On a Thursday night Republican Governors Association conference call with conservative activists, moderated by Erick Erickson of RedState, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) broached the possibility of “asserting the 10th Amendment” to keep Minnesota from fully participating in a health care plan passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. The 10th Amendment reads:
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.
The question from the caller: “I want to know if any of the governors are willing to invoke the 10th Amendment if the health care bill is passed.” Pawlenty’s answer, below the fold:
Thank you for the question. It’s a great question. I don’t think the nation’s had a proper federalism debate since Ronald Reagan raised the issue regularly in the 1980s. And by federalism of course we mean the proper relationship between the federal government and the states, trained as a cornerstone around the 10th Amendment. I believe that amendment has been discounted to the point of making me very sad.
Depending on what the federal government comes out with here, asserting the 10th Amendment might be viable option, but we don’t know the details. As one of the other callers said, we can’t really even get the president to outline what he does or doesn’t support in any detail. So we’ll have to see. I’d say that’s a possibility.
You’re starting to see more governors, including me, and specifically Gov. Perry from Texas, and most Republican governors express concern around these issues and get more aggressive about asserting and bringing up the 10th Amendment. So I think we could see hopefully a resurgence of those claims and maybe even lawsuits if need be.
This post has been updated.