Графични страници
PDF файл

Jan. 30, 1833.]

Revenue Collection Bill.


lonies. Upon the 12th July, 1776, (Secret Journal, p. stipulation that “ His Britannic Majesty acknowledges 290,) that committee reported a draught of articles, which the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachuwere from time to time debated, until the 15th of Novem-setts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, ber, 1777.-(1 vol. Secret Journal, p. 349.)

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Now, bearing in mind the dates of these respective trans- Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South actions, which will be found in the first volume of the Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sovereign, and indeLaws United States, p. 1 to 20, it will be seen that at the pendent States; that he treats with them as such." time these colonies were acting as distinct sovereignties, The fifth article of the definitive treaty stipulates " that and made their declaration of independence, these articles the Congress shall earnestly recommend it to the Legislawere then in fieri, and were not even reported by the tures of the respective States to provide for the restitution committee. But after the declaration they were reported, of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been conagreed on, and sent to the several States for ratification. fiscated,” &c. The ratifications were adopted by the respective States, at The sovereignty of the States, and their power to redifferent times, and signed by their delegates at various store,or not, the confiscated estates, are distinctly acknowperiods between the 21st July, 1778, and the 1st of March, ledged by both parties to the definitive treaty of peace. 1781. [Here Mr. Bibb read from 1 vol. Laws United I shall not stop to battle the watch about 'unqualified States, p. 12 and p. 20, the dates of the signatures by the and qualified sovereignty. A monarchy may be limited respective States.)

or unlimited. A republican Government may confer liThese facts show, conclusively, that so far from the mited powers to the agents of the people, or unlimited States forming themselves into a single nation by the de- powers. A qualified or unqualified sovereignty may claration of independence, they never came finally into exist in monarchies and in republics. In our Governments a confederacy until the delegates from Maryland sub- the sovereignty is in the people of each State. The State scribed the articles in 1781. The preamble itself, said Governments do not confer unlimited powers over the doMr. B., is a refutation of any idea that the United States mestic affairs of the State. But yet the people of a State, is one single nation. It is as follows:

united under a State Government, constitute a sovereign"Whereas the delegates of the United States of America, ty. A portion of sovereign power is expressly withheld in Congress assembled, did, on the fifteenth day of Novem- by the State constitutions. ber, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred But sovereigns may be united with sovereigns, and and seventy-seven, and in the second year of the inde- may divide delegated powers between the local sove. pendence of America, agree to certain articles of confe- reignties and the united sovereigns. The United States deration and perpetual union between the States of New are united sovereignties. The people have delegated a Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Proportion of their powers as State sovereignties to their vidence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jer- particular State Government, and another portion to the sey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Government of the united sovereignties. Neither Gov. Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, in the words fol- ernment is an unqualified sovereignty. The State and lowing, viz:

Federal Governments are limited qualified sovereignties; “ Articles of confederation and perpetual union be- all bound to keep within their respective spheres; each tween the States of,” &c. (naming them.)

a usurper and a disturber of order when transcending the The first article declares that the style of this confede- limits prescribed racy shall be " The United States of America.”

Such is the history of the old confederation which The second article declares " that each State retains brought us so gloriously through the war of the revoluits sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every tion. The idea that it was a single consolidated nation, power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this con- is repelled by the archives of the States, by the journals federation expressly delegated to the United States in of Congress, and by the definitive treaty of peace. Congress assembled.” So far, then, from being made one I will next proceed to examine whether this idea of a nation by the confederation, and acquiring the rights of na- single nation, this Government made by the people in tionality as such, the independence of the several States mass, as contradistinguished from the people of the repreceded both it and the declaration.

spective States, is sustained by the history and context of Again: the third article declares that “the said States the existing constitution. bereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship! On the 21st of February, 1787, Congress, reciting in a with each other for their common defence, the security preamble that there is a provision in the articles of of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare; confederation and perpetual union for making alterations binding themselves to assist each other against all force therein,” by assent of Congress and of the Legislatures offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, of the several States, passed a resolution, which will be on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other found in the first volume of the laws of the United States, pretence whatever.”

