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Nullify Obamacare Bill Now!

The Constitution of the United States


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a
more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic
Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote
the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty
to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish
this Constitution for the United States of America.
____________________________________________________________________

• Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and


People

Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People.


Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

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.

____________________________________________________________________

Legal Definition of TENTH AMENDMENT

The Tenth Amendment provides that " 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. " U.S. Const.
amend. X. As a textual matter, therefore, the Tenth Amendment "states
but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered."
United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100, 124 (1941). By its terms, the
Amendment does not purport to limit the commerce power or any other
enumerated power of Congress.

In recent years, however, the Tenth Amendment has been interpreted


"to encompass any implied constitutional limitation on Congress'
authority to regulate state activities, whether grounded in the Tenth
Amendment itself or in principles of federalism derived generally from
the Constitution." South Carolina v. Baker, 485 U.S. 505, 511 n.5
(1988). Thus, "the Tenth Amendment confirms that the power of the
Federal Government is subject to limits that may, in a given instance,
reserve power to the States." New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144,
157 (1992).

There are numbers of ways in which the federal government is


permitted to secure the assistance of state authorities in achieving
federal legislative goals. First and most directly, the federal government
may coerce the states and their employees into complying with federal
laws of general applicability. Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan
Transit Authority, 469 U.S. 528 (1985). Second, Congress may condition
the grant of federal funds on the States' taking governmental action
desired by Congress. South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987).

State judicial and administrative bodies may be required to apply


federal law. Testa v. Katt, 330 U.S. 386 (1947); FERC v. Mississippi, 456
U.S. 742, 760-61 (1982). The federal government may offer to preempt
regulation in a given area, and permit the states to avoid preemption if
they regulate in a manner acceptable to Congress. Hodel v. Virginia
Surface Mining & Reclamation Ass'n, 452 U.S. 264, 290-91 (1981).

The federal government has been permitted effectively to compel the


states to issue registered rather than bearer bonds. South Carolina v.
Baker, 485 U.S. 505, 514 (1988). Finally, the federal government has
been permitted to require state utility regulators to consider prescribed
federal standards in determining regulatory policies. FERC v.
Mississippi, 456 U.S. at 765. In the course of the latter ruling, the
Supreme Court referred to and rejected the "19th century view" that
"Congress has no power to impose on a State officer, as such, any duty
whatever, and compel him to perform it." Id. at 761 (quoting Kentucky
v. Dennison, 24 How. 66, 107 (1861)). That view, said the Court, "is not
representative of the law today." Id. "The federal government has some
power to enlist a branch of state government . . . to further federal
ends." Id. at 762.

United States v. New York, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), "a direct order to
regulate, standing alone, would . . . be beyond the power of Congress."
Id. at 176. the Court in New York stated: "whether or not a particularly
strong federal interest enables Congress to bring state governments
within the orbit of generally applicable federal regulation, no Member
of the Court has ever suggested that such a federal interest would
enable Congress to command a state government to enact state
regulation." Id. at 178. In the same vein was the Court's conclusion
after reviewing the debates at the time of the founding of the
Constitution:

We have always understood that even where Congress has the authority
under the Constitution to pass laws requiring or prohibiting certain
acts, it lacks the power directly to compel the States to require or
prohibit those acts. E.g., FERC v. Mississippi. . . . The allocation of
power contained in the Commerce Clause, for example, authorizes
Congress to regulate interstate commerce directly; it does not authorize
Congress to regulate state governments' regulation of interstate
commerce. Id. at 166.

Other decisions of the Supreme Court have recognized this proposition


that the federal government cannot coerce States into performing the
ultimately sovereign acts of legislating or regulating in a manner
specified by the federal government. In Virginia Surface Mining, the
Court noted that the provision of an alternative of federal regulation
rendered federal standards for state regulation permissible; because the
State had a constitutional option, "there can be no suggestion that the
Act commandeers the legislative processes by directly compelling them
to enact and enforce a federal regulatory program." Virginia Surface
Mining, 452 U.S. at 288 (emphasis added). Similarly, In FERC v.
Mississippi, the Court noted that the federal command that the State
"consider" federal alternatives was constitutional because "[t]here is
nothing in PURPA 'directly compelling' the States to enact a legislative
program." FERC v. Mississippi, 456 U.S. at 765.
"[T]he etiquette of federalism has been violated by a formal command
from the National Government directing the State to enact a certain
policy, cf. New York." United States v. Lopez, 115 S.Ct. 1624, 1642
(1995) (Kennedy, J., concurring); see also Board of Natural Resources v.
Brown, 992 F.2d 937, 947 (9th Cir. 1993) ("direct commands to the
states to regulate according to Congress's instructions" "violate the
Tenth Amendment as interpreted by New York").

There are good reasons for focusing Tenth Amemdment concern on


federal coercion of a State's enactment of legislation or regulations or
creation of an administrative program. These activities are inherently
central acts of a sovereign; if an area of state activity is to be protected
from direct coercion by an implication drawn from the Tenth
Amendment, legislating and regulating are prime candidates. "[T]he
power to make decisions and to set policy is what gives the State its
sovereign nature." FERC v. Mississippi, 456 U.S. at 761. There is a
second reason, also, emphasized in New York itself. Democratic
governments must be politically accountable. When the federal
government requires the States to enact legislation, the enacted
legislation is state legislation. Thus, it will likely "be state officials who
will bear the brunt of public disapproval, while the federal officials who
devised the regulatory program may remain insulated from the
electoral ramifications of their decision." New York, 505 U.S. at 169.
When the federal government itself imposes a requirement on a state
official, the requirement is more clearly an act of the federal
government and thus does not, to the same extent, undermine political
accountability.

The Tenth Amendment view espoused in Kentucky v. Dennison, 65 U.S.


(24 How.) 66, 107 (1861), overruled by Puerto Rico v. Branstad, 483
U.S. 219 (1987), was that "the Federal Government . . . has no power to
impose on a State officer, as such, any duty whatsoever . . . ." See
Brown, 521 F.2d at 841. As the Supreme Court has made clear, the view
espoused in Kentucky v. Dennison is no longer representative of the law.
FERC, 456 U.S. at 761.

____________________________________________________________________
The 10th Amendment Movement

“If the federal government has the


exclusive right to judge the extent of its
own powers, warned the Kentucky and
Virginia resolutions’ authors (Thomas
Jefferson and James Madison,
respectively), it will continue to grow –
regardless of elections, the separation of
powers, and other much-touted limits on
government power.”
–Thomas E. Woods

Nullification: When a state ‘nullifies’ a


federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in
question is void and inoperative, or
‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that
state; or, in other words, not a law as far as
that state is concerned
The 10th Amendment Movement is an effort to
push back against unconstitutional federal
laws and regulations on a state level. The
principle is known as “nullification,” and was
advised by many prominent founders.
Current Nullification Efforts:

• 10th Amendment Resolutions


• 10th Amendment Bills
• Firearms Freedom Act
• Medical Marijuana Laws
• REAL ID
• Health Care Freedom Act
• Bring the Guard Home
• Constitutional Tender
• Cap and Trade
• Federal Tax Funds Act
• Sheriffs First Legislation
• Federal Gun Laws
• Regulation of Intrastate Commerce

History of Nullification: While the media generally


portrays nullification as being solely aligned with
the efforts of the nullifiers of the South and the
Civil War, this is certainly false, and reeks of
misinformation. Nullification has a long history in
the American tradition and has been invoked in
support of free speech, in opposition to war and
fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this
history here.
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10th Amendment Resolutions


These non-binding resolutions, often called “state
sovereignty resolutions” do no carry the force of
law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement
of the legislature of the state. They play an
important role, however. If you owned an
apartment building and had a tenant not paying
rent, you wouldn’t show up with an empty truck
to kick them out without first serving notice.
That’s how we view these Resolutions – as serving
“notice and demand” to the Federal Government
to “cease and desist any and all activities outside
the scope of their constitutionally-delegated
powers.” Follow-up, of course, is a must.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT 10TH
AMENDMENT RESOLUTIONS

10th Amendment Bills


Unlike the many 10th Amendment Resolutions
that have been introduced around the country
since 2008, these “10th Amendment” or “State
Sovereignty” bills are proposals for binding
legislation. They include language to affirm the
sovereignty of the people of the state and to create
a commission or a committee to review the
Constitutionality of acts emanating from the
federal government.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT 10TH
AMENDMENT BILLS

Firearms Freedom Act


Originally introduced and passed in Montana, the FFA
declares that any firearms made and retained in-state
are beyond the authority of Congress under its
constitutional power to regulate commerce among the
states. The FFA is primarily a Tenth Amendment
challenge to the powers of Congress under the
“commerce clause,” with firearms as the object. (source,
FirearmsFreedomAct.com)
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT FIREARMS
FREEDOM ACT LEGISLATION

Medical Marijuana Laws


An honest reading of the Constitution with an original understanding of the Founders and
Ratifiers makes it quite clear that the federal government has no constitutional authority
to override state laws on marijuana. All three branches of the federal government,
however, have interpreted (and re-interpreted) the commerce clause of the Constitution to
authorize them to engage in this activity, even though there’s supposedly no “legal”
commerce in the plant. At best, these arguments are dubious; at worst an intentional
attack on the Constitution and your liberty.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT STATE MARIJUANA LAWS

REAL ID Act
Led by Maine in early 2007, 25 states over the past
2 years have passed resolutions and binding laws
denouncing and refusing the implement the Bush-
era law which many expressed concerned about
privacy, funding and more. While the law is still
on the books in D.C., its implementation has been
“delayed” numerous times in response to this
massive state resistance, and in practice, is
virtually null and void.
CLICK HERE FOR ANTI-REAL ID
LEGISLATION

Health Care Freedom Act


The Health Care Freedom Act is considered in
states as either a bill or a state constitutional
amendment – effectively prohibiting the
enactment of any new government-run healthcare
programs within the state.
While many of the bills have language similar to
true nullification legislation, many of them are
promoted solely as a vehicle to drive a federal
court battle – which is not nullification in its true
sense.
CLICK HERE FOR HEALTH CARE
FREEDOM ACT TRACKING

Bring the Guard Home


Under the Constitution, the militia (now called the
National Guard) may only be called into duty by
the federal government in three specific situations.
According to Article I, Section 8; Clause 15, the
Congress is given the power to pass laws for
“calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of
the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel
Invasions.” The militia was intended by the
Founders and Ratifiers to be defense force and
nothing more. Deployments outside the country
were not considered, and neither were internal
deployments in pursuance of powers that were not
delegated to the federal government. Congress has
passed numerous laws in the past 100 years giving
the federal government additional authority not
mentioned in the Constitution. But, without
amendment, altering the enumerated powers by
legislative fiat is, in and of itself, unconstitutional.
Campaigns in states around the country are
working to reassert the authority of governors
over guard troops.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT BRING THE
GUARD HOME LEGISLATION

Constitutional Tender
The United States Constitution declares, in Article
I, Section 10, “No State shall… make any Thing
but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of
Debts.” Constitutional Tender laws seek to nullify
federal legal tender laws in the state by
authorizing payment in gold and silver or a paper
note backed 100% by gold or silver,
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT
CONSTITUTIONAL TENDER LEGISLATION

Cap and Trade


Cap and Trade is often claimed to be authorized
under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
At best, this is a highly dubious claim. This
interstate regulation of “commerce” did not
include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, or
land use. Nor did it include activities that merely
“substantially affected” commerce.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT CAP AND
TRADE NULLIFICATION LEGISLATION

State Sovereignty and Federal Tax Funds Act


Such laws would require that all federal taxes
come first to the state’s Department of Revenue. A
panel of legislators would assay the Constitutional
appropriateness of the Federal Budget, and then
forward to the federal government a percentage of
the federal tax dollars that are delineated as legal
and Constitutionally-justified. The remainder of
those dollars would be assigned to budgetary
items that are currently funded through federal
allocations and grants or returned to the people of
the state.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT FEDERAL TAX
FUNDS LEGISLATION

Sheriffs First Legislation


A “Sheriffs First” bill would make it a state crime for any federal agent to make an arrest,
search, or seizure within the state without first getting the advanced, written permission
of the elected county sheriff of the county in which the event is to take place.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT SHERIFFS
FIRST LEGISLATION

Federal Gun Laws Nullification


As codified in law with the 2nd Amendment, the
People did not delegate the power to regulate or
control the ownership of firearms to the federal
government. And, as the 10th Amendment makes
clear, all powers not delegated to the federal
government are reserved to the States or to the
People themselves.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT FEDERAL GUN
LAWS NULLIFICATION LEGISLATION

Nullification of Federal Intrastate Commerce


Regulation
As understood at the time of the founding, the
regulation of commerce was meant to empower
Congress to regulate the buying and selling of
products made by others (and sometimes land),
associated finance and financial instruments, and
navigation and other carriage, across state
jurisdictional lines. These bills attempt to reassert
this original meaning of the commerce clause over
wide areas of policy and effectively nullify federal
laws and regulations that violate such limitations
by regulating commerce and other activities that
are solely intrastate.
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT INTRASTATE
COMMERCE REGULATION
NULLIFICATION LEGISLATION

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10th Amendment Resolutions


These non-binding resolutions, often called “state sovereignty resolutions”
do not carry the force of law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement of
the legislature of the state. They play an important role, however.

If you owned an apartment building and had a tenant not paying rent, you
wouldn’t show up with an empty truck to kick them out without first serving
notice. That’s how we view these Resolutions – as serving “notice and
demand” to the Federal Government to “cease and desist any and all
activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.”
Follow-up, of course, is a must.

CLICK HERE – to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s model


10th Amendment Resolution*
*10th Amendment Resolution

The following is a sample 10th Amendment House Concurrent Resolution


approved by the Tenth Amendment Center. Activists, we encourage you to
send this to your state senators and representatives – and ask them to
introduce this resolution in your state.

