America’s founding document is clear: “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.”

Aided by the work of the Tenth Amendment Center, the Southwest Public Policy Institute is tracking federalism-focused bills in our region.

We are not — repeat, not — commenting on the merits or deficiencies of any of these bills. (Decide for yourself.) But we do think they’re worth noting. Washington is $31.5 trillion in debt (not counting its unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs), and states are sure to assume larger roles once D.C. is finally forced to confront its looming insolvency.

And that shift is a good thing. Government that taxes, spends, and regulates closer to the people is usually better government. One-size-fits-all policy, mandated by wildly out of touch elites sequestered in The Swamp, has proved to be disastrous. It’s time for key decisions on matters that impact Americans’ everyday lives to be made by elected officials more accountable to voters.

Oklahoma’s Senate is considering a plan to “establish a state bullion depository,” which “would not only create a safe place to store precious metals; it also has the potential to facilitate the everyday use of gold and silver in financial transactions … and set the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.”

Arizona’s House will debate a proposal to “prohibit the state and its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the United States government that is inconsistent with any … state law regarding the authority of state and local law enforcement agencies.”

Oklahoma could “legalize clinical trials for the medical use of psilocybin, setting the stage to nullify federal prohibition of the same in practice and effect.”

Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma have drafted bills challenging federal gun control.

HB1086 “would further opt Colorado out of a federal program that allows state and local police to get around more strict state asset forfeiture laws.”

• In Texas, a lawmaker has submitted a bill to “protect the … National Guard from being deployed into active combat duty in unconstitutional wars.” In Arizona, 11 members of the House have introduced “legislation [that] would prohibit the governor from releasing any unit or member of the Arizona National Guard into ‘active duty combat’ unless specific constitutional requirements are met.”

In the months to come, we’ll see how these and other stand-up-to-D.C. efforts fare. But one thing is for certain — state lawmakers are growing more and more comfortable exercising their authority under the Tenth Amendment.

By D. Dowd Muska

Dowd brings nearly 30 years of research and writing experience to the Institute. A veteran of several think tanks, he is an expert on government at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.

Raised on an apple orchard in the Connecticut River Valley, D. Dowd Muska is a researcher, writer, editor, and commentator. His focus is the nexus of fiscal policy, economic development, and technology.

Mr. Muska is the author of numerous policy studies, and his writing has appeared in newspapers throughout the nation, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Detroit News, the Orlando Sentinel, the Cape Cod Times, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Hartford Courant, the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Albuquerque Journal, the New Haven Register, and The Oklahoman. A graduate of The George Washington University, he lives in the Albuquerque metro area, but has started (very) early planning for a relocation to the Sierra Blanca in Lincoln County, New Mexico. He recently launched the Substack platform No Dowd About It.

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