Happy Constitution Day

September 17, 2010

On this day, September 17th, 223 years ago, the U.S. Constitution was signed at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. That day represented one of the greatest days in American history and quite possibly world history. The principles contained in the Constitution were groundbreaking for governments of that time and are the foundation for the many freedoms were experience today that are uniquely American.

One important way the Constitution is structured is that it places limits on Congress. They have authority to make laws that pertain only to certain issues such as taxation, international commerce, currency regulation, the federal Judiciary, and the armed forces to name a few. The Constitution also grants Congress the authority to make laws necessary and proper for the carrying out of their enumerated powers which is a clause that has been stretched to grant the federal government authority far beyond what our founding fathers intended. The Tenth Amendment reasserts that Congress may only make laws that fall within their Constitutional authority.

Unfortunately, the Tenth Amendment has been ignored for decades as Congress steadily increases its power into unauthorized areas, such as placing health and educational mandates on states.

During the 2010 legislative session, we worked to pass legislation reminding Congress of their Constitutional limits, but the bill failed to win passage. Despite that the actual bill died, its underlying principle is still very important. We must work to hold Congress accountable to the Constitution.

Our country was built by great thinkers who envisioned a unique and free future for Americans. They intentionally designed our Constitution to ensure certain freedoms and if Congress continues to ignore the boundaries specifically created by the Founding Fathers, the country we know and love today will cease to exist. It is time for concerned citizens to stand up for the Constitution and hold their elected officials accountable and what better day than Constitution Day.

I urge you to reach out to your elected officials on the federal level and remind them to act within the boundaries of the Tenth Amendment and I will continue to work with my colleagues in the state legislature to pass meaningful legislation holding Congress accountable.