A RESOLUTION affirming the sovereignty of the


People of the State of _________.
WHEREAS, in the American system, sovereignty is
defined as final authority, and the People, not
government, are sovereign; and
WHEREAS, the people of the State of __________ are
not united with the People of the other forty-nine states
that comprise the United States of America on a
principle of unlimited submission to their federal
government; and
WHEREAS, all power not delegated by the people to
government is retained; and
WHEREAS, the People of the several States comprising
the United States of America created the federal
government to be their agent for certain enumerated
purposes only; and
WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution
of the United States reads as follows: “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”; and
WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total
scope of federal power as being that which has been
delegated by the people to the federal government in the
Constitution of the United States, and also that which is
necessary and proper to advancing those enumerated
powers; with the rest being left to state governments or
the people themselves; and
WHEREAS, powers, too numerous to list for the
purposes of this resolution, have been exercised, past
and present, by federal administrations, under the
leadership of both Democrats and Republicans, which
infringe on the sovereignty of the people of this state,
and may further violate the Constitution of the United
States; and
WHEREAS, when powers are assumed by the federal
government which have not been delegated to it by the
People, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy;
that without this remedy, the People of this State would
be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of
whoever might exercise this right of judgment for them.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE
_____ OF THE _______ GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
THE STATE OF ______, WITH THE SENATE
CONCURRING, that we hereby affirm the sovereignty
of the People of the State of _______ under the Tenth
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
over all powers not otherwise delegated to the federal
government by the Constitution of the United States;
and, be it further
RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall serve as a Notice
and Demand to the federal government to cease and
desist any and all activities outside the scope of their
constitutionally-delegated powers; and, it be further
RESOLVED, that a committee of conference be
appointed by this legislature, which shall have as its
charge to recommend and propose legislation which
would have the effect of nullifying specific federal laws
and regulations which are outside the scope of the
powers delegated by the People to the federal
government in the Constitution; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that a committee of correspondence be
appointed, which shall have as its charge to
communicate the preceding resolutions to the
Legislatures of the several States; to assure them that
this State continues in the same esteem of their
friendship as currently exists; that it considers union,
for specified national purposes, and particularly those
enumerated in the Constitution of the United States, to
be friendly to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all
the States; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be
transmitted to the President of the United States, the
President of the United States Senate, the Speaker and
the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives,
and to each member of this State’s Congressional
delegation with the request that this resolution be
officially entered in the Congressional Record as a
memorial to the Congress of the United States of
America.

____________________________________________________________________

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Federal Health Care Nullification Act


The following is Tenth Amendment Center approved
legislation to nullify federal overreach into the health care
industry. Activists, we encourage you to send this to your
state senators and representatives – and ask them to
introduce this legislation in your state.
click here for additional talking points Health Care
Nullification Talking Points*
*1. Like any legal document, the words of the Constitution mean today the
same as they meant the moment it was ratified.

2. The power to regulate commerce among the several states was delegated
to the Congress in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution. As
understood at the time of the founding, the regulation of commerce was
meant to empower Congress to regulate the buying and selling of products
made by others (and sometimes land), associated finance and financial
instruments, and navigation and other carriage, across state jurisdictional
lines. This power to regulate “commerce” does not include agriculture,
manufacturing, mining, malum in se crime, or land use. Nor does it include
activities that merely “substantially affect” commerce.
3. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution, the “general welfare
clause,” is not a blank check that empowers the federal government to do
anything it deems good. It is instead a general introduction explaining the
exercise of the enumerated powers of Congress that are set forth in Article I,
Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States. When James Madison was
asked if this clause were a grant of power, he replied with “If not only the
means but the objects are unlimited, the parchment [the Constitution] should
be thrown into the fire at once.” Thus, this clause is a limitation on the
power of the federal government to act in the welfare of all when passing
laws in pursuance of the powers delegated to the United States.

4. Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution, the “necessary and


proper clause,” is not a blank check that empowers the federal government
to do anything it deems is necessary or proper. It is instead a limitation of
power under the common-law doctrine of “principals and incidents,” which
allows the Congress to exercise incidental powers. Two main conditions are
required for something to be incidental, and thus, “necessary and proper.”
The law or power exercised must be 1) directly applicable to the main,
enumerated power (some would say that without it, the enumerated power
would be impossible to exercise in current, common understanding), and 2)
lesser than the main power.

5. The Commerce Clause, the General Welfare Clause and the Necessary
and Proper Clause have not been amended.

CLICK HERE – to download the Tenth Amendment Center’s Nullification


Talking Points brochure (.pdf)

An Act to render null and void certain unconstitutional


laws enacted by the Congress of the United States,
taking control over the health insurance industry and
mandating that individuals purchase health insurance
under threat of penalty.
SECTION 1. The legislature of the State of
____________ finds that:
1. The People of the several states comprising the
United States of America created the federal
government to be their agent for certain enumerated
purposes, and nothing more.
2. The Tenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution defines the total scope of federal power as
being that which has been delegated by the people of the
several states to the federal government, and all power
not delegated to the federal government in the
Constitution of the United States is reserved to the
states respectively, or to the people themselves.
3. The assumption of power that the federal government
has made by enacting the “Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act” interferes with the right of the
People of the State of _____________ to regulate health
care as they see fit, and makes a mockery of James
Madison’s assurance in Federalist #45 that the “powers
delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and
defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and
indefinite.”
SECTION 2. NEW LAW
A new section of law to be codified in the [STATE]
Statutes as Section [NUMBER] of Title [NUMBER],
unless there is created a duplication in numbering,
reads as follows:
A. The Legislature of the State of _______________
declares that the federal law known as the “Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act,” signed by
President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, is not
authorized by the Constitution of the United States and
violates its true meaning and intent as given by the
Founders and Ratifiers, and is hereby declared to be
invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state,
is specifically rejected by this state, and shall be
considered null and void and of no effect in this state.
B. It shall be the duty of the legislature of this State to
adopt and enact any and all measures as may be
necessary to prevent the enforcement of the “Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act” within the limits
of this State.
C. Any official, agent, or employee of the United States
government or any employee of a corporation providing
services to the United States government that enforces
or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or
regulation of the government of the United States in
violation of this act shall be guilty of a felony and upon
conviction must be punished by a fine not exceeding five
thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or a term of imprisonment
not exceeding five (5) years, or both.
D. Any public officer or employee of the State of
____________ that enforces or attempts to enforce an
act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the
government of the United States in violation of this act
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by
imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding two (2)
years or by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars
($1,000.00) or both such fine and imprisonment.
E. Any aggrieved party shall also have a private action
against any person violating the provisions of
subsections (C) or (D).
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the
Governor.

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

The Enumerated Powers of States


Robert G. Natelson, Nevada Law Journal, 2003 – Added
10-08-09
View online at:

http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/view_online.php?url=http%3A%2F
%2Fwww.tenthamendmentcenter.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fpublications
%2Fthe-enumerated-powers-of-states.pdf

_________________________________________________________________

The Original Meaning of an Omission


The Tenth Amendment, Popular Sovereignty and
“Expressly” Delegated Power
Kurt T. Lash, Notre Dame Law Review, 2008 – Added
07-24-09
View online at:

http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/view_online.php?url=http%3A%2F
%2Fwww.tenthamendmentcenter.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads
%2F2009%2F07%2Foriginal-meaning-of-an-omission.pdf

____________________________________________________________________

The States’ Rights Tradition Nobody Knows


04. Mar, 2009

by Thomas E Woods, LewRockwell.com

In 1798, the legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky


approved resolutions that affirmed the states’ right to
resist federal encroachments on their powers. If the
federal government has the exclusive right to judge the
extent of its own powers, warned the resolutions’
authors (James Madison and Thomas Jefferson,
respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of
elections, the separation of powers, and other much-
touted limits on government power. The Virginia
Resolutions spoke of the states’ right to “interpose”
between the federal government and the people of the
state; the Kentucky Resolutions (in a 1799 follow-up to
the original resolutions) used the term “nullification” –
the states, they said, could nullify unconstitutional
federal laws.
These ideas became known as the “Principles of ’98.”
Their subsequent impact on American history,
according to the standard narrative, was pretty
much confined to South Carolina’s nullification of the
tariffs of 1828 and 1832. That is demonstrably false, as I
shall show below. But it isn’t just that these ideas are
neglected in the usual telling; as I discovered not long
ago, these principles are positively despised by
neoconservatives like Max Boot and the leftists at the
New York Times (or do I repeat myself?). Neither one, in
their reviews of The Politically Incorrect Guide to
American History, so much as mentioned Jefferson’s
name in connection with the Principles of ’98. It is hard
to view such an omission as anything but deliberate. To
mention Jefferson’s name is to lend legitimacy to ideas
that nationalists of left and right alike detest, so they
simply leave him out of the picture.
Jefferson once wrote, “When all government, domestic
and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to
Washington as the center of all power, it will render
powerless the checks provided of one government on
another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the
government from which we separated.” To resist this
centralizing trend, the sage of Monticello was
convinced, the states needed some kind of corporate
defense mechanism.
Our betters have already told us that the only reason
anyone might wish to vindicate the cause of states’
rights is for the purpose of defending slavery or
upholding some lesser form of local oppression. What
follows is the tip of the iceberg of the history that, by
what I shall assume is an entirely well-meaning and
innocent oversight, these great scholars of American
history consistently fail to acknowledge.
The Embargo of 1807–1809
In retaliation against British and French depredations
against American neutral rights on the seas, the federal
government under Thomas Jefferson in late 1807
declared an embargo, according to which no American
ship could depart for any foreign port anywhere in the
world. (The rationale was that trade with the U.S. was a
key ingredient in British and French prosperity, and
thus that economic pressure might persuade them to
change their policies.) The U.S. Navy was granted the
power to stop and search any ship within U.S.
jurisdiction if its officers had “reason to suspect” the
ship was violating the embargo. Likewise, customs
officials were “authorized to detain any vessel…
whenever in their opinions the intention is to violate or
evade any provisions of the acts laying an embargo.”
Such standards fell far short of the “probable cause”
requirement that generally governed the issuing of
warrants for searches.
New England was especially hard hit by the embargo
because so many of its people were employed either
directly in foreign commerce or in proximate fields, and
it was there that opposition to the policy was
concentrated. In 1808 a federal district court, in the
case of United States v. The William, ruled the embargo
constitutional. The Massachusetts legislature begged to
differ. Both houses declared the embargo acts to be “in
many particulars, unjust, oppressive, and
unconstitutional.” “While this State maintains its
sovereignty and independence, all the citizens can find
protection against outrage and injustice in the strong
arm of the State government,” they said. The embargo,
furthermore, was “not legally binding on the citizens of
this State.”
In the midst of the crisis, a New York congressman,
giving his explicit sanction to the Virginia and
Kentucky Resolutions, said, “Why should not
Massachusetts take the same stand, when she thinks
herself about to be destroyed?” “If any State
Legislature had believed the Act to be
unconstitutional,” asked a Connecticut congressman,
“would it not have been their duty not to comply?” He
added that the state legislatures, “whose members are
sworn to support the Constitution, may refuse
assistance, aid or cooperation” if they regarded an act
as unconstitutional, and so could state officials.
Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull shared these
views. “Whenever our national legislature is led to
overleap the prescribed bounds of their constitutional
powers, on the State Legislatures, in great emergencies,
devolves the arduous task – it is their right – it becomes
their duty, to interpose their protecting shield between
the right and liberty of the people, and the assumed
power of the General Government.” Connecticut’s
General Assembly passed a resolution that, among
other things, directed all executive officials in the State
not to afford “any official aid or co-operation in the
execution of the act aforesaid.”
The General Assembly furthermore declared:
“Resolved, that to preserve the Union, and support the
Constitution of the United States, it becomes the duty of
the Legislatures of the States, in such a crisis of affairs,
vigilantly to watch over, and vigorously to maintain, the
powers not delegated to the United States, but reserved
to the States respectively, or to the people; and that a
due regard to this duty, will not permit this Assembly to
assist, or concur in giving effect to the aforesaid
unconstitutional act, passed, to enforce the embargo.”
Rhode Island, when the embargo was at its end,
declared that her legislature possessed the duty “to
interpose for the purpose of protecting [the people of
Rhode Island] from the ruinous inflictions of usurped
and unconstitutional power.”
Interposition – the language of the Principles of ’98.
The War of 1812
During the War of 1812, Massachusetts and
Connecticut were ordered to call out their respective
militias for the purpose of defending the coast. The call
derived from the federal government’s authority to call
the state militias into service “to execute the Laws of the
Union, suppress Insurrections and repel invasions.”
Massachusetts Governor Caleb Strong, however,
maintained that the states reserved the power to
determine whether any of these three conditions held.
At Strong’s request, the Massachusetts Supreme Court
offered its opinion. That court agreed with the
governor: “As this power is not delegated to the United
States by the Federal Constitution, nor prohibited by it
to the states, it is reserved to the states, respectively;
and from the nature of the power, it must be exercised
by those with whom the states have respectively
entrusted the chief command of the militia.”
Connecticut followed suit:
It must not be forgotten, that the state of Connecticut is
a FREE SOVEREIGN and INDEPENDENT state; that
the United States are a confederacy of states; that we are
a confederated and not a consolidated republic. The
governor of this state is under a high and solemn
obligation, “to maintain the lawful rights and privileges
thereof, as a sovereign, free and independent state,” as he
is “to support the constitution of the United States,” and
the obligation to support the latter, imposes an
additional obligation to support the former.
Thus if the militia were called out for any purpose but
those listed in the Constitution, it “would be not only
the height of injustice to the militia…but a violation of
the constitution and laws of this state, and of the United
States.” The president had no authority to call upon the
militia of Connecticut “to assist in carrying on an
offensive war” (some New Englanders were convinced
that the war was aimed primarily at the annexation of
Canada). Connecticut would not comply with the
federal order until New England should be threatened
“by an actual invasion of any portion of our territory.”
From a political point of view, the War of 1812 would
wind up essentially a draw, and the Treaty of Ghent
signed in December 1814 reestablished the status quo
ante bellum. From a military point of view, though, it
was a British rout. As a result, Congress seriously
entertained the prospect of military conscription.
Here is where Daniel Webster, so often a villain in
American history, emerges as positively heroic. With his
usual eloquence he spoke out against military
conscription as incompatible with both the Constitution
and the principles of a free society. “Where is it written
in the Constitution,” he asked, “in what article or
section is it contained, that you may take children from
their parents, and parents from their children, and
compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the
folly or the wickedness of government may engage it?”
(Predictable quarters can now be expected to call Daniel
Webster – than whom there was no greater or more
eloquent defender of the federal Union – an unpatriotic,
America-hating leftist.)
What did Webster think should be done if the
conscription bill should pass? In that case, he said, it
would be “the solemn duty of the State Governments to
protect their own authority over their own militia, and
to interpose between their citizens and arbitrary
power.” Interposition – the language, once again, of the
great resolutions of ’98.
In December 1813 a new and more obnoxious embargo
than that of 1807-1809 was instituted. The
Massachusetts legislature found itself inundated with
petitions and statements of grievances. A special
committee, headed by William Lloyd, was established to
devise a response to the situation. The Massachusetts
General Court approved the committee’s report early
the following year. It read, in part:
A power to regulate commerce is abused, when
employed to destroy it; and a manifest and voluntary
abuse of power sanctions the right of resistance, as
much as a direct and palpable usurpation. The
sovereignty reserved to the states, was reserved to
protect the citizens from acts of violence by the United
States, as well as for purposes of domestic regulation.
We spurn the idea that the free, sovereign and
independent State of Massachusetts is reduced to a
mere municipal corporation, without power to protect
its people, and to defend them from oppression, from
whatever quarter it comes. Whenever the national
compact is violated, and the citizens of this State are
oppressed by cruel and unauthorized laws, this
Legislature is bound to interpose its power, and wrest
from the oppressor its victim.
Need we point out yet again the language of the
Principles of ’98?
Fugitive Slave Laws
At a time when the federal government was using its
police powers to enforce the capture of runaway slaves,
it was the state governments, expressly recalling the
Principles of ’98, that determined to resist. (See Mark
Thornton here [.pdf] on how the federal government
socialized the costs of slaveholding.) Although the
Constitution did, unfortunately, contain a clause calling
for the return of runaways, some Northern states
resorted to the argument that that document spelled out
no particular enforcement mechanism behind that
requirement.
In addition, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was
especially obnoxious and repugnant. It placed all
fugitive slave cases under federal jurisdiction. Fugitives
were denied jury trials and the right to testify in their
own defense. Special commissioners were empowered to
determine the guilt or innocence of the accused, and
according to the terms of the act were to be paid $10 if
they found the accused fugitive guilty and only $5 if
they found him innocent. Still more obnoxious features
included the right to force bystanders to participate in
the capture of a fugitive and stiff penalties for sheltering
or obstructing the capture of a fugitive.
Several Northern states simply refused to comply.
Especially interesting is this 1859 statement of the
Wisconsin Supreme Court – taken, in parts word for
word, from the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798:
Resolved, That the government formed by the
Constitution of the United States was not the exclusive
or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to
itself; but that, as in all other cases of compact among
parties having no common judge, each party has an
equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of
the mode and measure of redress.
Resolved, that the principle and construction contended
for by the party which now rules in the councils of the
nation, that the general government is the exclusive
judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop
nothing short of despotism, since the discretion of those
who administer the government, and not the
Constitution, would be the measure of their powers; that
the several states which formed that instrument, being
sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable
right to judge of its infractions; and that a positive
defiance of those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts
done or attempted to be done under color of that
instrument, is the rightful remedy.
Many more examples of the ongoing relevance of the
Principles of ’98 could be cited. In the midst of a dispute
with the federal government over the Second Bank of
the United States, the Ohio legislature voted to affirm
the Principles of ’98. In 1825, Kentucky’s governor
said: “When the general government encroaches upon
the rights of the State, is it a safe principle to admit that
a portion of the encroaching
power shall have the right to
determine finally whether an
encroachment has been made
or not? In fact, most of the
encroachments made by the general government flow
through the Supreme Court itself, the very tribunal
which claims to be the final arbiter of all such disputes.
What chance for justice have the States when the
usurpers of their rights are made their judges? Just as
much as individuals when judged by their oppressors. It
is therefore believed to be the right, as it may hereafter
become the duty of the State governments, to protect
themselves from encroachments, and their citizens from
oppression, by refusing obedience to the
unconstitutional mandates of the federal judges.”
These are facts. They are facts that constitute a central
part of antebellum American history. Yet to say that the
standard American history text does not trace the
influence of the Principles of ’98 over the course of the
ensuing years, as I have done all too briefly here, would
be the understatement of the century. The profession at
large has essentially ignored the issue; other than Bill
Watkins’ excellent study, you’d be hard-pressed to find
a single book-length treatment of the Virginia and
Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 over the past hundred
years.
Thus when I resurrected these long-neglected ideas in
chapter four of The Politically Incorrect Guide to
American History, did this inclusion merit the praise of
your average scholar? To the contrary, the general
complaint was that I hadn’t spent more time on subjects
people already know inside and out. As for the
Principles of ’98 themselves, discussing them with left-
or right-wing nationalists is like waving garlic before
Dracula.
Not that raising the issue makes them clam up entirely.
To the contrary, they’ll find some silly photos of you
(which, I confess, exist in embarrassing abundance), or
dredge up something you did or said a dozen years ago,
or generally suggest you’re a bad person. (Everyone
who’s ever met me knows I’m just a great big meanie.)
They may behave this way because they think doing so
will make me shut up (no such luck there), but it’s also
a lot easier than cracking a book on a subject they don’t
seem to know the first thing about.
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. [send him mail] is senior fellow in American history at the Ludwig
von Mises Institute. He is the author of nine books, including the New York Times
bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and, most recently,
Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy
Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse. Visit his new website.

