Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and the 10th Amendment

tim_pawlentyI grew up in Minnesota and since it was my last place of residence in the US, still vote in the state. After hearing the radio interview this week where Gov. Tim Pawlenty – rumoured to be considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 – joined the so-called “tenthers” I sent this e-mail to him this morning. Fraser Hall is (or was, at the time I was there) the law school at the University of Minnesota.
— On Sat, 9/12/09, Charley James wrote —

To: tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us
Subject: Your Comment On The 10th Amendment
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2009, 9:23 AM

Dear Gov. Pawlenty,

I heard your radio interview this week in which you asserted that the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to not participate in federal health reform legislation.

Were you in hospital the week they taught Constitutional law at Fraser Hall law school while at the University of Minnesota where you supposedly received a J.D? Don’t you remember what was taught about the 10th Amendment? The Supreme Court hasn’t held truck with plaintiffs using it to block Congressional action since before the Civil War.

When I was an undergrad at the UofM, I tested into a graduate school seminar on the Constitution in the Political Science department and wrote a paper on the 10th Amendment. Basically, courts have held for more than 100 years that it’s usurped by Article 1, which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce and promote the general welfare. I received an “A” and I’d be happy to send a copy of the paper to you to refresh your memory. In case I can’t locate it quickly, you might want to read a bit of Thomas Jefferson or look up the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the federal income tax.

Such nonsense comments are unworthy of a governor, or at least one who isn’t governor of Texas. They may play well with the fringe, right wing base that votes in Republican presidential primaries but they make you sound like an utter fool, and an uneducated one at that. It’s bad enough my native state has to contend with a Michelle Bachman; her excuse is that she is an uninformed crazy woman. You went to law school and don’t have an excuse..

Charley James


Somehow, I suspect Pawlenty is more interested in the impact of his idiotic comments on the GOP‘s dwindling base of lunatics than he is in my comments. If I hear back, I’ll let you know.

Charley James
The Progressive Curmudgeon

Published by the LA Progressive on September 17, 2009
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About Charley James

If you are born in Milwaukee, chances are you're born a Democrat. So, I gravitated naturally to liberal politics as an activist and a journalist. I've been writing since I was eight and, after working in newsrooms for far too long, I have devoted much of the past decade as an independent investigtative jouralist. For much of the past year, I've been writing about homelessness - America's immorality play.