The 10th amendment simply states:
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.How can you get any simpler than this? The purpose of this amendment was to protect the rights of the states. In fact, it's the only reason many of the original 13 states signed onto this Constitution.
Many of the original states had schools that were run by religion. Many of the states allowed slavery. They didn't want the Federal government to force them to do things another way. They wanted to protect their sovereignty: the right to have supreme authority over a particular area or region.
So, if you go by this ruling, there are really only seven things that Congress and the Senate have a right to rule on, such as commerce, ware, etc. Everything else is left to the states and the people to decide.
By the 10th amendment, abortion should be up to the states and the same for healthcare. Massachusetts, therefore, has a right to rule on healthcare, the U.S. government does not. Also, Rowe-V-Wade is also unconstitutional.
The 10th amendment was the founding fathers affirmation of Federalism, or state's rights. It assured that the Constitution gives lawmakers limited rights.
The idea here is the founders understood that since every state or geographic region is different, the states or local governments were more likely to reflect the interests of the people because the decision makers come from the regions or communities they are making laws for -- they are directly affected by their decision.
If people want to make change in the United States, this should not be done by the Federal Government. Why? Because this would be forcing people to do things they do not want to do, and trampling on their natural rights. Many of our presidents, including George Bush and Obama, have ignored the 10th amendment, and we lose rights as a result. Obama's healthcare reform act is a perfect example of trampling on state rights.
If people want change, they can do so at the state level. Massachusetts passed a healthcare law, and it is working poorly. It acts as an example for other states, and since it's working poorly few other states want a similar program.
School choice is another example. Many states have given parents vouchers so they can decide what schools their kids go to. Since these programs work so well, other states have copied them.
The 10th amendment is also great because it allows to states to gamble, but prevents the states from doing so. If the Massachusetts healthcare law fails, one state will fail and not the entire nation. If Obamacare fails, the entire nation suffers as a result.
If one state like California wants to burden it's people with high taxes, it can do so. If California wants to tax businesses 50-75 percent, those businesses can move to a state with lower taxes. The economy of California will take a major hit, but not the whole nation. If Obama raises taxes the same, he's forcing everyone to take that same risk. However, taxation is covered in the constitution, and it therefore is constitutional for Washington to tinker with taxes.
So the 10th amendment has merit, and should not be ignored.