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Rounds Says 10th Amendment Supreme, Supports with Two Examples of Court Rejecting 10th Amendment

Senator Mike Rounds pretends to be Tea Party, and the best he can do is bleat ineffectually about lost court cases.

Senator Rounds is among 33 Congressional Republicans who contributed articles to a glorified PDF anthology from the Tea Party Express. Senator Rounds chooses to write about the vital role of the Tenth Amendment in protecting states’ rights. Senator Rounds supports his case by offering two examples of educated jurists refuting insurance-salesman Rounds’s reading of the Constitution. The 10th Amendment didn’t win on ObamaCare:

Annette Bosworth and Cardboard Mike Rounds
We might as well have elected Annette. Cardboard Mike’s speeches are about as useful.

South Dakota joined the Florida multistate lawsuit in 2010 to challenge the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) and prevent the federal government from exceeding its authority through the ACA. The states argued that the Commerce Clause has never before been interpreted to expand Congress’ authority to require individuals to purchase a specific product, such as health insurance, or face a penalty. Unfortunately, the states lost, and the Supreme Court again ruled to expand federal authority over the states. It will be up to Congress to fix its own mistakes [Senator M. Michael Rounds, “The 10th Amendment Is the Cure for Bad Government,” Tea Party Solutions for America, 2015, pp. 139–140].

The 10th Amendment didn’t win on highway funding:

The federal funding system further tightens the federal stranglehold on states. Today, the federal government is attempting to use state governments as its tool to enact policy. Of course, financial penalties result if states choose not to participate. The Congress seeks influence by encouraging, through financial incentives, the enactment of federal programs. In South Dakota v. Dole, 283 U.S. 203 (1987), the state of South Dakota sued the federal government to challenge the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. South Dakota lost the case, and the U.S. Supreme Court held that Congress did not violate the 10th Amendment because it merely exercised its right to control its spending. The implications of that decision and the authority granted to the federal government go much further than a drinking age for alcohol [Rounds, 2015, p. 140].

Rounds doesn’t offer an example of the Supreme Court giving the Tenth Amendment primacy over any specific policy. He just whines vaguely about local solutions being best.

But in that regard, Rounds shows himself to be an excellent Tea Party member. He facts, laws, court decisions, offers no specific or practical solutions, and just keeps mouthing other people’s slogans that sound good in his personal echo chamber.


  1. Cranky Old Dude 2015-04-24 12:24

    Interesting that RINO Mike is going all “Tea Party” on us…that group was pretty much Anybody But Rounds during the primary! Pandering is, of course, one of the tools of the Political Class and it looks like Rounds is getting in some practice.

    The Boz would have been more interesting; there’s nothing quite as entertaining as crazy.

  2. Paul Seamans 2015-04-24 12:46

    Does Mike Rounds want to get the federal government out of our face. I suggest that he start by telling the feds that we don’t need no stinking money from them. Our state can get along just fine without the feds providing over half of the funding of our state budget.

  3. rwb 2015-04-24 15:34

    His approach makes perfect sense when he’s addressing all those people who regard themselves as Constitutional experts.

    To the rest of us, he just looks like the same old lame Mike. Oh well.

  4. Roger Elgersma 2015-04-24 15:46

    Politicians who run and switch are not statesmen at all. But at heart he never was. He is an insurance salesman. He is covering his risks for the next election. He can tell the tea partiers that he was really for them all along and then go cover his other risks.

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-04-24 16:16

    Wait. Rounds illustrates the centrality and importance of amendment number 10 by citing two constitutionally critical cases that were ultimately decided by the highest court in the land to Not Be About Amendment Number Ten? What am I missing here?

    Or what is MM Rounds missing?

  6. bearcreekbat 2015-04-24 18:08

    Give Mike some credit. Selling insurance is not an easy vocation, but Mike has done it. Getting elected Governor is even tougher, but Mike did it. Then winning a Senate seat that was held for decades by Democrats can’t be easy, but Mike did it. He seems to be the Sarah Palin of SD, by getting people to give him money and support him despite his completely shallow actions.

    I don’t like any of his policy positions, but the fellow has really done well for himself and his family. I can’t really criticize him, but I do have doubts about every single voter who voted for him. As for Mike and his ability to milk the electorate to his own personal advantage, he, like Sarah, seems to be a superstar.

  7. Roger Elgersma 2015-04-24 18:34

    bearcreekbat is right. Both Rounds and South Dakota values sound much better than they actually are.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-04-24 19:40

    Yeah, Paul, I thought Rounds was going to abolish the Department of Education. Where’s that bill?

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-04-24 19:43

    Deb, I’m stumped by the compositional deficiency of the essay, as well as by the book’s editors’ willingness to publish such deficient composition. Rounds doesn’t even cite minority opinion or other counterarguments to tell us why the Supreme Court got those two cases wrong. He doesn’t cite other cases that affirm the Tenth Amendment. Rounds’s “chapter” in this Tea Party “book” is just words.

  10. Paul Seamans 2015-04-24 20:25

    Quite humorous bearcreekbat. Cory, I think that Mike is going to abolish the EPA before he starts work on the Dept. of Education. Right after he finishes building the Keystone XL with all the new jobs. Patience man, patience.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-04-24 20:55

    Patience–Haitians! I want it all, and I want it now!

  12. scott 2015-04-25 10:53

    Growing up I didn’t think SD could ever elect a more useless person to go to Washington DC then Larry Pressler. Well SD now has 2 people in DC that are even worse Larry Pressler, those being Noem and Rounds.

    Both Noem and Pressler are just like Pressler with a couple of items they keep repeating over and over every time they open their mouths. No action or solutions, just repeat the same slogan over and over.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-04-25 15:57

    And yet the formula works, Scott! What will it take to convince South Dakotans to elect someone intelligent and diligent about proposing real solutions?

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