It seems there’s a bill in the Texas legislature that seeks to opt the state out of any federal bargains they may be subject to.

It starts off in seemingly-common-sense water…

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution and no more; and

Okay. That’s true. It’s about all the Tenth Amendment says. In fact, here’s the whole thing:

Amendment X

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.

Okay. But here’s where we start getting into Weirdoland:

WHEREAS, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; […]

See where they’re going with this? More after the break…

I’m not a constitutional scholar, but I don’t think it’s abundantly clear that the federal government was created specifically to be an “agent of the states.” That, I would think, is a serious misreading of the Constitution, and of the principles of federalism.

Further, I don’t think that it’s “demonstrably” clear that states are now “agents” of the federal government. How does this even work?

Finally, on the last “WHEREAS” I’ve included, which laws exactly are in “direct violation” of the Tenth Amendment? If by “laws” they mean federal regulations that states have conceded to in order to benefit from federal assistance and tax redistribution, well, you can’t very well make the argument that they’re violating the Constitution, because they were entered into voluntarily (albiet with a little financial strong-arming in many cases).

But hey, no need to take my word for this stuff. Here’s Federalist No. 2 to get you started.

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