States Trust, a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, exists to restore the states as a key voice in federal policymaking, under the framework of the Tenth Amendment.

Our work focuses on the revival of sovereignty in its proper homes: first in the people, then in the states, and then in the federal government. Return here for the latest news on our work and achievements as we move the states back to their rightful place in our national discourse — at the center.


It’s all in the name—States Trust. Like the Founders of this great nation, we understand that states play a vital role in our Republic. The federal system—a balance of power between the federal government and the states—is the best guarantor of individual freedoms because it prevents the concentration of power in Washington.

The Historical Foundation

We advocate for national policies that respect the vision of the Founders for a government that is federal
—in which government power is broadly distributed.

James Madison in Federalist No. 45

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

In 1932, he wrote, “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is about the scope of government. It limits not what we can do, but what government can do. And the Tenth Amendment is very specific; whatever powers aren’t granted to the federal government in the Constitution itself are reserved for the states, or for the citizens.

The Opportunity

For years, the left has leveraged the power of the federal government — often through the courts — to enact broad societal change. Progressives weren’t interested in academic debates over federalism — the proper balance between state powers and federal powers. They just wanted to put their policies in place.

But now that the White House is occupied by someone with a very different agenda, they’re seeing things more clearly now; more power to them. Empowering states to experiment with these policies — and many others — is exactly the approach we should take.

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