LewRockwell.com

____________________________________________________________________
From Interposition to Nullification:
Peripheries and Center in the Thought
of James Madison
Essays in History – Volume Thirty-Six, 1994
Published by the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia.

by Kevin R.C. Gutzman

In 1836, the expiring James Madison offered “Advice to


My Country”:
The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my
convictions, is that the Union of the States be cherished
and perpetuated. Let the open enemy to it be regarded
as a Pandora with her box opened, and the disguised
one as the serpent creeping with deadly wiles into
Paradise.1
Madison’s concern for the future of the union had been
piqued by the Nullification Controversy and the
growing appeal of states’ rights.
There is a certain irony in Madison’s worries: the
states’ rights strain of Jeffersonianism owed much to
the actions and public writings four decades earlier of
Madison himself. The story of Madison’s career can be
seen as that of a creative politician whose very creativity
came, at the end of his life, to threaten his foremost
achievement. After his death, his intellectual heirs
would rend the union asunder; the doctrine of state
sovereignty under the federal constitution, which
Madison had helped formulate in response to a
perceived threat to republicanism, would be used to
truncate the union, the extended sphere Madison had
been instrumental in creating and in which he had long
lodged his fondest hopes.
James Madison’s thinking about federalism prior to
1800 reflected the relative strengths of the federal and
state governments at different times. Consistent theory
yielded to political imperative; understanding was
altered by perspective and experience. Madison had a
consistent vision of the ideal polity, but the events of
those years elicited the enunciation of doctrines and the
support of constitutional interpretations of which, on
sober second thought, he disapproved.2
James Madison was integrally involved in the
conception, drafting, and passage of the Virginia and
Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. Yet, he had emerged
from the Philadelphia Convention eleven years earlier
convinced that the old British imperium in imperio had
been recreated, concerned that the federal government
had not been given enough power vis-a-vis the states. To
rectify the situation, he had proposed a constitutional
amendment making certain basic freedoms enforceable
by the federal judiciary against the states.3
This apparent inconsistency need not be viewed as a
sign of opportunism. The Virginia Plan and the Virginia
Resolutions were both devices Madison hoped would
preserve the hard-won gains of the Revolution. He did
not want mere union, but a certain type of union; he did
not want mere federalism, but federalism which would
return control of the republic to those who could be
trusted to act continentally. In the context of 1787, this
desire led to advocacy of firmer union in the Virginia
Plan; in that of 1798, to assertion of states’ rights in the
Virginia Resolutions.
Thus, Publius could point to the reservation of rights to
the states as a positive feature of the proposed federal
edifice: while he would have preferred a more
centralized union, Madison believed the union in
prospect was superior to the Confederation
government. As a statesman, improvement was
Madison’s goal; as an heir to the thought of St.
Augustine, Madison thought that imperfection was to be
expected in any human creation; as a practical
politician, he adopted popular arguments with which he
did not necessarily agree in order to secure his aim.
Madison, like his friend Thomas Jefferson, partook of
the ambient partisan excess of the 1790s. Because he
tended to see the actions of the Federalist
administrations in an extremely negative light, his
enunciation of Republican values in the Virginia
Resolutions of 1798 and “clarification” in the Report of
1800 were inconsistent with his statements and behavior
both before and after the Federalist period. Madison
undermined the prospects for long-term durability of
his work in the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 by
acting as he did in 1798-1800.4
It was to the “Principles of ‘98″ that James Madison’s
successors in leadership of the Southern interest in
federal politics turned until, in the 1960s, the South as
an insular political entity was eliminated from
American life. Despite what Madison said in his later
years, the states’ rights tradition was firmly based on
his and Jefferson’s writings in 1798.5
THE VIRGINIA PLAN
On the eve of the Philadelphia Convention, Madison
composed a document entitled “Vices of the Political
system of the U. States.”6 It was a distillation of all the
experience and thought of the Confederation period
(the preceding seven years). The first vice he listed was
the “Failure of the States to Comply with the
Constitutional requisitions.” Also included were
“Encroachment by the States on the federal authority,”
“Trespasses of the States on the rights of each other,”
“want of sanction to the laws, and of coercion in the
Government of the Confederacy,” “Want of ratification
by the people of the articles of Confederation,”
“Multiplicity of laws in the several States,” and
“mutability of the laws of the States,” among others. A
good plan of union should counter these vices, each of
which could best be remedied by delegation of more
power to the center.
Madison’s Virginia Plan was calculated to remedy each
of the shortcomings of the Confederation catalogued in
“Vices of the Political system of the U. States.” As to
federalism, Madison said of the Plan:
Conceiving that an individual independence of the
States is utterly irreconcilable with their aggregate
sovereignty, and that a consolidation of the whole into
one simple republic would be as inexpedient as it is
unattainable, I have sought for middle ground, which
may at once support a due supremacy of the national
authority, and not exclude the local authorities
wherever they can be subordinately useful.7
These are the words of a nationalist cognizant of the
fact that the federal government would be too distant to
perform all the functions traditionally filled by the
states. The Virginia Plan addressed all these concerns.
Although many of his plan’s provisions were adopted,
Madison’s experience at the Convention was an
unhappy one. The “Father of the Constitution”8 was
dissatisfied with the final product because the new
Senate was to be an un-republican institution.9 The
decision that states would be represented equally, in lieu
of apportionment by population, made him wary of
delegating new powers to the government: had both
houses been apportioned in the “republican” way,
according to population, as in the Virginia Plan,
Madison would have supported a far more national
system than the Convention produced.10
It is difficult to reconcile the public Madison of the
Federalist Papers with the author of Madison’s
correspondence in 1787. Publius’s arguments stressed
the reserved rights of the states and the limited nature
of the newly minted federal government; in his
correspondence, Madison not only decried the structure
of the Senate, but was especially aggrieved by the
omission of a federal veto over state statutes.
As he would explain in Federalist 10, Madison hoped
that extending the sphere would reduce the possibility
that faction could result in harmful statutes; the veto
was a device for extending the sphere in all areas of
governmental activity, not just those over which
Congress had been given legislative authority.11 In a
letter to Thomas Jefferson dated October 24, 1787,
Madison lamented that the veto’s defeat had removed
the possibility of putting an end to the pernicious
ascendancy of local factions.
As it stood, the constitution “involve[d] the evil of
imperium in imperio.” This evil had been absent from
the old imperial constitution, but it had afflicted several
other confederacies, including Revolutionary America.
“[T]he impossibility of dividing powers of legislation, in
such a manner, as to be free from different
constructions by different interests, or even from
ambiguity in the judgment of the impartial, requires
some such expedient as I contend for.” He added almost
as an afterthought that such a negative also held out the
promise of protecting individual rights, especially by
rendering state statutes less evanescent. The extension
of the sphere made the federal government a more
trustworthy guardian of rights than the states, and the
veto would have perfected American federalism.12
Madison’s proposal to give the federal legislature a veto
over state statutes was the single provision on which he
was most insistent in the Convention. When it was
watered down, then removed from the Virginia Plan, he
brought it up again (he did not press in this way for his
preferred manner of apportionment of the federal
senate).13 He seems to have regarded this device as a
panacea for the ills of the Confederation period. As
mentioned above, he believed it would lessen the
influence of faction. This ameliorative effect would be
felt both on the federal level and in the states, where
insidious laws would be negated. One result would be a
new flowering of support for republicanism.14
Madison was convinced the omission of this feature
from the federal plan insured its failure; the courts’
new role as enforcers of the federal constitution against
state executives and legislatures seemed a poor
substitute.15 Still,
[t]he great desideratum in Government is, so to modify
the sovereignty as that it may be sufficiently neutral
between different parts of the Society to controul [sic]
one part from invading the rights of another, and at the
same time sufficiently controuled [sic] itself, from
setting up an interest adverse to that of the entire
Society.
All that, he averred, had been achieved,16 so there was
merit in the whole.
Madison believed that failure to secure ratification
would entail the dissolution of the American union, and,
to a nationalist Virginian, that meant disaster.17 He
remained unreconciled to the federal features on which
the small states’ delegates had insisted, but he thought a
union of all thirteen states essential. The Convention left
Madison in the middle ground: he supported the
constitution despite its flaws, yet, if the Antifederalists’
insistence on strict construction would force some
Federalists to yield the point even before the Tenth
Amendment was added,18 Madison was headed in their
direction by the time the Philadelphia Convention
adjourned.
THE PUBLIUS PROJECT
On leaving Philadelphia, Madison undertook the
Publius project. Some have said that his contribution
displayed the political philosophy that would mark the
rest of his career.19 Given the grave misgivings he had
about the document, it seems more likely that
Madison’s performance was simply what was necessary
to secure ratification.20 To that end, Madison, like his
co-authors, marshalled the most telling arguments
available, often without wholly believing in them
himself. Several would later prove useful to him in the
crisis he perceived in the administration of John
Adams; however, those very arguments were prominent
among those of his own utterances whose meaning he
disputed, even distorted, in the context of the
Nullification Controversy. One must handle the Publius
letters with care, for it is often unclear whether
Madison’s contribution was solely instrumental.
Perhaps the most formidable objection Publius had to
overcome came from Montesquieu. In The Spirit of the
Laws, the Baron had argued that if republican
government were adopted by a large state, diversity of
interests would lead to faction and civil strife; the
homogeneous populations of successful (small) republics
had homogeneous interests.21 The “esteemed Mr.
Montesquieu” was taken as an authoritative source by
lettered Americans in the eighteenth century, and this
argument was oft-cited.22 Madison adopted David
Hume’s argument that a larger republican polity would
be less apt to suffer domestic unrest because difficulties
of communication and diversity of interests would
render the ascendancy of one faction unlikely.This
argument was perfectly suited to his need for a response
to Montesquieu’s position.
In Publius’s thirty-ninth letter, Madison asked whether
the new government would be national or federal,
answering,
it appears, on one hand, that the Constitution is to be
founded on the assent and ratification of the people of
America, given by deputies elected for the special
purpose; but . . . that this assent and ratification is to be
given by the people, not as individuals composing one
entire nation, but as composing the distinct and
independent States to which they respectively belong. It
is to be the assent and ratification of the several States,
derived from the supreme authority in each State — the
authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore,
establishing the Constitution will not be a national but a
federal act . . . Each State, in ratifying the Constitution,
is considered as a sovereign body independent of all
others,25 and only to be bound by its own voluntary
act.26 [Madison's emphasis]
Madison would contradict this statement of the union’s
nature in the Nullification controversy a half-century
later.27
In Madison’s Federalist 44, Publius considered the
possibility of latitudinarian constructions of the new
charter. He held that successful congressional
usurpations would require cooperation by the executive
and judiciary; if each of them failed to impede the
usurpation,
in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the
people, who can, by the election of more faithful
representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers. The
truth is, that this ultimate redress may be more
confided in against unconstitutional acts of the federal
than of the State legislatures, for this plain reason that
as every such act of the former will be an invasion of the
rights of the latter, these will be ever ready to mark the
innovation, to sound the alarm to the people, and to exert
their local influence in effecting a change of federal
representatives.28[emphasis added]
Perhaps the most important Madisonian constitutional
precept appears in Federalist 45. There, Madison
averred that, “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.”29 Here we
have the crux of the later jurisprudential dispute
between Federalists and Republicans. He went on to
say,
ambitious encroachments of the federal government on
the authority of the State governments would not excite
the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only.
They would be signals of general alarm. Every
government would espouse the common cause. A
correspondence would be opened. Plans of resistance
would be concerted.30 One spirit would animate and
conduct the whole. The same combinations, in short,
would result from an apprehension of the federal, as
was [sic] produced by the dread of a foreign, yoke; and
unless the projected innovations should be voluntarily
renounced, the same appeal to a trial of force would be
made in the one case as was made in the other. [emphasis
added]31
The cooperation of Kentucky and Virginia in 1798 bore
a striking resemblance to this scenario, but with this
important distinction: they were only two states, but
each spoke as if it could act unilaterally.
CENTRALIZATION IN THE 1790s: VIRGINIA AND
KENTUCKY RESPOND
Madison and Jefferson were at the center of the
political turmoil of the 1790s. Jefferson, the former
Minister to France, had many friends and
acquaintances among the French intelligentsia, and this
helped to insure that he would receive the French
Revolution enthusiastically. Hamilton, Adams, and
other Federalists were skeptical of the possibilities for
good inherent in the activities of the revolutionaries,
especially as events progressed. They therefore tended
to tilt toward England in the European wars. Jefferson
and Madison, on the other hand, believed through most
of the 1790s that France’s cause was America’s:
republicanism. For them, it was not a long leap of logic
to seeing Americans who were unsympathetic with the
French cause, even old colleagues Adams and Hamilton,
as monarchists. When conditions in France became
unpalatable to the Republicans, they remained
distrustful of the “Anglomen.”
Jefferson and, particularly, Madison thought they saw a
love of aristocracy and centralization at work in the
Washington administrations’ economic policies. Thus,
while Madison supported some expenditures given
constitutional warrant only by the broadest of
interpretations of the general welfare or the necessary
and proper clause,32 he insisted on strict construction
when Congress considered establishment of a national
bank33 and when Hamilton submitted his famous
“Report on Manufactures”34; he also proposed an
impracticable alternative to Hamilton’s plan for
repayment of the war debts.35
This disposition on the part of the Republican leaders
carried over into military policy, where Madison and
Jefferson read the Washington and Adams
administrations’ calls for military preparedness as
attempts to corrupt the constitution (and American
society generally36). They thought the Federalists’
desire to augment the standing military force smacked
of Walpole; they called the supporters of the Bank of
the United States “Tories” (as early as 1791)37; they
marvelled at President Washington’s farewell warning
against foreign entanglements (anti-French, therefore
anti-republican); they saw Hamilton’s insistence that
the union’s credit depended on prompt repayment of
the war debts as an excuse for corruption. The evolving
hideousness of the French Revolution was of secondary
importance to the Republicans, whose prime concern
was that European militarism not infect America.38
The retirement of General Washington, whom Madison
had long admired, even revered, reinforced
Republicans’ worries. The Federalists quickly enacted
legislation creating a standing army and navy,
buttressing the nation’s coastal defenses, and imposing
direct taxes to pay for it all. With the uproar over the
XYZ Affair and the passage of the Alien and Sedition
Acts, the Quasi-War appeared to have arrived on the
home front in earnest.39 His first reaction to the draft
Alien Act had been that it was a “monster that must for
ever [sic] disgrace its parents”;40 when Adams signed
the Act, Jefferson and Madison responded with their
resolutions.
The potential for division inherent in the doctrines of
1798 was obvious. Still, Madison’s trimming did not
serve, and his worst fears about the long-term
consequences of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
were realized: they provided the ideological
underpinnings for several subsequent campaigns
against claims of authority by the federal government.
As was his custom, Madison seized the most powerful
arguments available for bringing the state of the polity
closer to his ideal.
The Virginia Resolutions were an extreme states’ rights
statement. Virginia called on the states to insist on a
narrow interpretation of the necessary and proper
clause of Article I, Section 8 of the United States
Constitution. After nearly a solid decade of political
defeats, Madison was casting about for some means of
