Why is the Tenth Amendment so important?


Quick Answer

The Tenth Amendment is important because it keeps the government from becoming too powerful, which would limit the individual liberties of the people. The Tenth Amendment was written to underscore the limited power of the federal government. It states that any powers that are not expressly outlined in the Constitution do not belong to the government; instead, they belong to the states or the people.

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Why is the Tenth Amendment so important?
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Full Answer

Those who supported the independence of U.S. citizens were hesitant to accept the Constitution when it was first drafted. These skeptics were called antifederalists and included Samuel Adams, Martin Luther and James Monroe. Antifederalists were concerned that the government would become as powerful as the ones the settlers had escaped from. The Tenth Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1791 to protect the liberties and sovereignty of the states from the federal government. According to the logic of the Tenth Amendment, members of congress should make sure that every proposed law is within the powers of the government as expressed by the Constitution. However, laws get passed that are not explicitly within the Constitution. Eminent domain, which is the right of the government to take property from citizens, is one example of a power that is not in the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment is important because the risk of not following it can lead to the loss of individual freedoms and rights.

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