Delegates Peace and Fralin File State Sovereignty Resolution

--The federal government is a creature of the states - not the other way around --(Walter E. Williams January 27, 1995)

From the Capitol where representatives cast the necessary vote on December 15, 1791 to ratify the United States Constitution, Virginia Delegates Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover) and William H. Fralin, Jr. (R-Roanoke) today introduced a House resolution to affirm those founding principles of Federalism guaranteed under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The resolution sets forth the principle that the Commonwealth of Virginia is sovereign and has authority to claim powers not specified or granted to the federal government.

Delegate Peace wrote in his Richmond Times-Dispatch Commentary (February 22, 2009), " Case law expounded upon this fundamental principle... Printz v. United States held that the federal system limits the ability of the federal government to use state governments as an instrumentality of the national government. But this traditional notion of Federalism has devolved into β€œcooperative federalism,” where Congress creates new state programs by affixing certain conditions to the receipt of those funds. These coercive acts may become so intolerable that long-term sustainability is in real question, and the ultimate danger is the erosion of the principles of Federalism whereby Virginia becomes, effectively, a ward of the federal super state.”

As a result, over the past year, states around the country passed resolutions claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment and resolving to serve notice and demand to the federal government to cease and desist mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers. Virginia, upon passage of this legislation, joins the movement that so clearly demonstrates the imbalance and growing concern that the federal government is increasing its dominance over their state policy affairs.

Del. Fralin states that β€œThe Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state of the United States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp. The states today in some cases are treated as agents of the federal government; and many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. "