What Does the 10th Amendment Mean?

The constitution is always present in order to create a more peaceful way or means of living for all citizens of a particular country. Just like in the constitution of the United States, different amendments are being ratified in order to become a law for all the American citizens to abide. Each amendment states a different principle wherein people could follow and base their judgment as legal or illegal. In the United States Constitution, it has been amended 27 times and the first ten amendments are called as the US Bill of Rights. This is the reason why it is very important that all Americans do understand each amendment by heart. Gaining knowledge and understanding can basically help the people abide with these amendments. We could start by understanding the last portion of the Bill of Rights. What does the 10th Amendment mean?

The 10th Amendment or the Amendment X of the United States Constitution was ratified on the 15th of December, 1791. This amendment exactly states that “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.” This basically shows the Constitution’s principle of federalism. It means that all powers that are not granted or assigned to the federal government and are not prohibited to the states are always reserved to the states. In short, this amendment clearly defines the states’ rights. If a certain right or power is not specifically given or assigned to the Federal government, this will now become a property or an ownership of the states. If this is not prohibited to the states, then the right will automatically fall under their hands. It is however, important to make it clear that the power is only given to the individual States in the Union.

In case some of us still cannot grab the essence of this amendment, we can always make use of some examples. For one, gay marriage is allowed in some of the states of America, but it is prohibited in others. This is because individual states are capable of making their own laws that are outside the constitution for their own jurisdictions. This is the reason why the 10th amendment is also called as the State’s Rights Amendment. This implies that not all laws applicable in a state are also applicable in others.

This is basically the meaning of the 10th amendment of the US Constitution. Knowing each amendment can greatly help citizens know their rights as well as their roles and jobs as a certified resident of the country.

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