constitutionalizing protection of minority rights against
what must have seemed a perpetual Federalist
domination.
Jefferson’s version, which Madison had seen in draft
and which was adopted (in slightly amended form) by
the legislature of Kentucky, was substantially too clear
for Madison.41 Relying on the Tenth Amendment,
Jefferson insisted that the Alien and Sedition Acts were
unconstitutional intrusions on the rights of the states;42
the states were obliged to nullify them within their
respective boundaries.43 Madison was hesitant to put
the matter that plainly. Whether that was a result of
disagreement with Jefferson’s formulation, because of a
wish to avoid driving off moderate sympathizers, or a
means of avoiding Federalist accusations of usurpation
is unclear. The contemporary evidence suggests the last
of the three possibilities is closest to the mark, although
the second probably also played a role.44
Despite their reputed moderation, the Virginia
Resolutions had a threatening air.45 They opened with
a statement of Virginia’s “firm resolution to maintain
and defend the constitution . . . against every
aggression, either foreign or domestic” and a pledge of
support to the United States government when its laws
were constitutional.46 Then, after a second resolution
reiterating the support for the constitution plighted in
the first, came the central resolution:
That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily
declare, that it views the powers of the federal
government, as resulting from the compact to which the
states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and
intention of the instrument constituting that compact;
as no farther valid than they are authorised [sic] by the
grants enumerated in that compact, and that in case of a
deliberate, palpable and dangerous exercise of other
powers not granted by the said compact, the states who
are parties thereto have the right, and are in duty bound,
to interpose for arresting the pro[gress] of the evil, and
for maintaining within their respective limits, the
authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.
[emphasis added]
Thus, like Jefferson’s draft Kentucky Resolutions,
Madison’s final Virginia Resolves asserted that the state
had a “duty” to maintain its “rights and liberties”
within its boundaries. To read the Virginia Resolutions,
and especially the third one, as a moderate statement of
civil libertarianism or a mere campaign platform for
180047 is to read them in the light of Madison’s later
gloss. It seems more reasonable to read them, as many
Federalists and Republicans alike did, as more ominous.
The arch-Federalist Theodore Sedgwick called them
“little short of a declaration of war.”48
Pennsylvania’s legislature decried them as part of a
move toward disunion,49 and with good reason: John
Taylor of Caroline, their sponsor in the Virginia
legislature, was privately advocating precisely that.50
Indeed, whatever Jefferson’s and Madison’s intentions,
the compact theory of the constitution enunciated in the
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions had this in common
with the tree of knowledge: the forbidden fruit
(nullification and/or secession) likely would be eaten
sometime. The distinction so often drawn between
Jefferson’s wording and Madison’s moderate tone
seems strained: What is the difference between “null,
void, and of no force or effect” and invalidity51?
Between “nullifying” a statute and “interpos[ing]” to
prevent its enforcement?
The following (fourth) resolve lamented the tendency of
the federal government to interpret constitutional
grants of power too broadly. The result must be a
change from republican to monarchical government.
The fifth resolve was dedicated in part to the argument
that the Alien and Sedition Acts united executive and
judicial functions in one man, thus endangering
republicanism. Besides that, it said, the Sedition Act
involved the exercise of powers specifically denied to the
federal government by one of the amendments to the
constitution; it did so in a way calculated to undermine
responsibility in government.52 The resolutions closed
with an appeal to other states to concur in Virginia’s
position.53
The reaction of the public at large must have been a
crushing disappointment. Only North Carolina, of the
other Southern states, responded in any way, and its
senate refused to endorse the resolutions.54 North of the
Potomac, the result was even worse: in total, nine states
flatly repudiated the Republican manifestos, and a tenth
rejected them without responding.55
THE REPORT OF 1800
Madison stood for the legislature in 1799 to defend the
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. Intended as a
vindication, his Report of 1800 was largely ignored at
the time because of the press of the presidential
campaign, on which it “probably had little effect.”56
The legislative debate over the Report of 1800 centered
on the third resolution of 1798, specifically the sense in
which the states were parties to the federal
constitution.57 This issue and the related question of
state sovereignty, when added to the cataclysmic fallout
of the XYZ Affair, cut into Republican support in the
congressional elections intervening between the two
documents. By the time Madison submitted his Report,
the Federalists had their largest congressional majority
ever.58
Irving Brant, Madison’s leading biographer, held that
the report of 1800 was merely an elucidation of the
Virginia Resolutions of two years earlier,59 but a close
reading reveals greater moderation, even a touch of
obfuscation, in the Report. Motivations for a change in
tone are obvious: Jefferson was in the middle of a
presidential campaign, and the public, even in the
South, had responded unfavorably to Virginia’s earlier
statement.
A tactical shift in Madison’s emphasis is perfectly
consistent: the Virginia Resolutions had gone farther in
asserting states’ rights than had the Federalist, which
had itself been less nationalist than Madison’s private
views. Advocacy of states’ rights was a tactical move,60
and Jefferson’s election promised to allay Madison’s
fears. Thus, the Report opened with a statement that
the General Assembly should clarify its meaning and
thereby mollify those who had perceived the
Resolutions of ‘98 as signs of “a diminution of mutual
respect, confidence and affection, among the members
of the union.”61
After judging the first two resolutions of ‘98
unobjectionable, the Report launched into a discussion
of the central, third, resolution. One of the points made
there was that although the meaning of the statement
that the states were parties to the constitutional
compact was unclear, all would agree that the people in
the states qua state were parties. Virginia (Madison)
deduced, even in the wake of the other states’ response
in 1798, that it was obviously up to the states to decide
when the compact had been violated.
However, the Report continued, interposition must not
be employed “either in a hasty manner, or on doubtful
and inferior occasions . . . [but] can be called for by
occasions only, deeply and essentially affecting the vital
principles of their political system.”62 This was not a
new point, but one made in the text of the Resolutions
themselves, which said only cases of a “deliberate,
palpable and dangerous nature” [emphasis in the
original] justified such extreme measures.63 As to the
objection that it was for the federal judiciary, not the
states, to decide these questions, Virginia responded
that this would mean that the delegation of powers had
destroyed a party to the compact, which was an
absurdity and implied that a league of the three
branches of the federal government could exercise
undelegated power.64 This argument, too, assumed the
states to be parties to the pact.
The perceived Federalist attack on republicanism had
come in for criticism in the fifth resolution, and, since it
was the gravamen of the Republican complaint, that
resolution was the subject of the bulk of the Report. The
main point of the explication was that the Alien and
Sedition Acts were exercises of power not granted to
Congress by the constitution.
RECANTING ‘98
After 1800, the Republicans prosecuted people for
seditious libel.65 With friends of republicanism and
sound constitutional construction such as they in office,
the crisis had passed; the extreme rhetoric Madison had
employed in response to the Federalists’ use of the law
of seditious libel was no longer indicated.66 Principle
depended on circumstance.
The closest antebellum parallel to the Republicans’
state of mind in the 1790s was that of the South
Carolina Nullifiers in 1831-1833.67 The Nullifiers
formally propounded the theory of interposition
anonymously drawn up by Vice President John C.
Calhoun, which resuscitated the Principles of ‘98,
particularly Virginia’s third resolution, to prevent
enforcement within South Carolina’s borders of the
federal tariff.68 Thus, Madison became the center of the
debate over state sovereignty and nullification. Each
side requested his support; he explained why his past
pronouncements did not mean what they seemed to
mean.
Left unclear by Madison’s letters during this period is
the reason he chose to recant his position of 1798.
Seemingly, it would have been easy for him simply to
state that he had been concerned in the 1790s with the
prospect of the imposition of an unrepublican police
state, so state interposition was appropriate. The tariff,
he could have said, might be inequitable, even
unconstitutional, but it did not justify “calculat[ing] the
value of the union.”69 Instead, after saying that, he
went on to lay out a consolidationist view.
Instead, Madison’s response was to insist that the
Virginia Resolutions and the Report of 1800 had not
meant that any state had the right to nullify a federal
policy. The Madison of 1830 was much more like the
Madison of the Philadelphia Convention than like that
of 1798; while Madison the opposition politician had
participated in the partisan extremism of the 1790s,70
since 1800 he had become increasingly convinced that
federalism, the “extension of the sphere,” held out the
promise of secure republicanism to as many as would
take advantage of it, rhetorically inquiring,
May it not be regarded as among the Providential
blessings to these States, that their geographical
relations[,] multiplied as they will be by artificial
channels of intercourse, give such additional force to the
many obligations to cherish that Union which alone
secures their peace, their safety, and their prosperity?71
In 1830, Senator Robert Y. Hayne, Carolina’s
champion in the famous Webster-Hayne Debate, sent
Madison a copy of his speeches. Hayne obviously
expected the author of the Virginia Resolutions to
endorse the doctrine of nullification. In response,
Madison adopted totally different ground.72 He
disapproved of the notion that a single state could
nullify any statute which was not so oppressive as to
absolve that state of all responsibility to the union. He
added, “[T]he Constitution of the U.S. . . . must be its
own interpreter according to its text and the facts of the
case.73 [Madison's emphasis] The charter was that of
one people [emphasis added] and could not be negated
but by the whole people.”74
This was a modification in doctrine that had been
rendered necessary by Calhoun’s strict fidelity to
Virginia’s formulation of 1798. Madison feared that one
state would act to nullify through a specially chosen
convention (as South Carolina eventually did); he felt
compelled to deny the legitimacy of such action. It was
exactly the opposite of the view he had taken as Publius
forty years before and later in the Report of 1800, when
he had called ratification a federal act (thus recognizing
state sovereignty).75
He next stated that the supremacy clause governed the
question; if that failed, impeachment might be tried,
then amendment. Madison closed with the incongruous
statement that the failure of all these remedies would
entitle a state to resort to the law of self-preservation,
but that that was a right the government need not
respect.76
Referring to the debates over the Virginia Resolutions,
Madison told Hayne:
the tenor of them does not disclose any reference to a
constitutional right in an individual State to arrest by
force the operation of a law of the U.S.77
Interstate cooperation, he said, had been the aim of the
General Assembly. If either the understanding of the
other political actors of 1798 or the plain meaning of the
section of Virginia’s third resolution reproduced above
is to be trusted, this statement, with its implication of
exclusivity, was simply untrue.78 The phrase “null[,]
void & of no power or effect” had been deleted,
showing, claimed Madison, that nullification had not
been in Virginia’s mind. As for Kentucky, he
incorrectly stated,79 “nullification” had never been part
of its resolutions.
Then followed a passage dealing with the mutual
cessions of authority to the federal government by the
states, which proved that they were all yet equal, an
argument which ignored the question of what would
happen if one state or a minority of states were
discriminated against via a power not granted to the
Congress by the constitution or through employment of
a constitutional power in an unintended fashion (the
circumstance Hayne claimed to face).80 Madison then
arrived at what must have been for him the central
problem with nullification: it presaged the end of the
union. He referred Hayne to Federalists 39 and 44.
In his August 28, 1830 letter to Edward Everett,81
Madison gave a glimpse of the reasons for his change of
mind since 1798. The episode of the Alien and Sedition
laws, in his opinion, showed that republicanism itself
was an adequate check if the people were properly
informed. The Nullifiers’ complaint, he said, was that
the people at large disagreed with them; no good
republican could grant them that.82 The notion of a
preemptory veto by one state, valid until disapproved
by three-fourths of the states, was dismissed for the
same reason.83 The constitution had been ratified by
all, he said, and must be amendable only as provided,
adding, “nothing is said [in the Report] that can be
understood to look to means of maintaining the rights of
the States beyond the regular ones within the forms of
the Constn.” [sic]
In his March 27, 1831 letter to James Robertson,84
Madison made the point that interposition by individual
states had never been contemplated; this was shown by
the use of the word “states” throughout the Virginia
Resolutions and Report of 1800. That reference to
states’ rights, even if the rights of individual states were
under consideration, also might be in the plural seems
not to have occurred to him.85 The Nullifiers read such
language as we would.
In still another letter about nullification, Madison said:
The essential difference between a free Government and
Governments not free, is that the former is founded in
compact, the parties to which are mutually and equally
bound by it. Neither of them therefore can have a
greater right to break off from the bargain, than the
other or others have to hold them to it.86
He continued that the use of the word “respective” in
Virginia’s third resolution did not connote rights of
individual states, an incredible construction. The letter
closed with regrets about the Nullification
Proclamation, which Madison thought had spurred
fears of consolidation,87 but did not suggest a way to
offset the trend.
The result of Madison’s volte-face was, as he regretted,
that he was “denounced as Innovator, heretic &
Apostate.”88 He should not have been; the doctrine of
secession and nullification was absurd, especially in
light of the fact that no foreign government recognized
any capacity for international action in any of the
states.89
His most extreme anti-Nullifier statement, the March
12, 1833 letter to Virginia’s Senator William Cabell
Rives,90 stated that the states had transferred their
sovereignty to the federal government and that the
transfer was permanent; the federal government was
the final arbiter of its own powers. Assuming the
inerrancy of Supreme Court (thus of federal)
interpretation, he said, “As this is a simple question
whether a State, more than an individual, has a right to
violate its engagements, it would seem that it might be
safely left to answer itself.”
Madison went to his grave insisting that Virginia’s third
resolution of 1798 had been misrepresented by the
Nullifiers: — it must be understood as a mere
introduction of the seventh (which called for interstate
cooperation).91 The states, he admitted (in
contradiction of his earlier statement in the same letter),
were the final arbiters of constitutional meaning, but
should exercise that authority only in extreme cases
such as that presented in 1798.92 Immediately
contradicting himself, he said interposition was extra-
legal, for it would lead to a multiplicity of federal
regimes (a different one in each state).93 1798’s
“interposition” had simply meant petitioning, followed
by resort to the ballot.94
The most striking thing about Madison’s “Notes on
Nullification” of 1836 is that it approved virtually every
argument that could be considered against nullification,
the most baffling of which was that sovereignty has
been divided in the American system, therefore the
states must obey the federal government.95 What aspect
of sovereignty that leaves the states is not clear; that it
leaves the Tenth Amendment out of the Constitution is.
One last time, Madison stated that the constitution had
been ratified by one people acting in thirteen states,
thus contradicting again his statements to the opposite
effect in Publius’s thirty-ninth letter and in the Report
of 1800. The difference was “interesting, but as an
historical fact of merely speculative curiosity.”96
Madison’s final pronouncement on nullification closed
with a statement of his political faith, a recapitulation of
the experience that had left him a firm advocate of
union:
Thus far, throughout a period of nearly half a century,
the new and compound system has been successful
beyond any of the forms of Govt., ancient or modern,
with which it may be compared; having as yet
discovered no defects which do not admit remedies
compatible with its vital principles and characteristic
features. It becomes all therefore who are friends of a
Govt. based on free principles to reflect, that by denying
the possibility of a system partly federal and partly
consolidated, and who would convert ours into one
either wholly federal or wholly consolidated, in neither
of which forms have individual rights, public order, and
external safety, been all duly maintained, they aim a
deadly blow at the last hope of true liberty on the face of
the Earth.97
Madison here ignored the preceding pronouncements in
the same document, which comprised a consolidationist
statement worthy of Daniel Webster.
Political theorists had long insisted that sovereignty
must be located in one place. Madison’s fifty-year
attempt to prove them mistaken had failed. His failure
would have cosmic repercussions.
This article is part of Essays in History, volume 36, 1994,
published by the Corcoran Department of History at
the University of Virginia.
All material copyrighted by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia.

