Roger WickerIn an effort to reaffirm the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states those powers  not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduced the Wicker Bill during the 2010 congressional lame-duck session. Dubbed "The Restoring the 10th Amendment Act," the Wicker bill is described by its author as “a step toward restoring states' rights.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Dec. 30 that 52-year-old Ohio resident John Harmon is suing the Hamilton County sheriff’s department and four deputies for civil rights violations after an October 2009 traffic stop turned violent. The stop quickly escalated into an abusive incident in which Harmon was seriously beaten and his property damaged.

A U.S. Navy captain who produced and showed videos containing profanity, sexual innuendo, and slurs against homosexuals to personnel aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Enterprise was relieved of command of the carrier January 4. Captain Owen Honors (left) showed the videos in 2006 and 2007 to nearly 6,000 sailors and marines while he was second in command of the vessel, but the Navy moved to discipline him only after an article about the videos appeared in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot newspaper on January 1.

Robert GatesSecretary of Defense Robert Gates is scheduled to brief members of Congress on Thursday, January 6, on his drive to find $100 billion in savings in the defense budget over the next five years. But the White House and the Pentagon are at odds over how much needs to be cut and where to direct the money saved, according to a report from Reuters news service.

Now that the 112th Congress has been sworn in and subjected to the reading of the Constitution and its 27 amendments, the direction of that Congress is beginning to take shape. In response to pressure from Americanists, Tea Partiers, Constitutionalists, and other limited-government supporters, Congress' first effort at legislation will be to vote tomorrow to cut its own budget by 5 percent. That would result in savings of a minuscule $35 million, but loyalists are taking heart that the "first olive out of the bottle is always the hardest" and that much bigger targets and greater success lie ahead.