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Virginia delegates sign letter supporting 10th amendment on states' rights

Rosalind Helderman

Fifty-four Republican members of the Virginia House of Delegates have signed a letter calling on the federal government to "cease and desist" from passing mandates that exceed its power under the 10th amendment of the Constution, which says that powers not delegated to Congress in the document are left to the states.

"We on behalf of the Commonwealth assert that all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding, violates the spirit and intent of the authors of our Constitution," the letter reads in part.

The letter references "a number of proposals from previous administrations and other proposals that may be anticipated" as examples of "unbridled federalism." But a small knot of protesters who gathered on the states of the Virginia Capitol to receive a copy of the letter from Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William) made clear their prime concern of the moment is the federal health care bill.

The group planned to take the letter to Washington, where it will be presented to members of Virginia's Congressional delegation. The group members will then take part in today's Tax Day tea party rally. Lingamfelter urged the group to present its ideas respectfully but firmly. "I think some politicians believe this is just a passing fad. The people of this country want change--but they don't want the change that's coming out of Washington," Lingamfelter told them.

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By Rosalind Helderman  |  April 15, 2010; 10:17 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  | Tags: Constitution, Health care, Scott Lingamfelter, United States Constitution, Virginia, Virginia House of Delegates  
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I'd really like to know where these delegates where when Bush was the "Commander in Chief" taking this country in to two wars, tax cuts for the rich, and so on. Where were they. This is only an issue because we have a black president who also happens to be a democrat.. When you talk about the people of this country exactly who are you talking about. You can't speak for me and all the people in this country do NOT agree with Virginia... Speak for yourself and the tea party

Posted by: moreamericanthanyou | April 15, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Who let the Klan out? Woof, Woof, Woof!

Posted by: mmurphy6 | April 15, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I am so ashamed of my native Virginia...

Posted by: Rich393 | April 15, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

if only there was a way to harness the stupidity of elected officials in virginia to provide electricity. america would finally be free of it's dependence on foriegn oil.

Posted by: MarilynManson | April 15, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

They weren't concerned about Bush because he was acting under his powers on foreign policy and as Commander-in-Chief. Perhaps you missed the states rights part of the article. And they oppose the POTUS because of health care not because he's black.

Posted by: ronjaboy | April 15, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Nice signature there Barbara Comstock. I wonder how this will play with the moderate voters of the 34th who chose Obama by a 7-point margin, Warner by a 27-point margin, and Webb by a 14-point margin.

I'd say she turned her back on the voters of the 34th but I think they knew exactly what they were getting when they elected the hyper-partisan Ms. Comstock.

Posted by: antonioeliasiv | April 15, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is hyperpartisan about telling the federal government to stop overreaching it's authority?

What is racist about legislators arguing that the federal government is going beyond it's powers?

This isn't 1950. These legislators aren't trying to defend Jim Crow (if they were, they'd be Democrats). They are simply stating that they believe the federal government is going beyond its enumerated powers.

There's nothing stupid, racist or hyperpartisan about that.

And, by the way, it's an argument that Republicans were making long before the President was an elected official.

Posted by: DCG65 | April 15, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

DCG65 - First of all, the federal government is not "overreaching it's authority" on healthcare. See Supreme Court cases Wickard v. Filburn and Gonzalez v. Raich. Both state that the federal government hast the constitutional right to mandate personal intrastate commerce.

Also - sorry I did not clarify. Barbara Comstock is not hyperpartisan for signing this letter. I don't think the other 54 signers are automatically far-right or out-of-touch for doing so. I think Barbara Comstock is hyperpartisan for spending her entire career pushing Republican talking points and doing little else...

Posted by: antonioeliasiv | April 15, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Virginia declares psych. secession! What a bunch of ignorant unreal Americans. Virginia isn't good enough to be helped by our federal govt. I will be glad to offer McDoof his next CORRECT move.

Posted by: hoser3 | April 15, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

State of Virginia offers new depth to NO!

Posted by: hoser3 | April 15, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

We're taking suggestions on what Virginia's new name should be (as it appears statehood is not in its best interest).


Posted by: hoser3 | April 15, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Health care," along with "states' rights" are Virginia's latest code-terms for "We racists hate Obama because he's half black."

And every day it seems Governor Bob McRobertson floats or covertly condones a new conservative trial-balloon to test the Old Dominion's resurgent appetite for ante bellum "society."

Posted by: kinkysr | April 15, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Virginia secedes from sanity!

Posted by: hoser3 | April 16, 2010 2:45 AM | Report abuse

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