Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791. It helps explain the concept of federalism, the relationship between federal and state governments. 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.

Text

"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.

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. It was intended to put to rest any fears the new national government would seek additional powers that the states could then could not fully use.

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. Instead, she 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..."

Images for kids


Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.