p. 59, in these words:-Resolved, That in the opinion of And again: the articles of confederation, after giving Congress, it is expedient that, on the second Monday in various powers to the Government, in the thirteenth ar- May next, a convention of delegates, who shall have been ticle, declare that

appointed by the several States, be held at Philadelphia,

appointed by “Every State shall abide by the determination of for the sole and express purpose of revising the articles of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions confederation, and reporting to Congress and the several which by this confederation are submitted to them. And Legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as the articles of this confederation shall be inviolably ob- shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the served by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual: States, render the federal constitution adequate to the nor shall any alteration, at any time hereafter, be made in exigencies of the Government, and the preservation of any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to in a Con- | the Union.” gress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed! In pursuance of this resolution, delegates, appointed by the Legislature of every State.”

by the several States, met in convention. On the 17th of But the proof does not stop bere. By the provisional September, 1787, Congress received the report of the articles of peace of the 30th November, 1782, and by the convention lately held in Philadelphia, in the following definitive treaty of the 3d of September, 1783, made be. words: [Here the constitution was set forth, verbatim.-tween the United States and Great Britain, mutually 1st vol. Laws U. S. p. 59, 60.] signed and accepted, the first article in each contains the To this constitution were appended two resolves of the

Vol. IX-18.


Revenue Collection Bill.

[Jan. 30, 1833.

convention, (same vol. p. 70.) The first is, that the re 3. New Jersey, December 18, 1787.
ported constitution be laid before Congress; “that it 4, Connecticut, January 9, 1788.
should afterwards be submitted to a convention of dele 5. Massachusetts, February 6, 1788.
gates chosen in each State, by the people thereof, under 6. Georgia, January 2, 1788.
the recommendation of its Legislature, for their assent 7. Maryland, April 2, 1788.
and ratification,” &c.

8. South Carolina, May 23, 1788. The second resolution recommends, that, as soon as 9. New Hampshire, June 21, 1788. nine States had ratified, the Congress “should fix a day 10. Virginia, June 26, 1788. on which the electors should be appointed by the States 11. New York, July 26, 1788. which shall have ratified the same," a day for assembling. It would appear that, Congress having appointed the the electors to vote for President and Vice President, first Wednesday in January, 1789, for choosing electors, and the time and place for commencing proceedings un- and the first Wednesday in March, 1789, for proceedings der this constitution, &c.

under the constitution, it went into operation without To the reports of the constitution was also appended North Carolina and Rhode Island, North Carolina did an address agreed upon, by the unanimous order of the not ratify the new constitution until the 21st November, convention, to the President of Congress. In this letter 1789; Rhode Island not until the 29th May, 1790. Of these sentiments are conveyed: the desire long felt, the two Carolinas, the North State was the first to throw “ that the power of making war, peace, and treaties, that off the colonial subjection to the British crown, and to of levying money and regulating commerce, and the encounter boldly the consequences of those awful words, correspondent executive and judicial authorities, should rebel and traitor, with which kings never fail to denounce be fully and effectually vested in the General Government those who defy their power and struggle for liberty. of the Union."

She was quick to risk all in war against a foreign power, " It is obviously impracticable in the Federal Govern- for liberty and independence, but slow to come into the ment of these States to secure all the rights of indepen- compact, until she believed the principles of civil and dent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest political liberty were sufficiently guarded from contro. and safety of all.” The difficulty which bad arisen in /versy at home. fixing the rights to be surrendered, and those to be re. It cannot be denied that the constitution was made and served, because of the difference among the several adopted by the States, severally and distinctly; for, until States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular it was ratified by a State for herself, and by her own interests; the great importance which they had kept in consent, it had no obligation on her. The ratification of view, “the consolidation of our Union, in which is in- eleven States could not impose it upon North Carolina volved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national and Rhode Island; and the vote of twelve States, which existence.”