NOTES
1. Saul Padover, “Madison as a Political Thinker,” 20 Social Research 32, et seq. (Spring
1953), at 54, citing “an 1853 manuscript in New York Public Library Manuscript
Division.” [sic]

2. I disagree with, e.g., Colleen Sheehan, “The Politics of Public Opinion: James
Madison’s ‘Notes on Government,’” William and Mary Quarterly 49 (1992), 609- 627 in
that I do not believe there exists a single (public) writing of James Madison while he was
still active in politics in which his political philosophy is revealed clearly. Since all his
public writings had tactical purposes, to glean his political philosophy, one must either
read his private letters in conjunction with his public writings or consider his post-
retirement statements. (The latter course obviously may not accurately reflect the beliefs
of the earlier, active Madison.) For a similar view, see Padover, “Madison As a Political
Thinker,” 33.

3. Papers of James Madison, vol. 12, ed. Robert Rutland, et al. (Charlottesville:
University of Virginia Press, 1962), 201.

4. Madison’s suspicions of the Federalists were even stronger than Jefferson’s. John R.
Howe, “Republican Thought and the Political Violence of the 1790s,” American
Quarterly, vol. XIX (Summer 1967), 147-165, at 149.

5. For contrary views of historians, see Drew McCoy, The Last of the Fathers: James
Madison & the Republican Legacy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 119-
170; Adrienne Koch and Harry Ammon, “The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: An
Episode in Jefferson’s and Madison’s Defense of Civil Liberties,” William and Mary
Quarterly 5 (1948), 147-176. For a hint at the reason why my reading is usually rejected
by historians, see Ibid., editors’ note, 145-146.

6. “Vices of the Political system of the U. States,” April 1787, Papers of James Madison,
vol. 9, 348-357.

7. Ibid., 187-188.

8. Cf. Ibid., 229.

9. Ibid., 228 details Madison’s objections.

10. The structure of the Senate also led Madison to favor allocating powers to the
Executive he had previously favored giving the Senate. Cf. Notes of Debates in the
Federal Convention of 1787 Reported by James Madison, ed. Adrienne Koch (New York
and London: W.W. Norton, 1966), 344, where he agreed that the Executive, not the
Senate, should appoint judges.

11. Lance Banning was mistaken in saying the proposed federal veto was to be wholly
defensive. Lance Banning, “The Practicable Sphere of a Republic,” in Beeman, et al.,
Beyond Confederation, fn. 19, 170-171. Rather, Congress would have been able to
employ it even when the federal position was not threatened.

12. Madison to Thomas Jefferson, Papers of James Madison, vol. 10, 206-214.

13. Charles Hobson, “The Negative on State Laws: James Madison, the Constitution and
the Crisis of Republican Government,” William and Mary Quarterly, vol. XXXVI, no. 2
(April 1979), 235.

14. Ibid., 218, 225.

15. Ibid., 228-230. Madison expected violence if a state statute were ever declared
unconstitutional. Madison to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787, Papers of James
Madison, vol. 15, 206-214, 211.

16. Madison to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787, Papers of James Madison, vol. 10,
206-214.

17. Cf. Lance Banning, “Virginia: Sectionalism and the General Good,” Ratifying the
Constitution, ed. Michael Gillespie and Michael Lienesch (Lawrence, Kansas: University
Press of Kansas, 1989), 274. As a Virginian, he had a powerful incentive to perpetuate
the union: Virginia was militarily vulnerable.

18. Peter Onuf, “Reflections on the Founding: Constitutional Historiography in


Bicentennial Perspective,” William and Mary Quarterly XXIII (1989), 341-375.

19. E.g., by Clinton Rossiter, The Federalist Papers, ed. Clinton Rossiter (New York and
Scarborough, Ontario: Mentor Books, 1961), xv. The view that Madison’s contribution
reflected his true beliefs is reflected in a plethora of articles and books, including Lance
Banning, “The Hamiltonian Madison: A Reconsideration.”

20. This notion is elaborated in Albert Furtwangler, The Authority of Publius: A Reading
of the Federalist Papers (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1984), passim.,
especially 17-44, 112-148. Also see Federalists 62 and 63, in which Madison defended
the composition of the Senate.

21. Charles Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, tr. Thomas Nugent
(New York and London: Hafner Publishing Company, 1966), 120.

22. As Madison and Hamilton conceded, several opponents of the constitution raised this
objection to the proposal for establishment of a single government over such a large area.
The Federalist, 52-53, 83-89.

23. The consonance between Madison’s essay and Hume’s was first noted by Douglass
Adair in “‘That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science’: David Hume, James Madison,
and the Tenth Federalist,” Huntington Library Quarterly, XX (1957), 343-360.
24. Cf. Peter Onuf, “James Madison’s Extended Republic,” 2380.

25. A position Madison had long held. Cf. “Report on Washington-Carleton


Correspondence about Treason,” Papers of James Madison, vol. 5, 42.

26. The Federalist, 243.

27. See the discussion of Madison’s “Notes on Nullification,” infra.

28. The Federalist, 305. Madison put theory into practice in the wake of the Jay Treaty’s
ratification, but the Virginia General Assembly refused to cooperate. Papers of James
Madison, vol. 16, 95- 104.

29. The Federalist, 313. Madison made this point again in Federalist “55, in which he
argued, inter alia, that members of Congress need not be as numerous as if it “possessed
the whole power of legislation.” Ibid., 374..

30. He reiterated this point in “Political Reflections,” February 23, 1799, Papers of
James Madison, vol. 17, 237-243, at 242.The Federalist, 320.; see also Federalist 55,
Ibid., 376. Madison went on to detail the manpower advantage the state militias must
always have over federal forces. Once again, he incautiously laid the groundwork for
states’ rights extremism. For Madison’s more candid appraisal of the relative military
strengths of the center and the states, see fn. 12, supra.

31. Papers of James Madison, vol. 12, 30 n.2, 91-92; Papers of James Madison, vol. 13,
348.

32. Congressional Debate (Madison’s notes), February 2, 1791, Papers of James


Madison, vol. 13, 374; Madison to Edmund Pendleton, February 13, 1791, Ibid.; Irving
Brant, James Madison: Father of the Constitution, 1787-1800, 327-333.

33. Ibid., 348-349. Madison’s constitutional inconsistency was a popular target of


Federalist attack, most famously in Hamilton’s opinion to President Washington on the
constitutionality of the bank. Ralph Ketcham, James Madison: A Biography, 321-322.

34. Paying both the original and the current holders of debt instruments was not feasible,
Madison admitted: “A composition, then, is the only expedient that remains; let it be a
liberal one, in favor of the present holders; let them have the highest price which has
prevailed in the market; and let the residue belong to the original sufferers . . . It will be
said, the plan is impracticable; . . . but it does not appear to me in that light . . . having
never been a proselyte to the doctrine, that public debts are public benefits.” Papers of
James Madison, vol. 13, “Discrimination between Present and Original Holders of the
Public Debt,” 34- 38, at 37, 38.

35. Ralph Ketcham, James Madison: A Biography, 312-315, 331; Drew McCoy, The
Elusive Republic: Political Economy in Jeffersonian America (New York: W.W. Norton
and Co., 1980), passim. Madison to Thomas Jefferson, March 14, 1794, Papers of James
Madison, vol. 15, 284; “Political Observations,” April 20, 1795, 511-533, fn. at 511-512.

36. Madison to Thomas Jefferson, May 1, 1791, cited in Franklyn Bonn, Jr., The Idea of
Political Party in the Thought of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Ph.D. diss.,
University of Minnesota (1964), 160.

37. For Madison’s reaction over time, see Irving Brant, James Madison: Father of the
Constitution, 1787- 1800, 371-388. For his lack of moral outrage, Madison to Thomas
Jefferson, April 12, 1793, Papers of James Madison, vol. 15, 6-8, at 7 (approving of the
regicide). For outright approval of the French Revolution, Madison to Thomas Jefferson,
June 13, 1793, Ibid., vol. 15, 28-30, at 30. The pro-Revolution resolutions drawn up by
Madison c. August 27, 1793 for the endorsement of Virginia county governments (any
criticism of France = love of England = monarchism, a recurrent Madisonian theme of
the 1790s) are at Ibid., 79- 80.Papers of James Madison, vol. 17, xx.

38. Madison to Thomas Jefferson, May 20, 1798, Papers of James Madison, vol. 17, 132.

39. Jefferson’s draft of the Kentucky Resolutions is at The Portable Thomas Jefferson,
ed. Merrill Peterson (New York: Viking Press, 1975), 281-289.

40. Thus also of the people, who have the right to be governed only by a government of
their own device; when the federal government ignores the Tenth Amendment, it
deprives the people of government by consent.

41. The editors of Madison’s papers aver that Madison’s version was therefore “more
carefully crafted.” Papers of James Madison, vol. 17, 186. It is unclear why simple
reliance on the Tenth Amendment signifies craftsmanship less careful than Madison’s,
even though Madison’s version was “purposely vague about the recourse left open to a
state in protesting such acts.” Ibid., 187. Perhaps the editors mean that Madison’s version
was more politic than Jefferson’s.

