’re clobbering the competition. Just because those five million people are tuning in to watch Rachel Maddow because they hate Trump’s guts, however, doesn’t mean they think they’re biased. They think Maddow is calling it down the middle–and they may like her, in part, because they see MSNBC as objective. In other words, even if MSNBC isn’t as biased as they can be, they derive some benefit from being considered objective by the people who watch their shit.

    1. I bet the other reason why these news media organizations maintain the pretense of objectivity is that they’re worried that the American people might make them pay auction prices for the spectrum they use if they abandoned any pretense of objectivity.

      My understanding is that all the major players like AT&T WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, Disney, Comcast NBCUniversal have bought up the most profitable local broadcasters in the country–their own affiliate stations. Those local affiliates are granted licenses for that spectrum FOR FREE on the basis that they use that spectrum to broadcast to their local markets for free and that they’re doing so in the public interest.

      From a capitalist perspective, that spectrum should be auctioned off to the highest bidder. However, even if you aren’t a libertarian, if Americans can be persuaded that these news media companies aren’t serving the public’s interests by catering to the tiny fraction of the American people obsessed with hatred for the president? and the reason they do that is partially because it hardly costs them anything because they’re using a valuable resource courtesy of the taxpayer for free?

      We should be able to persuade the American people to support 1) auctioning off the broadcasters’ spectrum (and they may be the ones best positioned to win those auctions) and 2) get Congress to pass a bill that stops requiring cable companies to carry local broadcasters. The broadcasters are milking both sides of the system, and if they had to make more efficient use of their resources, they might start trying to maximize profits by catering to the tastes of more than just one tiny segment of the American population.

      1. In one sense, he has a point. No one believes their pretense of objectivity. So, why keep it?

        He seems to think that the media would somehow act differently and be more effective in its opposition to Trump if only it would take the gloves off and stop pretending to be objective. And that is just laughable. The media has been in one long emotional meltdown over Trump for three years now. What exactly does this clown think they are going to do differently? Try to frame Trump as an agent of the Russians?

        Oh yeah, they already did that. The whole article is just pathetic. This guy really seems to think anyone listens to the media or cares what they think anymore beyond a few people on one side looking for confirmation bias. If the opinion of the media mattered at all, Trump wouldn’t have been the GOP nominee much less been elected President.

        1. Calling him a liberal is really an understatement.

          He’s the husband of Kathleen Brown, former candidate for the Governor of California, brother of Jerry Brown–the kind of all California liberals. He used to be the president of CBS’ news division. Went to Fox for a brief time, but left so that his wife could run for governor without being a drag on her campaign for working for Fox.

          As someone both inside the media and inside the liberal political establishment, he has that mentality. The reasons he’s pointing out these flaws in the liberal media’s coverage aren’t libertarian or capitalist, but then the reason George Orwell excoriated Stalin and communism was because he was a committed socialist–and he was trying to save socialism from communism.

          In other words, this guy’s objectives may be bad, but his criticisms are true. The liberal bias in the media really is hurting the interests of the country, and if they don’t cut it out, the American people will eventually put a stop to it one way or another–and that is not likely to go well for people like him, who genuinely support progressive politics and progressives in the news media.

      2. There’s an even simpler explanation. We all know progressive true believers. They can’t distinguish between the subjective and the objective. They are incapable of understanding that their positions are a matter of preference. To them it is black and white, right and wrong. I think this is why they pushed Kantian ethics in every philosophy class that I ever took. The intentions of doing “the right thing” trump any and all consequences of the real world. What the right thing is has nothing to do with trade-off or preferences, it’s an absolute. It’s “The Science”. They honestly believe they speak objective truth…….until it becomes convenient.

        1. I know it seems that way. There are certainly ethical principles involved here–as well as the principles of reason and journalism.

          And I’m sure there’s a generational aspect to this. However, even among ol-timers we’re seeing journalists abandon journalistic standards like they didn’t under past presidents. Sometimes, it’s the same people who were always there. What changed?

          I think the markets themselves have changed over time for a number of reasons. The news was different when half the country tuned into one of three news broadcasts every night, with CNN being something that offered even better news because you had to pay for it. As that model disintegrated, so did that kind of news broadcast.

          Now that the audience is 5 million people who only bother to tune in because they hate the president’s guts, you’re gonna get a different kind of news broadcast. You get a biased broadcast that caters to their tastes.

          There are a number of reasons why that market changed, but that’s another thread.