included more than twelve-thirteenths of the population That “ the constitution we now present is the result of of the United States, could not impose it upon the small a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and con- State of Rhode Island, until accepted by her. There cession which the peculiarity of our political situation was not one single State that did not ratify in the name of rendered indispensable.

the State, in the name of the people who were bound toThat each State should consider that bad her interest gether in the State Government. Mr. B. referred to the rabeen alone consulted, the consequences might have been tification by the State of Pennsylvania, and quoted from it particularly disagreeable or injurious to others.”

the following words: “Be it known unto all men, that we, Upon this report, the Congress, on the 28th Septem- the delegates of the people of the commonwealth of ber, 1787, came to the following resolve: (p. 60.) Pennsylvania in general convention assembled, bave as

Resolved, unanimously, That the said report, with the sented to and ratified, and do, in the name and by resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be trans- the authority of the same people, and for ourselves, assent mitted to the several Legislatures, in order to be submit. Ito and ratify the foregoing constitution," &c. Further, ted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State, by lin the ratification by the State of New Jersey, is to be the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the found the following language: “In convention of the convention made and provided in that case."

State of New Jersey,” (then the act of the Legislature The constitution, so transmitted to the Legislatures, lof New Jersey, authorizing the convention, is recited.) was by them respectively submitted to state conven-“Now be it known, that we, the delegates of the State tions, elected in each State, and assembled under the law of New Jersey, chosen by the people thereof for the of each several State.

purpose aforesaid, having maturely deliberated on and On the 13th September, 1788, nine States unanimously considered the aforesaid constitution, do hereby, for and in Congress adopted a preamble and resolution, reciting on behalf of the people of the said State of New Jersey, the resolve of February 21st, 1787, for revising the arti- ratify and confirm the same, and every part thereof." cles of confederation; the report of the convention of the These two ratifications are fair specimens of the residue, 17th September, 1787; the resolve of Congress of the land seem to show the sense and understanding of those 28th of September, 1787, for transmitting the report, I who did the acts; that they did it for the State, for the resolutions, and letter to the several Legislatures; and people of the State, acting in pursuance of an act of the that the said constitution had been ratified by a sufficient Legislature, as binding that State, but not as operating benumber, which ratifications had been received by Con-lyond the limits and jurisdiction of the State. gress. Therefore they appointed the first Wednesday in | Thus I have given an authentic history of the rise, proJanuary, 1789, for choosing the electors in the several gress, and ratification of the constitution of the United States which before that should have ratified; the first States. It grew out of the league of friendship and Wednesday in February, 1789, for the electors to assem- perpetual union contained in the articles of confederable to vote for President and Vice President; and the first tion. Wednesday in March, 1789, for commencing proceedings! It was proposed by virtue of a provision for amendment under said constitution at New York. (See preamble and contained in these articles. resolution of 13th September, 1788. Laws U. S. vol. i. The resolution of Congress, proposing to the States the p. 60.)

convention, recited the provision in the articles of confeThe ratifications were at the following times:

deration as the cause. 1. Delaware, December 12, 1787.

The convention was appointed by States, and voted by 2. Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787.


Revenue Collection Bill.

Jax. 30, 1833.]


The report of the convention was approved by the action on the proposed constitution. Each convention Congress, voting by States.

acted as the agents and delegates of a people knit togeIt was transmitted to the Legislatures of the several States. ther by the particular State Government under whose au

The several Legislatures authorized the elections of thority it was elected and assembled, not as the agents of the conventions, and defined the object, and their powers. people who had no Government, or who intended to

It was ratified by States; and, being so ratified, it be- dissolve their existing State Government. came obligatory, according to the seventh article, which That the State Governments are the first-born, the elder; is in these words:

that they were endowed with the rights of " free and " The ratifications of the conventions of nine States independent States;" in possession of the powers, privishall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitu- leges, attributes, and prerogatives of sovereign States; tion, between the States so ratifying the same."

