(Atlanta - 1 March 2010) Even as snowstorms were blanketing much of the northeast, a firestorm for the cause of liberty and state sovereignty was heating up in Atlanta on Thursday and Friday.
Hosted by Ray McBerry, Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, the first national Tenth Amendment Summit convened for the purpose of bringing candidates together from around the country who are running on a Tenth Amendment platform, each with the goal of restraining the power of the federal government through the assertion of peaceful, constitutional means. The event was co-sponsored by the Tenth Amendment Center in California.
Thursday night's closed-door meeting included twenty-five candidates from across America who represented thirteen states -- more than a quarter of the states that make up the union. Of the candidates pa rticipating, there were fifteen running for Congress, one for U.S. Senate, one for state senate, five for state house, and three candidates for governor of their respective states. There were also both men and women present, running for office.
Perhaps more telling, though, was the fact that the candidates included Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents. While it was obvious that all of the candidates did not share the same views on many issues, it was very apparent that each shared the common belief that his or her state should be allowed to govern itself without federal encroachment in any area other than those powers expressly granted to it in the Constitution.
The closed-door meeting Thursday night was a strategy session for the candidates to discuss what is working currently to promote the cause of state sovereignty and how the group can work together to advance the cause more.
Friday's all-day meeting was open to the public and included speeches from nearly all of the participating candidates, including the keynote speaker -- former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is currently a Republican candidate for governor of Alabama. Ray McBerry, candidate for governor in Georgia, was the first speaker; he welcomed the audience of four hundred attendees, some who travelled from as far away as Washington state to be a part of the historic event. McBerry spoke of several constitutional mechanisms that the states could begin to employ in their efforts to resist federal encroachments, including legislation which he has helped to author that is currently sponsored in the Georgia General Assembly.
One of the important things to emerge from the Summit was a statement presented by the candidates Friday morning as a mutual statement of purpose. It reads as follows: We The People of the several States created a federal government to serve as our limited agent, delegating to the federal government only those limited and few powers listed in the Constitution, and no others.
We recognize the federal government has seized unlimited power over virtually every aspect of Americans’ lives in violation of the Constitution of the United States, specifically with respect to the Tenth Amendment.
We call upon freedom-loving citizens everywhere to stand with us, as candidates for state and federal office, to pass meaningful and sensible legislation to restore the most critical check and balance deliberately designed into our constitutional republic: that of strong, sovereign states.
We pledge to limit and restrain all federal government exercise of power that exceeds in any way the plain language of those few powers listed in the Constitution and to nullify all others that exceed such limit.
When we restore the balance of power between the states and the federal government according to the Constitution, our country will enjoy the dynamic blessings of liberty and prosperity.