" 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."
Lets break it down by phrases. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution," is pretty clear and easy to understand. It is not hampered by legalese or the use of words whose definition might have changed during the last 220 years. It is inclusive, meaning that ALL POWERS not delegated (given, assigned, specified) to the United States (the federal government) "ARE reserved (given, assigned, specified) to the States...". If the Constitution does not give the federal government a power, then the States have that power!
BUT there are two qualifying phrases that modify this basic language. The first declares "nor prohibited by it to the States", an example of a power prohibited to the States by the Constitution, would be the printing and coinage of money. That is a federal function as stated in Article I, Section 8 outlining the powers of the Congress.
The second qualifying phrase is "or to the people." This means that if the writers of the Constitution didn't include some power or function specifically assigned to the federal government or the States THEN it is a power or function for the people. It was DELIBERATE not an oversight!
This means that our Constitution is a document that LIMITS the reach of the federal government. The powers of the federal government are clearly spelled out, listed, and specified in the Constitution and it was the intention of the founders that anything NOT listed, spelled out, or specified did not, should not, and would not be a federal power.
Unfortunately, beginning with the Progressive Movement around 1900, politicians and activist judges have been chipping away at the powers of the States/People and ADDING to the powers of the federal government. That is why we have a Department of Education when education is CLEARLY a state/people responsibility. There are many other examples.
By knowing our Constitution we can elect men and women who also know the document and overturn the last 110 years of decay and erosion of the powers that belong exclusively to the states or to the people.
I welcome your comments. I especially welcome any defense or rebuttal that might be contributed by liberals/progressives/socialists reading this blog.