that the Federal Government is the younger; that it Aye, sir, “between the States;" not over the people, sprang from the States; that it owes its being and powers but between the States so ratifying. How ratifying? By to the concessions of the State Governments; that its conventions of the people in each State. If these con-| powers are delegated and limited; derivative, not inherventions were not the representatives and delegates of ent; that the powers not delegated to it are reserved to States, why did the constitution provide that, upon the the States--are solemn truths, attested by the memory of ratification of nine States, it should be established “be witnesses; by the journals; by public records; by authentic tween the States so ratifying the same?" To say that testimonials deposited in our archives, and in those of these conventions were not the representatives of States; foreign nations; by the constitution itself. Neither the to say that the constitution was ratified by and over a breath of sophists, nor the denials of politicians, nor the mass of people, independent of the authorities and juris. dictums of courts, nor the proclamation of a President, dictions which distinguish and divide them into States, can obliterate the past, deniolish the facts, nor hide these contradicts the language of the constitution, and the fact. truths from the common sense of mankind.

The expression, “ we, the people of the United The federal constitution was not only created by the States," in the preamble of the constitution, ought not to States, but is a compact between the States. The seventh be detached from the seventh article, requiring the rati- article is a testimony to this. The ratification of nine fication of nine States, and from all other parts of the States shall make it “obligatory between the States so instrument, for the purpose of giving a meaning false in ratifying.” The instrument abounds with compacts befact, and contradictory to its history. They are explained tween the States. The ratifications of the States of New by the resolution for transmitting it to the State Legisla- Hampshire and Massachusetts treat the instrument actures; by the fact that each State deliberated and ratified cording to truth, as a compact between the States. [Mr. for itself; and by the seventh article, which declared it B. read the ratification of the State of Massachusetts, as obligatory “ between the States so ratifying;" by the follows: known truth that no State was bound, unless by its own “In convention of the delegates of the people of Masassent. The ratification of twelve States did not make it sachusetts, February 6th, 1778.” “The convention havobligatory on the State or people of Rhode Island. “We, ing impartially discussed and fully considered the constithe people of the United States." What is the meaning tution for the United States of America, reported to here of the word “united?” Does it mean a united Congress by the convention of delegates from the United people, consolidated into one mass, without reference to States of America, and submitted to us by a resolution of the respective sovereignties into which they had been the general court of the said commonwealth, passed the divided under separate State Governments? No, sir; it is 25th day of October last past, and acknowledging, with States united; not united people without their States. grateful hearts, the goodness of the Supreme Ruler of People may exist without States, but States cannot exist the universe in affording the people of the United States, without people. “United States," by the force of ex- in the course of his providence, an opportunity, delibepression, means a plurality of States, a plurality of sove- rately and peaceably, without fraud or surprise, of enterreignties or Governments united. The resolution of ing into an explicit and solemn compact with each other, Congress, of February 21, 1787, recommending the con- by assenting to and ratifying a new constitution, in order vention under which the delegates were appointed and to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure acted, declared the objects to be “for the sole and ex- domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, press purpose of revising the articles of confederation, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of and reporting " such alterations and provisions therein, liberty to themselves and their posterity, do, in the name as shall, when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by and behalf of the people of the commonwealth of Masthe States, render the federal constitution adequate to the sachusetts, assent to and ratify the said constitution for exigencies of Government, and the preservation of the the United States of America." Union.” What Union? That which had been formed, Mark the expressions, “in affording the people of the and then existing--the union of States--signified on their United States' “ an opportunity” “of entering into an ensign armorial by the thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, explicit and solemn compact with each other," "do, in forming a new constellation; and yet signified on our the name and behalf of the people of the commonwealth escutcheon by the stars, the bundle of arrows in the talon of Massachusetts, assent to and ratify,” &c. · The people of the eagle, and the motto “ E pluribus unum"-out of of the “commonwealth of Massachusetts" ratify is a many Governments, one.

