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Although the Constitution does not clearly delineate many of the boundaries between the powers of the federal and state governments, the Supreme Court has frequently invoked certain constitutional provisions when determining that Congress has exceeded its constitutional powers and infringed upon state sovereignty. 

The Tenth Amendment, a provision both a shield and sword against federal encroachment, is a crucial part of our Constitution. It states that “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.” This knowledge empowers us as citizens to understand and defend our rights. 

Unfortunately, in modern times, the Court has fluctuated between the view that the Tenth Amendment restricts Congress’s power and the view that it is a mere truism that cannot be used to strike down federal statutes.  

Other notable provisions addressing Congress’s power relative to the states that the Court has debated include the Supremacy Clause in Article VI, which establishes federal law as superior to state law; the Commerce Clause in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, which grants Congress the authority to legislate on matters concerning interstate commerce; and Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which grants Congress the power to enforce that Amendment’s guarantees against the states through the enactment of legislation. 

More broadly, federalism principles brace up many Supreme Court decisions interpreting individual rights and the extent to which the Court should federalize, for example, the rights afforded to state criminal defendants. However, judges and scholars disagree on how basic principles of federalism should be realized, and a key point of controversy is whether the judiciary should enforce the interests of the states against the Federal Government or leave the resolution of such key questions about that relationship to the political process. 

Herein lies the problem. When the solution is left to the political process, history has shown us that the federal government will consistently assume its interests outweigh those of the sovereign states. This was precisely why the Tenth Amendment was added to the Constitution: to clarify the balance of power between federal and state authorities, a principle deeply rooted in our nation's history.

Therefore, it is not only important but also our duty as American citizens to act. We need to convene a Convention of States under Article V to propose a new amendment to the Constitution. This amendment would clarify the Tenth Amendment, which was intended to clearly delineate federal and state authorities. Clearly, our federal congressional representatives are either incapable of understanding, unwilling to acknowledge, or ignorant of the powers the Constitution grants them. It's up to us to make a change.

By proposing a new amendment through a Convention of States, we can redefine the authorities granted to Congress. This amendment has the potential to put an end to their infringement on states’ constitutional rights, offering hope for a more balanced power structure. It's a step towards a brighter future.

It's crucial to remember that this change can only be brought about by us, the citizens of North Carolina. By taking a few minutes out of our busy schedules to contact our State Senator and strongly encourage them to support the passage of HJR 235 during this session, we can actively participate in this important process.

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