The candidates, running in different state or federal races around the country, are united in their support of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment. They came to the summit in Atlanta to join forces with and express support for what is becoming known as the Tenth Amendment movement. They believe that the federal government is unconstitutionally consolidating powers that belong to the people or the states, and that this power grab must be reversed — not just through federal actions to eliminate or phase out unconstitutional federal laws but also through state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws. That is, they believe that the states should refuse to abide by the federal government's unconstitutional encroachments in their states, based on the clear language of the 10th Amendment, which 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.
Leaving no doubt as to their support of the 10th Amendment, or the Constitution in general, the candidates met in a closed-door session the first day of the summit to prepare the following joint statement:
We The People of the several States created a federal government to serve as our limited agent, delegating to the federal government only those limited and few powers listed in the Constitution, and no others.
We recognize the federal government has seized unlimited power over virtually every aspect of American’s lives in violation of the Constitution of the United States, specifically with respect to the Tenth Amendment.
We call upon freedom-loving citizens everywhere to stand with us, as candidates for state and federal office to pass meaningful and sensible legislation to restore the most critical check and balance deliberately designed into our constitutional republic; that of strong, sovereign states.
We pledge to limit and restrain all federal government exercise of power that exceeds in any way the plain language of those few powers listed in the Constitution and to nullify all others that exceed such limit.
When we restore the balance of power between the states and the federal government according to the Constitution, our country will enjoy the dynamic blessings of liberty and prosperity.
Event sponsor Ray McBerry observed that "the Constitution is a contract for limited government and the states must enforce the contract." He promised that, if he is elected Governor of Georgia, any federal agent showing up in his state to enforce an unconstitutional measure would face arrest and imprisonment.
Other speakers included former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is running for governor of Alabama; John Birch Society president John F. McManus; and Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. (Judge Andrew Napolitano, who was also scheduled to speak at the summit, was unable to attend.)
A surprising number of attendees were young — or so it seemed to this writer, who asked Boldin why so many young people are interested the Constitution. He answered: “We’re the Internet generation and we are skeptical about everything! So it’s an easy fit to question the government while you’re questioning everything else.”
Photo of Ray McBerry (with other candidates for public office): William Cherry