compact." With whom? Between the said people of The respective State conventions, (called to deliberate the “commonwealth of Massachusetts," and the people on the proposed alterations in the old “federal constitu- of the other United States. The assent of the majority tion," by the new constitution,) represented the respect of delegates of the people of the commonwealth of Masive State Governments. The assent of the State Legis-sachusetts bound the whole commonwealth to the comlature was a prerequisite to the assemblage of such a pact with the people of the other commonwealths, who, convention. The Legislature prescribed the time and by the assent of the majority in each commonwealth, manner of the election, and limited the purpose and bound the dissenting minorities. But the dissenting mipower of the convention. The convention, so elected nority in each commonwealth could not be bound to a and assembled, did not dissolve the State Government; compact, but by force of the power of the majority of a they had no power to dissolve or revise the State constitu- commonwealth to bind the minority, according to the tion; their delegations of power from the people were provisions of the State constitution. Dissenting minoriconfined, by the law for the election, to deliberations and lties could not contract with dissenting minorities, but by


MerchantsBonds.--Revenue Collection Bill.

[Jan. 31, 1833.

force of the State Government, which made the will of sovereign parties. Nothing but good faith can preserve the majority bind the minority.

the Government. Its life's blood and vitality can be cirThe ratification of New Hampshire, like that of Massa- culated only by the instrumentality of the State Legislachusetts, contains a grateful acknowledgment for the op. tures. The powers delegated to the Federal Government portunity afforded to the people of the United States of extend to making laws to operate on individuals throughentering into a solemn compact with each other.

out the United States. But the States have not delegated A majority of the whole people throughout the Union the power to coerce the State sovereignties, to compel did not, and could not, make the constitution obligatory. the State Governments. The States are yet free and The assent of each particular State was necessary to bind sovereign States. I mean no cavil about qualified or unthe people of the State. The assent of twelve States did qualified sovereignties. What I have before said on that not bind the people of New Hampshire: they were not subject will, I hope, prevent misconstruction. bound by the constitution until the State itself assented. (Here Mr. B. gave way for adjournment.]

Mr B. continued his argument by asking the members of the Senate how that body itself was constituted? By

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31. the action, the separate action, of the State Legislatures,

MERCHANTS' BONDS. and not by the citizens of the United States, in pri. mary assembly, or as a body. It was, as one of the co

Mr. KING then moved to postpone the previous orders,

and to take up the bill to explain and amend the 18th ordinate branches of the Government, dependent for its

section of the bill of July, 1832, to amend the various very existence upon the States separately. If a majority of the States should refuse to elect Senators, such a re

laws imposing duties on imports.

el It was stated by him that this bill must pass before the fusal or omission would involve a dissolution of the Union.

• 15th February, if at all, to be of any avail; and this was In the event of such a refusal, there could be no alterna

Jurged as a reason for the motion. tive, for there was no compulsory power in relation to the

1 Mr. POINDEXTER objected to giving this bill a preelections. There was no power in the constitution to ferences

to ference over other bills preceding it in the orders of the change or compel the elections. The States, great orla.

at or day. small, as they might be, however wide or limited in ex-1°

Mr. SILSBEE urged the necessity of an immediate actent, were there all represented on terms of the most le perfect equality. This was a plain, evident, and absolute

tion on the bill, for the purpose of preventing great incon

venience to the merchants. He did not anticipate any principle, which could not, by any sophistry, be evaded. Recollect that direct taxes, and the apportionment of rel The motion to postpone having been agreed to, and

objections to the principles of the bill. presentatives among the several States, according to their respective populations, in federal numbers, is another

er the bill being taken up, fixed principle of the compact; that is to say, according,

An amendment reported by the Committee on Comto the number in each, "determined by adding to the

coring merce, requiring the collectors to give the merchants whole number of free persons, including those bound to

credit on their bonds for the difference between the high service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not

and low duties, and to cancel the bonds on payment of taxed, three-fifths of all other persons." Are the relay

