The 10th 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.
Opponents of the Constitution (liberals) try to excuse their open disregard for the rule of law by deliberately misinterpreting things like the Commerce Clause or the General Welfare Clause to mean that Congress can do anything it feels like, as long as it can be construed to be “promoting the general welfare of the country,” for example.
This is a bald-faced lie that can be debunked beyond question. First of all, Why would Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution even bother spelling out the powers of Congress in the first place if it were intended to have a general power of legislation?
Additionally, James Madison, Architect of the Constitution, was confronted with this exact attempt to illegally expand federal powers in 1817, and he responded by emphatically denying that this was ever the intent of the Founders, or that they would have ever even ratified the Constitution in the first place if anyone involved had mistaken it to mean something so broad.
He clarified that the powers of the federal government are “few and defined,” and that the rights of the states and of the people were “numerous and indefinite.” He went on to explain that such a bastardization of what was created by the Founders would render “the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper. Such a view of the Constitution would give the Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them.”
Again, the Constitution is a strict, narrowly-defined enumeration of federal powers, and that which is not specifically spelled out in it as a federal power is a federal power that does not exist. What the Constitution created was a coalition between sovereign states, not an all-powerful body to rule over them from on high.
Control the borders, settle interstate disputes, deal with foreign governments. That is pretty much the extent of the federal government’s actual legal authority. Why does this matter? Because 95% of the problems we have right now wouldn’t exist if we were following the Constitution and keeping nearly all the power at the state and local level, where the individual has maximum control over his own community and affairs.
But instead, we continue to illegally nationalize all the power in this country away from the individual and into the hands of a few unaccountable extremists in Washington.