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Tenth Amendment (1791)

When ratification of the Constitution was being debated, many states proposed amendments to the document. The one principle that was suggested by every state is the one reflected in this amendment: The states and the people keep those powers not delegated to the federal government, and which the Constitution does not forbid to states in Article I, Section 10.

In the Supreme Court case McCullough v. Maryland (1819), Chief Justice John Marshall noted that the Tenth Amendment does not say “expressly delegated,” and therefore the federal government does have implied powers by virtue of the ones enumerated in Article I, Section 8. Other Supreme Court cases that have involved the principle of the Tenth Amendment include South Dakota v. Dole (1987), U.S. v. Lopez (1995), and U.S. v. Morrison (2000).

The Tenth Amendment reflects the constitutional principles of federalism, individual rights, and limited government.