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Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

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The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791.[1] It helps explain the concept of federalism, the relationship between federal and state governments.[2] The Tenth Amendment clearly states that any remaining powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states or for the people.


Template-specific style sheet:

"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.[1]

Powers not delegated

The single point of the Tenth Amendment was to clearly show the balance of power between the federal and state governments as established by the Constitution.[3] It was intended to put to rest any fears the new national government would seek additional powers that the states could then not fully use.[4]

In Bond v. United States (2011), Carol A. Bond had been convicted under the federal Chemical Weapons Implementation Act of 1998 for a local assault using a chemical irritant (a chemical that causes skin burns). Bond's attorneys argued the federal law was intended for terrorists and rogue states.[5] Instead, should have been prosecuted under state law. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court reversed the decision by the lower court and sent the case back. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: "Bond has standing to challenge the federal statute on grounds that the measure interferes with the powers reserved to States..., etc."