10 the balance, (in lieu of issuing debenture certificates for

te the amount of excess of duty,) was agreed to. presentatives elected as by or for a single nation? No:

The bill was then ordered to be engrossed and read a according to States and State population. On this sub-lah;

third time, nem. con. ject a great struggle took place at the last session in the debate on the bill to fix the ratio of representation under

THE REVENUE COLLECTION BILL. the fifth census. No Senator, who had attended the dis! The Senate then resumed the consideration of the bil} cussion of this interesting subject, could fail to recollect further to provide for the collection of the duties on im. the numerous arguments advanced, and ingenious propo- ports. sitions for transferring and disposing the fractions produc- Mr. BIBB resumed the argument which he yesterday ed in each State, when the number proposed for the ratio began upon the bill. He felt very sensibly, he said, the of representation was applied to the federal number in weight which devolved upon him in sustaining his views each State.

of this subject against an authority so highly respectable, That the constitution is not based upon the idea of a and so deeply seated in the affections of the people, as the single nation, may be illustrated by other parts. “New author of the proclamation, to the doctrines of which it States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union," had become his duty to advert. But whilst he stood on (art. 4, sec. 3.) Not new people, but new States. The the principles of the constitution; whilst he had on his new people must be united under a republican form of side the opinions of patriots, of lovers of liberty; opinions government, and compose a State, before admission into which were delivered by some of the most eminent of the the Union." The United States shall guaranty to every men who framed the constitution, which opinions were State in this Union a republican form of government;" promulgated throughout the United States for the pur(art. 4, sect. 4.) In this section of the constitution the pose of inducing the adoption of the constitution, he truth is declared, that “this Union” is of States; and the felt himself clad in armor impenetrable to adverse argu. States, united, are to "guaranty to every State a repub.ment, the high authority of the proclamation notwithlican form of government.” Every State is a party to standing. this compact for guaranty. The word " guaranty!! He had left off yesterday, he said, at that point of his means, according to use and definition, to undertake to argument in which he had maintained that the federal secure the performance of a treaty or stipulation. The constitution is a compact between the States. He now constitution is founded on and composed of compacts said, in addition, that he considered every Government and stipulations between the States as parties. What is instituted by consent, and reduced to the form of a writthis fourth section of the fourth article, but a compact ten constitution, to be a compact; and that they wbo hold entered into by ail the States, with each and every one, the power to alter and amend, and have a sovereign respectively?

power over the Government, are parties to that compact. Away, then, with this idea of a single nation--a unit. The 5th article of the federal constitution, he said, placed The Government of this Union is based upon a union of the power of amending the constitution in the LegislaStates, as parties to a compact. Its fulfilment depends tures of the respective States, or in their respective conupon the observance of good faith among the States who ventions. They create, and they can destroy: The conare parties to the compact, as in all compacts between stitution, he said, abounds with compacts. Article 1,

Jan. 31, 1833.]

Revenue Collection Bill.


section 9, contains compacts by all the States jointly, acting within the pale of delegated powers, the majority with each severally. Article 1, section 10, contains com- must be obeyed for the time. Abuses or maladminpacts by the several States not to exercise, and to qualify istration of delegated powers must be corrected through the exercise of certain powers which might be injurious. the instrumentality of elections. The security in such The 4th article contains compacts by the several States cases rests upon the regulating checks contained within with each other, and by the whole with each. The pro- the Government itsell, the responsibility of the rulers to viso in the 5th article is a joint compact by all, and with those who elected them. To abuse and maladminister each other, severally. The various stipulations in the delegated powers, and to usurp powers not delegated, constitution, and especially the equality of representation but reserved, are subjects entirely different. in the Senate, and the majority required to add new pow. The question is, whether or no, “in cases of a deliers or to amend, exhibit sedulous care to preserve to berate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of powers not their respective local Governments their local interests. granted by the said compact, the States who are parties