42. Madison to Thomas Jefferson, December 29,1798, Id., 191-192 contains the famous
question, “Have you ever considered thoroughly the distinction between the power of the
State, & that of the Legislature, on questions relating to the federal pact.” [sic] This is
usually read as implying some special Madisonian insight into the nature of the union.
However, the following two sentences say: On the supposition that the former is clearly
the ultimate judge of infractions, it does not follow that the latter is the legitimate organ[,]
especially as a Convention was the organ by which the Compact was made. This was a
reason of great weight for using general expressions that would leave to other States a
choice of all the modes possible of concurring in the substance, and would shield the
Genl. Assembly agst. the charge of Usurpation in the very act of protesting agst [sic] the
usurpations of Congress.

43. Cf. Neal Riemer, “James Madison’s Theory of the Self-Destructive Features of
Republican Government,” Ethics, vol. LXV (October 1954), 40 (text at fn. 24). For a
statement of their moderate nature, see “Virginia Resolutions: Editorial Note,” Papers of
James Madison, vol. 17, 188.

44. The Virginia Resolutions of 1798 are at Ibid., 188-190.

45. E.g., Drew McCoy, Last of the Fathers; Adrienne Koch and Harry Ammon, “The
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: An Episode in Jefferson’s and Madison’s Defense of
Civil Liberties;” Adrienne Koch, Madison’s “Advice to My Country” (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1966); Irving Brant, James Madison: Father of the
Constitution, 1787-1800. If, as Koch and Ammon said, Madison did not “believe that the
state was the ultimate judge of both the violation and the mode of redress,” he certainly
did not make that clear in either the resolutions themselves or the Publius letters.
Adrienne Koch and Harry Ammon, “The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: An
Episode in Jefferson’s and Madison’s Defense of Civil Liberties.”

46. John Miller, Crisis in Freedom: The Alien and Sedition Acts, (Boston: Little, Brown
& Company, 1951), 171.

47. Ibid., 172.

48. Ibid., 172-173.

49. “Null: . . . 1: having no legal or binding force: INVALID.” Webster’s New Collegiate
Dictionary (Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1979).

50. While this is usually read as a matter-of- fact statement, it was probably a
misrepresentation of the law of press freedom at the time. Leonard Levy, Legacy of
Suppression: Freedom of Speech and Press in Early American History (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1960), viii and passim. The uncertainty results from the
impossibility of saying whether the doctrine of desuetude had changed the law by 1787.

51. At the end of the eighteenth century, Americans could be expected to be familiar with
the long English tradition of enforcing law agreed to be “legal,” though not
“constitutional.” John Reid, In Defiance of the Law: The Standing-Army Controversy, the
Two Constitutions, and the Coming of the American Revolution (Chapel Hill: University
of North Carolina Press, 1981). Thus, Virginia’s statement that theses laws were
unconstitutional did not necessarily imply that they were “of no force or effect;” that
implication came from the “interposition” proposal in the third resolution.

52. North Carolina’s legislature had been Jefferson’s first choice for the role of junior
partner eventually filled by Kentucky’s in adopting his resolutions. Adrienne Koch and
Harry Ammon, “The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: An Episode in Jefferson’s and
Madison’s Defense of Civil Liberties,” 167; Richard Buel, Securing the Revolution:
Ideology in American Politics, 1789-1815 (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press,
1972), 223- 224.
53. Ibid., 223.

54. Richard Buel, Securing the Revolution: Ideology in American Politics, 1789-1815,
224; Irving Brant, James Madison: Father of the Constitution, 1787- 1800, 470; “The
Report of 1800: Editorial Note,” Papers of James Madison, vol. 17, 306.

55. Ibid., 305; Madison to Thomas Jefferson, January 4, 1800, Ibid., 302.

56. John Miller, Crisis in Freedom: The Alien and Sedition Acts, 179.

57. Irving Brant, The Fourth President: A Life of James Madison (Indianapolis and New
York: Bobbs- Merrill, 1970), 299.

58. Lance Banning, The Jeffersonian Persuasion: Evolution of a Party Ideology, fn. 29,
284.

59. Report of 1800, Papers of James Madison, vol. 17, 307.

60. If interposition consists merely of replacing representatives and instructing senators,


why not resort to it on the slightest provocation?

61. Ibid., 310. The analogy of a simple treaty between states was used, implying that each
state stood on its own; Madison never raised this analogy in the Nullification Crisis
context.

62. Ibid., 311-312.

63. Ibid., 303.

64. John R. Howe, “Republican Thought and the Political Violence of the 1790s.”

65. The foremost account is William Freehling, Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification
Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836 (New York and Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1965). The collapse of the (Madisonian) middle position between state sovereignty
and consolidation is the topic of Richard Ellis, The Union at Risk: Jacksonian
Democracy, States’ Rights and the Nullification Crisis (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1987). Also useful is John C. Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government and
Selections from the Discourse (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Educational Publishing,
1953).

66. Madison insisted that the federal tariff, the purported aim of which was to encourage
domestic manufactures, was constitutional. Madison to Joseph C. Cabell, September 18,
1828, Writings of James Madison, vol. IX (New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons,
1910), 316, et seq. His protestation that the distinction between regulatory and revenue
tariffs drawn in the Revolutionary crisis did not apply would convince except that it
overlooks his doctrine that the states are the parties to the compact (and thus the final
arbiters of its meaning). Ibid., 326.

67. William Freehling, Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South
Carolina, 130. This point was tacitly made in Madison to Alexander Rives, January
1833, Writings of James Madison, vol. IX, 495.

68. John R. Howe, “Republican Thought and the Political Violence of the 1790s.”

69. Madison to Joseph Cabell, September 18, 1828, Writings of James Madison, vol. IX,
339-340.

70. Madison to Robert Y. Hayne, Ibid., fn. 2, 383.

71. A point he repeated in Madison to Edward Everett, August 28, 1830, Writings of
James Madison, vol. IX, 384.

72. This point was reiterated in Madison to Alexander Rives, January 1833, Ibid., 495.

73. See the discussion of Publius’ thirty-ninth letter, supra.

74. This point was repeated in Madison to Everett, September 10, 1830, Writings of
James Madison, vol. IX, 395 (note), and in “Notes on Nullification,” Ibid., 573, 539, fn.
1., where he interpreted Thomas Jefferson’s reference to nullification as an appeal to
natural rights. The notion that governments may of right ignore natural rights seems only
to have been applied by Madison in the context of state opposition to federal action. It
may appear to be drawn from John Locke’s argument that each is on his own when those
who have been authorized to make laws see their right to do so usurped. John Locke,
Second Treatise of Civil Government (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1955), 179.
However, Locke was speaking of a unified, not a federal, polity. In the American case, as
Madison said, the constitution of the general government was a federal act; the Lockean
conclusion is that federal usurpation would leave the states on their own (as is implicit in
Virginia’s third resolution). In that light, nullification becomes a moderate remedy. Also
see Ibid., 184-190, where a discussion of the proper remedies to governmental
overreaching puts the people in the right and the government in the wrong (thus
contradicting Madison’s statement). In neither situation did Locke (or the Carolinians)
say that each constituent was free to dissolve the compact: only the government in
question (in 1798 and 1830, the federal government) could do that. However, only the
constituents could decide when that had occurred, for who else was there? (Madison
himself agreed in his Report of 1800.) The central attribute of Locke’s compact theory of
government is that delegation is always contingent: the constituents’ rights always
remain paramount to those of their creature, the government. The alternative is unlimited
government.The foremost practitioner of the Websterite theory of an organic union
antedating the federal constitution, President Abraham Lincoln, said the people’s
existence preceded the constitution and made it possible. If not, “The United States
[would] be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of a
contract [or pact] merely.” Garry Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade
America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), 130, citing Abraham Lincoln, Speeches
and Writings, vol. 2, ed. Don E. Fehrenbacher (New York: Library of America, 1989),
217. Madison, by saying that the ratification of the constitution was a “federal” act
undertaken by “independent” states, said that the states were once distinct. In fact, the
United States were referred to in the plural for nearly nine decades, which shows that the
people at large understood the situation thus (as does their adoption of the word “federal”
to denominate the general government).

75. This point, like the letter generally, was repeated in Madison to Edward Everett,
August 28, 1830, Writings of James Madison, vol. IX, 383, 402.

76. A threat of force was also implicit in Virginia’s and Kentucky’s manifestos. Neal
Riemer, “James Madison’s Theory of the Self-Destructive Features of Republican
Government,” Ethics, vol. LXV (October 1954), fn. 24, 40.

77. The Portable Jefferson, ed. Merrill Peterson, 281-289, at 286.

78. Madison insisted that the United States’ government was neither national nor federal,
but a blend of both, and refused to recognize that one or the other must have the final
word on constitutional construction. Cf. Madison to Edward Everett, August 28, 1830,
Writings of James Madison, vol. IX, 384.

79. Ibid., 383.

80. See also Madison to Alexander Rives, January 1833, Ibid., 495, 496. Implicit in this
notion is the idea that a congressional majority may legislate as it will, regardless of the
Tenth Amendment’s reservation of some powers to the states.

81. This argument was repeated in Madison to C.E. Haynes, August 27, 1832, Ibid., 482,
et seq.

82. Ibid., 444, et seq.

83. He repeated this argument in Madison to C.E. Haynes, August 27, 1832, Ibid., 482,
483; in Madison to N.P. Trist, December 23, 1832, Ibid., 489, 490; in “Notes on
Nullification,” 1835-1836, Ibid., 573, 575-576, 580-581, and elsewhere. Using Madison’s
logic, assertions of “the free speech rights of men” would raise only claims to such rights
when exercised corporately, for only the plural is there used.

84. The standard understanding of performance contracts is that absent a fixed term, they
can be terminated by any party with reasonable notice.

85. Ibid.

86. Madison to William C. Rives, March 12, 1833, Ibid., 511.


87. If sovereigns agree to act federally in, e.g., foreign affairs, do they cease to be
sovereigns, or are they simply sovereigns acting federally in foreign affairs? Whether
conventions of the people in each state or the legislatures were the bodies authorized to
speak in sovereign capacity, Madison had held in The Federalist that thirteen sovereigns
had made the constitution – - that ratification was a federal act, not the act of one people.

88. Ibid., 511, et seq.

89. Ibid., 574.

90. Ibid., 575.

91. Ibid., 575, 577.

92. Ibid., 595-597.

93. Ibid., 599.

94. Ibid., 603.

95. Ibid., 606.

********************************************************************
About

“The Tenth Amendment was intended to confirm the


understanding of the people at the time the Constitution
was adopted, that powers not granted to the United States
were reserved to the States or to the people. It added
nothing to the instrument as originally ratified.” —
United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716, 733 (1931).
*****.

The Tenth Amendment

"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."
The Tenth Amendment
**************************************
The United States Constitution
________________________________
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____________________________________________________________________

Contents

• Preamble
• Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
o Section 1 - The Legislature
o Section 2 - The House
o Section 3 - The Senate
o Section 4 - Elections, Meetings
o Section 5 - Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment
o Section 6 - Compensation
o Section 7 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto
o Section 8 - Powers of Congress
o Section 9 - Limits on Congress
o Section 10 - Powers Prohibited of States
• Article 2 - The Executive Branch
o Section 1 - The President
o Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power,
Appointments
o Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress
o Section 4 - Disqualification
• Article 3 - The Judicial Branch
o Section 1 - Judicial Powers
o Section 2 - Trial by Jury, Original Jurisdiction, Jury Trials
o Section 3 - Treason
• Article 4 - The States
o Section 1 - Each State to Honor All Others
o Section 2 - State Citizens, Extradition
o Section 3 - New States
o Section 4 - Republican Government
• Article 5 - Amendment
• Article 6 - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths
• Article 7 - Ratification
• Signatories
• Amendments
o Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression
o Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms
o Amendment 3 - Quartering of Soldiers
o Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure
o Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings
o Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses
o Amendment 7 - Trial by Jury in Civil Cases
o Amendment 8 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment
o Amendment 9 - Construction of Constitution
o Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People
o Amendment 11 - Judicial Limits
o Amendment 12 - Choosing the President, Vice President
o Amendment 13 - Slavery Abolished
o Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights
o Amendment 15 - Race No Bar to Vote
o Amendment 16 - Status of Income Tax Clarified
o Amendment 17 - Senators Elected by Popular Vote
o Amendment 18 - Liquor Abolished
o Amendment 19 - Women's Suffrage
o Amendment 20 - Presidential, Congressional Terms
o Amendment 21 - Amendment 18 Repealed
o Amendment 22 - Presidential Term Limits
o Amendment 23 - Presidential Vote for District of Columbia
o Amendment 24 - Poll Taxes Barred
o Amendment 25 - Presidential Disability and Succession
o Amendment 26 - Voting Age Set to 18 Years
o Amendment 27 - Limiting Congressional Pay Increases

____________________________________________________________________

The Constitution of the United States

Preamble Note

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish
Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the
general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do
ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

____________________________________________________________________

Article I - The Legislative Branch Note

Section 1 - The Legislature

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States,
which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2 - The House

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year
by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the
Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State
Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five
Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when
elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

(Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which
may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall
be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to
Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other
Persons.) (The previous sentence in parentheses was modified by the 14th
Amendment, section 2.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after
the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term
of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives
shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one
Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire
shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight,
Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and
Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority
thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall
have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3 - The Senate


The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State,
(chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded
by 17th Amendment, section 1.) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall
be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first
Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the
Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so
that one third may be chosen every second Year; (and if Vacancies happen by
Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the
Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the
Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.) (The preceding words in parentheses
were superseded by the 17th Amendment, section 2.)

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and
been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an
Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no
Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the
absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the
United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that
Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is
tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the
Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office,
and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the
United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to
Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 4 - Elections, Meetings

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives,
shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any
time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall (be on
the first Monday in December,) (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded
by the 20th Amendment, section 2.) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5 - Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment


Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own
Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller
number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance
of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may
provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for
disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the
same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and
Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of
those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other,
adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two
Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6 - Compensation

(The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be
ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.) (The preceding
words in parentheses were modified by the 27th Amendment.) They shall in all
Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during
their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning
from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be
questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be
appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have
been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time;
and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either
House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto

All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the
Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall,
before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve
he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it
shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and
proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree
to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by
which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it
shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined
by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be
entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the
President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him,
the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by
their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of
Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be
presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect,
shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of
the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations
prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to
pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United
States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the
Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of


Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of
Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the
United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to
Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses
against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning
Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a
longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress
Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such
Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the
States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the
Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not
exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance
of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise
like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in
which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and
other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the
foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of
the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9 - Limits on Congress

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall
think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one
thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation,
not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases
of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

(No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or
Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by
the 16th Amendment.)

