THOSE WHO dreamed up the federal government-enforced Constitution Day for schools and colleges might want to spend that day reading the Tenth Amendment which says, "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 way the feds repeatedly get around the Tenth Amendment is through greenmail, saying in effect, "We don't have the right to tell you what to do but we do have the money so if you want our money you have to do what the Tenth Amendment says we can't tell you do." Since schools and college get federal funds, they are easy targets of greenmail.
This would be a worthy topic of discussion in schools and colleges on Constitution Day.
Since the average state probably gets a quarter of its revenues from intergovernmental grants in aid, and that 25% ties down a lot more through matching funds requirements and mandates, greenmail is a potent force indeed.
The latest revised Arkansas state constitution proposed by the political class here would have authorized state agencies to apply for federal funds to spend pursuant to federal programs, without the need for an appropriation from the legislature. In other words, the governor would have been made independent of the legislature's power of the purse, and would instead have become an administrative arm of the federal government. That was, by the way, a central issue in the revolutionary struggle between Masachusetts and the British Parliament. The Brits were using tax revenue collected in the colonies to pay colonial governors and judges, and render them independent of their own colonial legislatures' power of the purse.
constitution , constitution day , federalism