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Whither the VA and KY Resolutions?

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by fromtheright, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. fromtheright

    fromtheright <img src =/2844.JPG>

    Feb 21, 2002
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    As some here know, the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions were expressions of opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress and a statement that it was the duty of the states to interpose when the Constitution is violated by the central government. A question occurred to me this evening, in reading through Madison's Report of 1800 (sometimes called the Report of 1799) in response to the unanimous rejection of those resolutions by the other states. If the states have the power to interpose when the Constitution is violated but most of them reject a finding that the Constitution has been violated, does such interposition have any Constitutional validity? That is, if the states have the authority to find Congress in violation of its Constitutional authority and they not only do not come to such a finding but in fact reject it, then has the Constitution been truly violated when the states, which together form the compact that is the Constitution, overwhelmingly find no such violation?

    Another question, somewhat along the same lines: When the First Congress was debating the Tenth Amendment, one of the Representatives sought to modify the Tenth (our Tenth Amendment; it was the Twelfth Amendment among the ones sent to the states) it by adding the word "expressly" to say that the powers not expressly granted to the central government were reserved to the states and people. James Madison, whom I greatly admire for his strong stand against implied powers in the National Bank debate and in his Federalist paper (41, I think) in expounding on the general welfare clause, argued against such wording thinking that it would too narrowly circumscribe a reading of the central government's powers (a position I'm sure he regretted later). Does not including that word in the Tenth Amendment leave open the door to implied powers?

    Though any liberals here are welcome to pitch in, I am mostly interested in responses from others who, like myself, believe in following original intent in interpreting and applying the Constitution to issues of the day. I think it's good that conservatives challenge each other.
    #1 fromtheright, Aug 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2006