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.


No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of
one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged
to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations


made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of
all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any
Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of
any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or
foreign State.

Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque
and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin
a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law
impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on
Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection
Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or
Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall
be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops,
or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another
State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such
imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

____________________________________________________________________

Article II - The Executive Branch Note

Section 1 - The President Note1 Note2

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He
shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President
chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number
of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the
State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person
holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an
Elector.
(The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two persons, of
whom one at least shall not lie an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they
shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each;
which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government
of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate
shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the
Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number
of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of
Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an
equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by
Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five
highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in
chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each
State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members
from two-thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a
Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest
Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain
two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice-
President.) (This clause in parentheses was superseded by the 12th Amendment.)

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which
they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of
the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall
any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five
Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

(In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or
Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on
the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal,
Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what
Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the
Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.) (This clause in parentheses has
been modified by the 20th and 25th Amendments.)

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which
shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been
elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United
States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or
Affirmation:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of
the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States."

Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,
and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United
States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the
executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective
Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the
United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make
Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and
by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other
public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the
United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which
shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such
inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in
the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the
Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their
next Session.

Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,
and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and
expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them,
and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment,
he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors
and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and
shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4 - Disqualification

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed
from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high
Crimes and Misdemeanors.

____________________________________________________________________

Article III - The Judicial Branch Note


Section 1 - Judicial powers

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in
such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The
Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good
Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which
shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section 2 - Trial by Jury, Original Jurisdiction, Jury Trials

(The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this
Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made,
under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and
Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which
the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between
a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between
Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between
a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.) (This section in
parentheses is modified by the 11th Amendment.)

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in
which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the
other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both
as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress
shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial
shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not
committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress
may by Law have directed.

Section 3 - Treason Note

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in
adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of
Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on
Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of
Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the
Person attainted.

____________________________________________________________________

Article IV - The States


Section 1 - Each State to Honor all others

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial
Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the
Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect
thereof.

Section 2 - State citizens, Extradition

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in
the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from
Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the
State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction
of the Crime.

(No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into
another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from
such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such
Service or Labour may be due.) (This clause in parentheses is superseded by the 13th
Amendment.)

Section 3 - New States

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be
formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by
the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the
Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations
respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in
this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or
of any particular State.

Section 4 - Republican government

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of
Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the
Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against
domestic Violence.

____________________________________________________________________

Article V - Amendment Note1 - Note2 - Note3


The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose
Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds
of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either
Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified
by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three
fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the
Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One
thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses
in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be
deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

____________________________________________________________________

Article VI - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this
Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under
the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance
thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United
States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be
bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary
notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several
State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and
of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution;
but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public
Trust under the United States.

____________________________________________________________________

Article VII - Ratification Documents

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the
Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

____________________________________________________________________

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth
Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven
and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof
We have hereunto subscribed our Names. Note

Go Washington - President and deputy from Virginia


New Hampshire - John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts - Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King

Connecticut - Wm Saml Johnson, Roger Sherman

New York - Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey - Wil Livingston, David Brearley, Wm Paterson, Jona. Dayton

Pensylvania - B Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robt Morris, Geo. Clymer, Thos FitzSimons,
Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouv Morris

Delaware - Geo. Read, Gunning Bedford jun, John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, Jaco.
Broom

Maryland - James McHenry, Dan of St Tho Jenifer, Danl Carroll

Virginia - John Blair, James Madison Jr.

North Carolina - Wm Blount, Richd Dobbs Spaight, Hu Williamson

South Carolina - J. Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce


Butler

Georgia - William Few, Abr Baldwin

Attest: William Jackson, Secretary

____________________________________________________________________

The Amendments Note

The following are the Amendments to the Constitution. The first ten Amendments
collectively are commonly known as the Bill of Rights. History

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the


free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of
the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
grievances.

____________________________________________________________________
Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the
people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 3 - Quartering of Soldiers. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the
Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but
upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the
place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified


12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a
presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval
forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall
any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor
shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived
of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be
taken for public use, without just compensation.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified


12/15/1791.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,
by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been
committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses
against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have
the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 7 - Trial by Jury in Civil Cases. Ratified 12/15/1791.

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the
right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-
examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common
law.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 8 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual
punishments inflicted.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 9 - Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or
disparage others retained by the people.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

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.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 11 - Judicial Limits. Ratified 2/7/1795. Note History

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law
or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of
another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 12 - Choosing the President, Vice-President. Ratified 6/15/1804. Note


History The Electoral College

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and
Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with
themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in
distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists
of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of
the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed
to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of
Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if
such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person
have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding
three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose
immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be
taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this
purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a
majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of
Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve
upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall
act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the
President.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-
President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if
no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall
choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the
whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a
choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible
to that of Vice-President of the United States.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 13 - Slavery Abolished. Ratified 12/6/1865. History

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof
the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place
subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Note History

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction
thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State
shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens
of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their


respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding
Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for
President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the
Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is
denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and
citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion,
or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion
which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens
twenty-one years of age in such State.

3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and


Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any
State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of
the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial
officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged
in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies
thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts
incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or
rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall
assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against
the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such
debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of
this article.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 15 - Race No Bar to Vote. Ratified 2/3/1870. History

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of
servitude.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 16 - Status of Income Tax Clarified. Ratified 2/3/1913. Note History


The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever
source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to
any census or enumeration

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 17 - Senators Elected by Popular Vote. Ratified 4/8/1913. History

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State,
elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The
electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most
numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive
authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That
the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary
appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator
chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 18 - Liquor Abolished. Ratified 1/16/1919. Repealed by Amendment 21,


12/5/1933. History

1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or
transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the
exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction
thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article
by appropriate legislation.

3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to
the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution,
within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 19 - Women's Suffrage. Ratified 8/18/1920. History

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 20 - Presidential, Congressional Terms. Ratified 1/23/1933. History

1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of
January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January,
of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified;
and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin
at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect
shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not
have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President
elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until
a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case
wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring
who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be
selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall
have qualified.

4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from
whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice
shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from
whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have
devolved upon them.

5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification
of this article.

6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to
the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven
years from the date of its submission.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 21 - Amendment 18 Repealed. Ratified 12/5/1933. History

1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby
repealed.

2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United
States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof,
is hereby prohibited.
3. The article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to
the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution,
within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 22 - Presidential Term Limits. Ratified 2/27/1951. History

1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person
who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a
term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of
the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the
office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not
prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President,
during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of
President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to
the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven
years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 23 - Presidential Vote for District of Columbia. Ratified 3/29/1961.


History

1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in
such manner as the Congress may direct: A number of electors of President and Vice
President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to
which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least
populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall
be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be
electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties
as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 24 - Poll Tax Barred. Ratified 1/23/1964. History

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for
President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or
Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any
State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 25 - Presidential Disability and Succession. Ratified 2/10/1967. Note


History

1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the
Vice President shall become President.

2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall
nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of
both Houses of Congress.

3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to
discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written
declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice
President as Acting President.

4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the
executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to
the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of
his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the
office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and
the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability
exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a
majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body
as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore
of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration
that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon
Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty eight hours for that purpose if
not in session. If the Congress, within twenty one days after receipt of the latter written
declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty one days after Congress is
required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Houses that the President is
unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue
to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the
powers and duties of his office.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 26 - Voting Age Set to 18 Years. Ratified 7/1/1971. History


1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to
vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of
age.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

____________________________________________________________________

Amendment 27 - Limiting Congressional Pay Increases. Ratified 5/7/1992. History

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives,
shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am10

*************************************

____________________________________________________________

TENTH AMENDMENT CENTER


State Groups
TAC State Groups

• Rachel Maddow’s Blog Targets Tenthers, Cuccinelli, Tertium Quids Josh Eboch
• Health Care Nullification for California Has Arrived Bryce Shonka
• Why Texas must call a special session… Brian Roberts
• Meet Marc Delphine Timothy Reeves
• DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND: THE HEALTHCARE BILL Andrew Nappi
• Hold the Line and Push Back Andrew Nappi
• Healthcare Intervention: The Bigger Picture Andrew Nappi
• RJ Harris: Nullification is a States Way to Remedy a Contract Breach. Wayne
Hill
• Dates That Destroyed America Andrew Nappi
• Responding to the Health Care Mandate Bryce Shonka

• State Sovereignty Resolutions

• The 10th Amendment Movement

• Palin Signs Alaska Sovereignty Resolution

• Obama's Imperial Decree: Target Oklahoma

• They Can't Push Us Around Forever

Essential Reading

 NULLIFICATION: Current Efforts


 model 10th amendment resolution
 tenth amendment talking points

• Napolitano: Tenth Amendment Town Hall


• Video: The Constitution and Freedom
• Video: The Role of Congress Under the Constitution
• Video: Presidential Power and the Constitution
• History Repeating Itself?
. Early Pennsylvania, Nullifying the Way to Freedom
. Pennsylvania to Consider Nullifying Some Federal Gun Laws
. Tennessee Governor Signs Sovereignty Resolution
. A Rebellion Brewing in Oklahoma
*- Real ID on its way Out

===========================================================

We Refuse!

Tenth Amendment Center | April 20, 2010


By Michael Boldin

The following is based off a speech given at the Palm Desert Tax
Day Tea Party on April 15, 2010

There are a few core beliefs that guide me in everything I do as the


founder of the Tenth Amendment Center

• Rights are not “granted” to us by the government – they are


ours by our very nature, by our birthright.
• ALL just political authority is derived from the people – and
government exists solely with our consent!
• We the people of the several states created the federal
government – not the other way around!
• The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal
power as being that which has been delegated by the people
to the federal government in the Constitution – and nothing
more.
• The People of each State have the sole and exclusive right
and power to govern themselves in all areas not delegated to
their government.
• A Government without limits is a tyranny!
• When Congress enacts laws and regulations that are not made
in Pursuance of the powers enumerated in the Constitution,
the People are not bound to obey them.

These seven items are about sovereignty, which is something we


hear about quite a bit lately – but few really understand.
Sovereignty is defined as “final authority.” All through history,
this final authority was in the hands of just one or two people – a
king, a queen, or even just a small cabal of elites at the top of the
food chain.

But the founders and ratifiers gave us something unique in history


– a first, really. They created a system where the average people –
you and I – held final authority. We the people are sovereign. We
the people hold final authority. We the people are in charge. And,
they the government work for us!

The Tenth Amendment codifies in law this principle of popular


sovereignty – that “We the People” of the several states created the
federal government to be our agent for certain, enumerated
purposes – and nothing more. But unfortunately, that’s not how
things have been working, and very little that the government does
is actually authorized by the constitution. And, this is a problem
that didn’t just start in January 2009 – it’s been going on a long,
long time.

Question – What do we do about it?

• Do we call and email our representatives in Congress and ask


them to limit their own power?
• Do we march on D.C. and demand that the government limit
its own power?
• Do we sue them in their own courts and ask their judges to
limit their power?
• Do we vote the bums out in 2010, or 2012 – and ask new
politicians to limit their own power?

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both warned us that if the


federal government ever became the sole and exclusive arbiter of
the extent of its own powers – that power would endlessly grow…
regardless of elections, separation of powers, courts, or other
vaunted parts of our system.

Guess what – they were right. For a hundred years, we the people
have been suing, and marching, and lobbying, and voting the bums
out – but yet…year in and year out, government continues to grow
and your liberty continues to diminish – and it doesn’t matter who
is the president, or what political party controls congress – the
growth of power in the federal government never stops.

The problem we face today is not about personalities or political


parties – it’s about power. Until we address the absolute fact that
the federal government has too much power, things will never
change.

Question – What do we do about it?

Jefferson and Madison gave us the answer. In response to the


unconstitutional attacks on liberty that were the Alien and Sedition
Acts, they secretly authored the Kentucky and Virginia
Resolutions of 1798. Here are a few excerpts that really define
exactly how things are supposed to work when two or more
branches of the federal government conspire against the
constitution and your liberty.

the several States composing the United States of America, are not
united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General
Government
whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated
powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.

where powers are assumed [by the federal government] which


have not been delegated [by the Constitution], a nullification of
the act is the rightful remedy

So while it might be important to call, petition, demand, march,


sue and vote bums out, because they’re all bums, there’s much
more we’re supposed to do. When the federal government violates
your rights, you’re not supposed to wait four years for new
politicians in the hope that they’ll fix it. You’re not supposed to
wait two, or four, or more years for some black-robed judge to
pronounce that they’ve violated your rights. You are supposed to
resist those violations of your liberty as they happen – and it is
your state’s solemn duty to do the same.

NEW MOVEMENT

While such a task might seem daunting, it’s something that’s


already happening today, and has been growing in recent years too.

In 2007, one state rep in Maine introduced a non-binding


resolution opposing the REAL ID Act.

In 2008, one state rep in Oklahoma introduced a simple non-


binding resolution reaffirming the Constitution as defined by the
10th amendment,.

In 2009, one state rep in Montana introduced a bill to nullify some


federal gun laws and regulations.

In 2009, one state rep in Arizona introduced a state constitutional


amendment to effectively ban a national health care plan in that
state.
These simple, single acts by courageous people have grown into a
state-level resistance to unconstitutional federal acts the likes this
country has possibly never seen.

• Already a dozen states have passed 10th


amendment resolutions reaffirming the
Constitution as the founders and ratifiers
gave us.
• 25 states have passed laws and
resolutions nullifying the Real ID act –
stopping it dead in its tracks in most of
the country.
• 7 states have passed Firearms Freedom
Acts – nullifying some federal gun laws
and regulations in their states.
• 14 states have now passed laws
nullifying unconstitutional federal laws
on marijuana
• 3 states have already passed Health Care
Freedom Acts to ban federal health care
mandates in their states.
• Other states are considering nullification
laws on cap and trade, the misuse of
state national guard troops, monetary
policy and much more.
Here at the Tenth Amendment Center we have released model
legislation for you to give to your state reps to demand that they
stand with you and refuse to comply with unconstitutional acts
from Washington D.C. Our latest? The Federal Health Care
Nullification Act.

This Act is not over 1000 pages. It’s not 500 pages. It’s not a
dozen, or even two. It’s one single page to nullify now.