          1. There’s a lot of truth to that. Ultimately, it finally became profitable for them to take the masks off and say what they’ve always wanted to say (or what they now in their hearts is the real truth.) I don’t think they’re as upset by the situation as the pretend to be.

    2. “So why do they keep up the pretenses of being objective or mainstream?”

      Because the left can’t win the arguments, and are inherently dishonest and totalitarian.
      They pretend to objectivity, neutrality, science, truth, reason, logic, whatever external force justifies their internal beliefs and desires.
      They can’t say “this is good and this is bad” but must say “this is Good and this is Evil” so that there can be no consideration of conflicting values nor any discussion of alternative perspectives.

  22. “Will they keep it in mind even if Joe Biden becomes president?”

    I am assuming that is a rhetorical question.

  23. They rediscovered it alright. Ask the South how it worked out the last time they used it.

  24. I don’t buy that the Tenth Amendment is the final word here. The dispute at hand between Trump and these states is over whether the states may continue to hold most of the public under house arrest — in other words, imprison us without charge or trial, even though the vast majority of us do not have Coronavirus and even though its fatality rate has been shown to be 0.026%.

    Imprisoning people without charge or trial is also called suspending habeas corpus, and this may be done only “when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” (Article I, Section 9, paragraph 2.) This ban applies to both the federal government and the states, and I don’t see any reason why Trump cannot compel it to be lifted. I just wish he’d hurry up and do that.

    1. It is not. The 10th Amendment is a bit vague for sure. But whatever it means, it doesn’t mean the states have a right to violate people’s constitutional rights with impunity and the federal government has no power to stop them. And that is what the Democrats are claiming it means here.

      1. So, what is the down-side to the President getting truculent with the issue? Truculent as in arresting governors who continue to violate their citizens’ rights.

        It has taken me a long time to recognize and accept that most people are followers, they are sheep. They are not going to do anything and, as Jefferson noted, likely to sustain abuse over a long period of time.

        Given that reality, why should Trump fear taking really aggressive action against the governors?

        1. This whole experience has caused me to realize people are weaker and easier to manipulate than I thought. I am just stunned this has gone on as long as it has without the public revolting.

          1. The revolt is still coming. We’re all going to go outside soon and realize that there are 40 million people that are out of work and need to be housed and fed because of a crisis created by government edict as much or more than by a pandemic. With states creating a moral hazard where they’re paying people more money to not work, thus not participating in the production side of the economy, the clash between those pulling the wagon and those riding it will become more exaggerated and in your face than ever before. The old left and right paradigm has been collapsing for over a decade and I suspect that will have a massive influence on how the lines are redrawn.

        2. The down side is he would lose that little sliver of the electorate that actually decides the election. It would be dumb for him to risk that when he has a whole division of the DOJ whose job it is to take the states to court over violating “civil rights”. Just unleash them in friendly court rooms, in other words use the same weapons against them they have used against him. No downside, it forces the governors to defend their actions in courts, both federal and public opinion, if he prevails he looks strong and they look week and if they win he can show he tried and make them look like oppressors.
          I don’t know where people get the idea that Trump is some cowboy, he has showed time and again that as annoying as these federal injunctions are he will complain and move on to appealing the decision. It has been several governors whom have been the ones willing to send in the troops to enforce arbitrary orders. Even before he became President Trump learned how to use the courts to his advantage.

  25. Liberals Have Rediscovered the 10th Amendment’s Value During the Coronavirus Pandemic,

    Yeah, and at the same time all these “Constitutionalists” and “federalists” seem to have forgotten it.

    1. Not this Constitutionalist. http://www.restorefederalism.org

  26. “”The editor of Mother Jones, a left leaning magazine, Clara Jeffrey, wasn’t having it. “To be clear, Trump can’t do [expletive] to force churches/temples/mosques to open. Little thing called the 10th Amendment,” she tweeted.””

    They will give lip service to the 10th if they can use it against Trump. That’s the only reason.

    1. The wording she uses might be displaying more than she might have intended.

      There’s a difference between not forcing them to remain closed and “forcing them to open”. Could it be that she can’t envision a world in which governmental authority is used for any purpose other than to compel some kind of action? Is it so inconceivable that some level of government would refrain from compulsion and simply allow an organization to open or not as they see fit?

      1. Consider how they misrepresented Trumps EO on meat packing plants as forcing them to open and/or forcing their employees back to work. Progressives very often think in terms of government either forcing an action or forcibly preventing an action – regardless, government force is generally a good thing in their view.

