History's End

History will end only when Man does

Location: United States
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  • Saturday, December 18, 2004


    I was reading through my paper copy of the Constitution recently, and came across something that I completely forgot was there. Its part of Article I, Section 10, Clause 3, dealing with powers permitted to the states by Congress. Here it is:
    No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
    (An Online version of the US Constitution can be found here)

    The bold highlight is the part that I forgot completely about. I don't think that this part of the clause has ever been exercised by any state, but its there, waiting to be used. Its a reminder that when the Constitution was created, the United States was referred to in the plural, as in, These United States are... The balance of power has, over time, gone to the side of the Federal Government, but there are parts of the Constitution that still give plenty of power to the states, and remind of more federalist minded times. The Tenth Amendment is perhaps the most important part of the Constitution, where it relates to State Power, but that has little relevence in this day and age. However, the right court case could change that.

    This bolded part above really strikes me as something amazingly powerful, yet likely to never be used. In fact, it should provide some security to those Americans who worry about what a weak President may do when it comes to National Security. For if a state should feel that it is in "immediate danger", then it does indeed possess the ability to wage war without the consent of Congress. Imagine that, in this day and age.

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