Here’s a majority of what it says:

The Legislature of the State of _______________ declares that the


federal law known as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act,” signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, is
not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates
its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers,
and is hereby declared to be invalid in this state, shall not be
recognized by this state, is specifically rejected by this state, and
shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

And it adds some much-needed ‘teeth’ too:

Any official, agent, or employee of the United States government


or any employee of a corporation providing services to the United
States government that enforces or attempts to enforce an act,
order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the
United States in violation of this act shall be guilty of a felony and
upon conviction must be punished by a fine not exceeding five
thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or a term of imprisonment not
exceeding five (5) years, or both.
They want to fine us or put us in jail for not buying insurance from
some corporation. What’s next – fining us for not buying a Chevy?
Well, it’s time that we turn this thing around – and in the federal
health care nullification act – we fine THEM for violating our
rights!

While this may seem difficult to accomplish – or even


insurmountable – if we do nothing, or if we even do the same
things we’ve been doing, we’re doomed to failure. But if we do
what’s right, we will succeed! Samuel Adams put it best: “It does
not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless
minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”

Question: What do we do about it?

Step one is to sign on in support the Federal Health Care


Nullification Act. WeRefuse.com is a new website (and the only
one that I’m aware of) dedicated solely to nullifying national
health care on a state level. Join us in our first goal of 100,000 to
stop national health care “laws” today!

Let’s make this work and then we can use it as a model for every
other constitutional violation coming out of D.C.

http://newsbuster.com/Pages/content/we-refuse.html

===========================================================
*
Home News Top Ten Links
WeRefuse.com
Tell your state legislators and governor's that you
refuse to recognize the Unconstitutional national
health care law. Tell them that you will not be forced
by the federal government to buy a good or service
from a company. You are not a slave to the
government or to any other American. Tell them that
you will not be strong-armed by the Federal
Government and that your State must nullify the
forced national health care mandate.
Sign the petition to your state legislators now. Tell
everyone you know to join us as We REFUSE!

News and Information..


more articles >>
Sign your State's petition from the list below:
6,868 total petition signers

Alabama Louisiana Ohio


Alaska Maine Oklahoma 100,000 to
Arizona Maryland Oregon
Arkansas Massachusetts Pennsylvania
nullify
California Michigan Rhode Island National
Colorado Minnesota South Carolina Health
Connecticut Mississippi South Dakota
Delaware Missouri Tennessee
Care!
Florida Montana Texas
Georgia Nebraska Utah
Hawaii Nevada Vermont
Idaho New Hampshire Virginia
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico West Virginia
Iowa New York Wisconsin
Kansas North Carolina Wyoming
Kentucky North Dakota

Please support the WeRefuse.com project and give it the power to make a difference.
Make a contribution of $5, $25, $50, $100 or more today and together we'll fight
Unconstitutional Federal legislation.

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===========================================================
100,000 needed to nullify
National Health Care!

PLEASE HELP TO STOP THIS MASSIVE


DISTRIBUTION OF YOUR HARD
WORKING MONEY THROUGH
TAXATION TO SUBSDIZE MILLIONS OF
ILLEGAL ALIENS AND WELFARE
CASES.
===========================================================

WHY STATES RIGHTS ARE THE ANSWER

The purpose of the Constitution of the United States is the


preservation of Liberty. Having just taken on and winning their
freedom from the most powerful empire in the world at that time
the founders wanted to secure the right of self rule and safe guard
against the corrupting influence of power by establishing a contract
which set clear and limited powers for a centralized government.
In the Preamble to the Constitution that most of us memorized in
school at least long enough to pass a test, the founders tell us
exactly why they are writing this constitution, and they want it to
accomplish.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a
more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic
tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote
the general welfare, and secure the blessings of
liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and
establish this Constitution for the United States of
America.

Of course even in the beginning we had Hamilton arguing for what


would become the general welfare clause in Article I, Section 8,
that expanded the power of congress to include anything that could
be said to promote the welfare of the nation. The clause was later
used to uphold much of the New Deal legislation in the 1930’s by
the Supreme Court, and to justify pretty much anything the
congress has wanted to do since then. This contradicts what James
Madison wrote in Federalist #45 that argued against such an idea
or the fact that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments further define a
limit on the power and scope of the federal government.

My purpose here is not to debate the general welfare clause. If


those in power today were citing this for the authority needed to do
the things they feel need to be done, it would be a welcome change
to the blatant disregard those in Washington have towards our
history and the document they have each sworn an oath to uphold.
It is clear that many of our so called leaders view this as a quaint
little tradition that bears no meaning in today’s world. Here we
have a recording of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi being
asked where the constitutional authority for mandating individuals
buy Health care under penalty of law. Her response is telling.

Our founding fathers tried to warned us of this.


“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you
will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only
end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”
James Madison

We could talk, debate, point fingers about how we got from 1776
to today, but the fact is each of us is responsible, and unless we
own the blame, we cannot own the solution. First you need to ask,
“Does the constitution matter to you?” If you answered yes, you
may ask, “but what can I do?” Here is an idea for you.

Nullification.

The idea originally came from Hamilton in the Federalist #28

“It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that


the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford
complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the
national authority.”

Later, in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Kentucky


and Virginia Resolutions, written by Thomas Jefferson and James
Madison stated the Federal Government only had the powers listed
in Article One Section Eight, and that the states were not bound to
enforce any federal law that exercised a power not delegated to it.
For a more complete treatise on these I would direct you to
read this by Thomas E. Woods, jr., Ph.d.

Fast forward to modern times. Did you know in 1994 that Charles
Duke, then a representative here in the Colorado State
legislature, introduced the “10th Amendment / State Sovereignty
Resolution – 1994″? It was first passed in Colorado but swept to
many states across the country. Check out this link for an update
from the author.
Resolutions are fine, but they have no teeth right? Remember the
Real ID Act? The one that said if we didn’t have a “real ID” we
would not be able to enter a federal building or board an airplane.
You do not have one today and can still do everything you could
before, why not? Because the States said no.

Check this out from http://www.realnightmare.org/news/105/

And today? Well Montana has passed a Firearms Freedom Act,


and now other states have followed suit, more on this can be found
here. Here is an excellent article by Washington State Rep.
Matthew Shea. that outlines a plan to restore our Constitutional
rights through the states. Of everything I have read the last three
years, this to me is our best chance to win.
Being frustrated and angry is one thing, but to recognise that you
have the power and ability to fix it yourself is another. It will not
be easy, but consider what our Founding Fathers went through and
risked to grant us, their progeny, the freedoms we still enjoy today,
and it no longer seems that daunting. This quote lays it out there
for you.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men
to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

It is time for good men and women to come off of the sidelines and
get involved. Doing nothing is simply granting consent of the
very actions that frustrate you.
Geoff Broughton is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Colorado Tenth Amendment
Center.

If you enjoyed this post:


Click Here to Get the Free Tenth Amendment Center Newsletter,

http://colorado.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/12/why-states-rights-are-the-answer-
today/

============================================================

=====================================For Your Reference Below

• Already a dozen states have passed 10th


amendment resolutions reaffirming the
Constitution as the founders and
gratifiers gave us.
• ==============
• 25 states have passed laws and
resolutions nullifying the Real ID act –
stopping it dead in its tracks in most of
the country.
Alabama
HJR13: Opposition to implementation of the Real ID Act
Alaska
SB202: Prohibits State Spending on Real ID Effective Date of Law – 08/26/08
Arizona
HB 2677, Real ID Act prohibition. (Passed House of Representatives 51-8 on
3/19/08) (Passed Senate 21-7 on 5/6/08) (Signed by Governor Napolitano 6/17/08)
Arkansas
SCR 16 requests that the Arkansas Congressional Delegation support the repeal of the
Real ID Act. (Enacted 3/28/07)
Colorado
HJR 07-1047 a resolution in opposition to the Real ID Act. (Enacted 5/4/07)
Georgia
SB 5 Authorizing the governor of Georgia to delay compliance with the Real ID Act
(Enacted 5/11/07).
Hawaii
SCR 31 Opposing the creation of a national identity card and the implementation of
the Real ID Act of 2005. (Adopted 4/25/07)
Idaho
HB 606 Real ID Act, do not implement. (Enacted 4/9/08)
Illinois
HJR 27 Opposes any portion of the Real ID Act that violates the rights and liberties
guaranteed under the Illinois and US Constitutions and urges Congress to repeal Real
ID (Adopted 5/22/07).
Iowa
Kentucky
HCR 122 Urges Congress to repeal the creation of a national ID card and the Real ID
Act of 2005. (Passed out of committee 2/20/07). SCR 111 A concurrent resolution
urging Congress to repeal the creati…
Louisiana
HB 715 Directs the Office of Public Safety and Corrections not to implement the Real
ID Act. (Passed House 5/14/08; Signed by Gonvernor 7/16/08)
Maine
SP 113 Maine’s resolution against the Real ID Act of 2005 (Enacted 1/25/07). LD
1138 An act to prohibit Maine from participating in a national identification system.
(Passed by the Legislature 6/5/07)
Maryland
SB 576 Prohibiting implementation of the Real ID Act.
Massachusetts
SB 2138 Memorializing the Congress on the Real ID Act.
Minnesota
SF 0988 Noncompliance with Real ID Act. (Enacted 5/15/09)
Missouri
HB 361 Prohibits the violation of a person’s privacy rights in order to obtain a
driver’s license. (Enacted 7/13/09)
Montana
HB 287 Opposing implementation of Real ID in Montana (Enacted 4/17/07).
Nebraska
LR 28 Opposes the enactment of the Real ID Act in Nebraska and urges Congress to
repeal. (Adopted 5/30/07)
Nevada
AJR 6 Urges Congress to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005. (Adopted 5/14/07) SJR 5
Nevada Senate version of AJR 6, urging Congress to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005.
New Hampshire
HB 685 Prohibits the state from participating in a national identification system.
(Enacted 6/27/07)
North Dakota
SCR4040 Urges the United States Congress to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005.
(Adopted 4/20/07)
Oklahoma
SB 464 Opposing the implementation of Real ID in Oklahoma. (Enacted
5/23/07).HCR 1019 Memorializing Congress to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005.
(Passed House 3/13/07)
Oregon
SB 536 Prohibits the state from funding Real ID implementation until privacy
guidelines are met and sufficient federal funding is secured. (Enacted 5/23/09)
Pennsylvania
HR 767 Urging the United States Congress to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005. (Passed
the House 194-3.) HB 2537 Prohibiting the Commonwealth from obtaining
certification onder the Federal Real ID Act of…
Rhode Island
H 5474 A Joint Resolution opposing the implementation of Real ID. S 865 Opposing
implementation of Real ID.
South Carolina
S 449 Provides that the state will not participate in the Real ID program. (Enacted
6/13/07) H 3989 Memorializing Congress to repeal or decline implementation of the
Real ID Act. (Adopted 5/31/07)
South Dakota
SCR 7 Petitioning the United States Congress to repeal the Real ID Act. (Adopted
2/22/08)
Tennessee
HJR 285 Urges a two year extension of Real ID Act deadlines or a repeal of the Act in
its entirety (Enacted 6/11/09)
Texas
HCR 148 Refusing to implement the federal Real ID Act of 2005. SCR 40 Opposing
the federal REAL ID Act of 2005 as an unfunded mandate.
Utah
HR 4 Opposes the Real ID Act of 2005 and the implementation of a national ID card.
(Enacted 3/2/09)
Virginia
SB 1431 Prohibits compliance with Real ID provisions that compromise the privacy
of residents. (Enacted 3/31/09)
Washington
SB 5087 (PDF) Opposing the implementation of the Real ID Act of 2005 in
Washington State. (Enacted 4/18/07) SJM 8005 (PDF) Calling for the federal
government to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005. Check t…
Wisconsin
AB 475 Relating to the issuance of motor vehicle operator’s licenses.
Wyoming
HJ 5 A joint resolution calling on Congress to repeal the law…

• =============
7 states have passed Firearms Freedom Acts
– nullifying some federal gun laws and
regulations in their states.

• =============
14 states have now passed laws nullifying
unconstitutional federal laws on marijuana

• =============
3 states have already passed Health Care
Freedom Acts to ban federal health care
mandates in their states.
Health Care Freedom Act
A reading of the Constitution through the original understanding of the
Founders and Ratifiers makes it quite clear that any national health care
plan, or national public option, is not something that was delegated by the
People to the Federal Government in the Constitution.

However, the courts, politicians and many commentators have interpreted


(and re-interpreted) the Commerce Clause, the general Welfare Clause and
Necessary and Proper Clause in ways not intended by the Founders so as to
justify such programs under the Constitution. They are most certainly
wrong.

The Health Care Freedom Act is considered in states as either a bill or a state
constitutional amendment – effectively prohibiting the enactment of any new
government-run healthcare programs within the state.

While many of the bills have language similar to true nullification


legislation, many of them are promoted solely as a vehicle to drive a federal
court battle – which is not nullification in its true sense.

CLICK HERE – for information on the “Federal Health Care Nullification


Act” which directly nullifies the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act” signed into law by Barack Obama on 03-23-10.

Bill Passed as Law: Utah, Idaho, Virginia


Bill Introduced in state hoses: New Mexico, Illinois,
Kentucky, Nevada, Maryland, Rhode Island, Florida,
Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New
Jersey, Delaware, Indiana Wisconsin, Iowa, Washington

Bill passed in 1 or more of the state houses: Missouri,


Arizona, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia

Bill passed in both state houses: Nebraska, South


Carolina, Idaho, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Alabama,
Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kansas,

Bill did not pass: Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New


Hampshire, Mississippi, North Dakota, Wyoming,
Montana, Arkansas
*Bill has not been introduced yet: California, Vermont,
North Carolina, Maine, Connecticut, Hawaii, Alaska, and
Massachusetts

Citizens from the states that haven’t introduced


the bill to nullify Obamacare, please contact your
state legislators and implore them to take action to
empower the state’s sovereignty rights
immediately.
Citizens of states that did not pass the bill please contact
your legislators to implore them to reconsider the bill to
ascertain your state’ sovereignty rights.

• =============
Other states are considering nullification
laws on cap and trade, the misuse of state
national guard troops, monetary policy and
much more.
Cap and Trade Nullification Legislation
Cap and Trade is often claimed to be authorized under the Commerce Clause
of the Constitution. At best, this is a highly dubious claim.

The power to regulate interstate commerce was delegated to the federal


government in the Constitution. As understood at the time of the founding,
the regulation of commerce was meant to empower Congress to regulate the
buying and selling of products made by others (and sometimes land),
associated finance and financial instruments, and navigation and other
carriage, across state jurisdictional lines. This interstate regulation of
“commerce” did not include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, malum in
se crime, or land use. Nor did it include activities that merely “substantially
affected” commerce.

Bill introduced: Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington,


Arizona

• =========================

Americans:
Thank You for caring
about your Homeland.