        1. In the context of Covid, many of them also seem to consider any risks arising from any level exposure to a virus with a IFR under 0.5% for those under 65 to be on par with the level of danger faced by the initial wave of infantry storming the beaches at “Utah” and “Omaha” on D-Day in 1944.

          It kind of scares me to see how many people I know who are both intelligent and well enducated but who think that “flattening the curve” is designed to utimately prevent almost everyone from ever getting exposed/infected by the virus rather than understanding that the whole point is to prolong the time that it takes for almost everyone to go through it in order to prevent the number of severe cases that might happen simultaneously from exceeding the capacity of the health care system.

  27. Just a question, but doesn’t the Presidential oath of office include phrasing that the President’s first duties is to uphold the Constitution? Doesn’t the 1A give the people the right to free assembly and religion? Doesn’t the 14A incorporate those rights at the state level, therefore rendering the 10A argument moot? I would say all of these being yes, the progressives once again are cherry picking the Constitution and ignoring the spirit and letter of it.

    1. You are correct. On top of that, if the governors wanted to invoke the 10th, they’d STILL have to show that their state’s constitution gives them the power to do it as well, otherwise they STILL don’t have the power…

  28. The left renewed their commitment to 10A and federalism in general within 90 minutes of trump being sworn into office. The CA state gov’t did everything short of declaring open war against the Feds before the end of Jan 2017.

    The day after the next election when a Dem becomes president-elect, I’d put the probability at 90% that they’ll revert to their previous stance that the term “State’s Rights” is nothing more than a racist “dog whistle” for people they imagine want nothing more than to re-institute the “Jim Crow” systems that they seem to honestly believe weren’t entirely enacted by the Democratic Party. Once the next Dem is inaugurated, that probability rises to 99+%, and that the entirety of their rhetoric against the increasing concentration of power in the Federal Executive Branch during the entire duration of the trump administration will go down a most Orwellian “memory hole” and any reference to it having happened will be treated as a “conspiracy theory” that could only have been imagined by Alex Jones on peyote.

    1. ^^ This guy gets it.

  29. The Left has not “discovered” anything. They are playing a rhetorical came. There is zero sincere belief in the 10th on that side of the aisle.

  30. Ya, sure. And when the feds start tracking everyone’s movements, it’ll be justified under the general welfare clause according to those same people. They just reinterpret everything in whatever light pushes their preconceived policies. It doesn’t mean anything.

    Oh, and let’s not forget the 10th also references reserving rights “to the people,” which doesn’t seem to ever come up.

  31. I good test would be if any of the governor’s prohibitions could be construed as racially biased. We already know it doesn’t matter if they are biased against religion.

    My thought would be if there was even a whiff of racial bias, of course black discrimination its the only kind that matters, Trump/Feds would step in in a nanosecond. Blink and they’d be there.

    Racial gender and LGBT discrimination are the only kind of civil rights that matter anymore.

  32. The feds have the power to enforce the constitution on the states.

    We have the right to assemble. States can limit that right in a pandemic, but they don’t have carte blanche. There is no justification for a state to allow beaches to reopen but forbid an in person church service (once a week, limited capacity, sanitized condition).

    Why does the left embrace the 10th amendment to allow churches to open? Why? Would they agree with Alabama dismantling every protest against police brutality, if most of the protesters don’t wear masks? Why are liquor stores open, when you can get liquor at Walmart? How can a governor forbid me from buying seeds and paint?

    It’s a total BS, and an honest media would be calling them out. Federalism would allow a state like NY to forbid church services without blessing from the feds. But most states aren’t hot spots.
    Malls are starting to reopen now. Trump is entirely correct to threaten federal intervention in states that allow gatherings in some instances, but not in others. Freedom of religion is specifically mentioned in the first amendment, it’s significance was recognized by the founders.

  33. Alright. It’s good to see that the left is suddenly supportive of the Tenth Amendment. Now, since it is the 17th amendment which impedes the 10th amendment, let’s see if the left wingers are really sincere in their beliefs, and get behind a movement for the repeal of the 17th amendment. http://www.restorefederalism.org

  34. Did I miss how we tell these people apart from the ones that were crying foul when Trump wasn’t demanding that all the states shut down completely as NY and NJ did?
    I guess we are to assume that he only has the power to command states to close, but not have them reopen.
    I think one of the few good things about this whole situation is that it has shown that the rights of states to govern their people from a local needs perspective works. Let’s try expanding to other issues and let people have a choice again about the environment in which they choose to live.

  35. Let us not forget: The 10th Amendment of the Constitution says powers not delegated to federal government are reserved to the states,”. oilfield electrician

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.