What is 10th Amendment? CPAC guest Pete Hegseth dubbed 'lame' for saying 'real Americans' discuss it at diners

'When I go to my local diner in NE Philly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people talking about the 10th Amendment...Actually I can. It’s zero,' one user said

What is 10th Amendment? CPAC guest Pete Hegseth dubbed 'lame' for saying 'real Americans' discuss it at diners
Pete Hegseth said at CPAC 'real Americans' talk about Bible and the 10th Amendment at diners (Getty Images)
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Every year, the American Conservative Union hypes its Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by listing the galaxy of conservative leaders who’ve been invited to attend. This time, Fox News’s Pete Hegseth, who was one of the conservatives to speak at the conference, ruffled some feathers by saying how the "real Americans" talk about the 10th Amendment. Now, internet users want to know more about the amendment.

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During his speech, Hegseth claimed that when he sits down with real Americans at diners across this nation, "they're not talking about esoteric things that the Ivy League talks about. They're talking about things like the Bible, standing for the national anthem... and the 10th Amendment".

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As soon as Hegseth's comments came to light, people started talking about it and some even mocked him. One user said, "99.99% of Americans can't tell you what the 10th Amendment is. Also, Pete has degrees from 2 Ivy League schools." While another one wrote, "The 10th Amendment when it heard people were finally talking about it."

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US Rep Brendan Boyle replied to Hegseth's statement saying, "When I go to my local diner in NE Philly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people talking about the 10th Amendment...Actually I can. It’s zero. Lots of Eagles and Flyers talk though." While another person wrote: "I live in a rural area and my kids live in small towns. In the time before COVID, we went to a lot of local restaurants and diners together for dinner. I heard and overheard a lot of conversations. Never was the topic the Bible or standing for the anthem or the 10th Amendment."

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Commentator Chris Hayes tweeted, "Fwiw we led our show last night with the fact the minimum wage is too low and it’s too hard to make ends meet for too many Americans. But maybe that’s more esoteric than the 10th amendment, I dunno." While Project Lincoln's Administrative Director, Fred Wellman wrote, "I was just saying to the lady bringing me my pancakes. “Man..how about that 10th Amendment?” She was like “right! Federalism is so important to me and my kids futures!” I’m also lying like Pete." One more said, "I have never heard anyone talk about the 10th amendment outside of a law school." Another said, "The 10th Amendment? In diner conversation? Lame!"

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What is the 10th Amendment?

The 10th Amendment is an addendum to the United States Constitution and exists within the Bill of Rights. According to the US Government's official website, “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.” It helps to define the division of power between the federal government and the state governments.

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This Amendment was enacted on December 15, 1791. It exposes the principle of federalism, also known as states' rights, by stating that the federal government has only those powers assigned to it by the Constitution and that all other powers not forbidden to the states by the Constitution are reserved to each state. It was proposed by the 1st United States Congress in 1789 during its first term following the approval of the Constitution. 

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According to the scope and purposes listed, ‘‘The amendment states but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered. There is nothing in the history of its adoption to suggest that it was more than declaratory of the relationship between the national and state governments as it had been established by the Constitution before the amendment or that its purpose was other than to allay fears that the new national government might seek to exercise powers not granted, and that the states might not be able to exercise fully their reserved powers.’’ It further states, "this provision was not conceived to be a yardstick for measuring the powers granted to the Federal Government or reserved to the States was firmly settled by the refusal of both Houses of Congress to insert the word ‘‘expressly’’ before the word ‘‘delegated".

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