In prosecution of this jealous care for the preservation thereto bave the right to interpose, for arresting the of the powers and rights of sovereignty not surrendered progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their reby the States, a number of States, at the time of their spective limits the authorities, rights, and liberties apperadopting the constitution, expressed a desire, in order to taining to them." prevent misconstruction, that further declaratory and The question is not whether the State Governments restrictive clauses should be added. Accordingly, the shall direct and control the Federal Government in the first Congress held under the new constitution proposed exercise of its delegated powers, but whether they shall amendments, ten of which were adopted by the States. interpose for arresting the exercise of powers not deleThe tenth of which is as follows: “ The powers not dele- gated, but usurped. The question is not whether the gated to the United States by this constitution, nor pro- Federal Government is the servant of twenty-four masters hibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States of different wills, yet bound to obey all, in the exercise of respectively, or to the people.”

its granted powers, but whether the Federal Government is to the States respectively or to the people” is shall be the sole and exclusive judge of the limits of its here introduced, out of abundant caution, to prevent the own powers; an autocrat, the sole director of his own possibility of a construction that the rights not delegated will, and the unbridled usurper of the rights and liberties by the people to the State Governments, but reserved, appertaining to the States. had been, by the federal constitution, taken away from That there are powers, authorities, and liberties, apthe people, and transferred to the State Governments. pertaining to the States, which belonged to them as

It is clear that the Federal Government was made by States, and which they have not surrendered, but reserythe States; that it is a compact between States; that the ed, is undeniable. The general principle is clear, that States are constituent and essential parties to the exist- in all compacts, leagues, conventions, and treaties beence of the Federal Government; that the States sur-tween sovereign States, powers, and potentates, each rendered only a portion of their powers and authorities; party has the right to judge whether a breach bas been that all powers not delegated nor prohibited are retained; committed by the other party; and in case of a wilful, delithat they have retained the ultimate sovereignty over the berate breach, to take such measures for redress as pruFederal Government; that special care has been taken dence and the discretion of the injured party shall dictate. in the compact to protect against the addition of new Is the compact between these States an exception to powers, unless three-fourths of the States shall concur. this general rule? If it is, then the States must, by some

This brings us to the question, how the several States action of theirs, have surrendered this portion of their are to be protected against an irregular, unconstitutional sovereignty. What part of the constitution declares such action of the Federal Government, in evading a proposi- a surrender? There is no such express declaration of tion for a grant of new powers by amendment, and sub- surrender. In the various enumerations of powers prostituting therefor a palpable usurpation of powers nothibited to the States, and agreed not to be exercised by delegated.

them, there is no declaration that they shall not exercise The abuse of delegated powers is one case. The pal. the right, appertaining to them as parties to the compact, pable usurpation of powers not delegated, but reserved, to judge of an excessive, alarming, and dangerous stretch is another case."

of power by the Federal Government. The abridgHow are the several States to be protected against the ment of the powers of the States in this particular, not usurpation of their respective reserved powers? How being expressed, cannot be made out by implication or are minorities of the States to be protected against a by construction. The powers not delegated by the States breach of the constitutional compact, requiring the con- to the United States, nor prohibited to the States by the currence of three-fourths to sanction a further abridge-constitution, are reserved to the States. So says the conment of their reserved powers? For it is clear that, by stitution. What clause in the constitution delegates to the compact, a minority of seven States are intended to the Federal Government the sole power of deciding the be protected against the concurrence of seventeen States, extent of the grant of powers to itself, as well as the exin any regular proposition to delegate to the Federal tent of the powers reserved to the States? Government any portion of their reserved powers. Does It is said that this power is vested by the constitution in that security consist solely in the good faith and unambi- the Supreme Court of the United States. The provisions tious temper of the Federal Government? Does the se-are, curity of the minority of the States against the usurpation “The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law of their reserved powers by the delegates of a majority and equity, arising under this constitution, the laws of the of States not sufficient to carry a constitutional amend. United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, ment, or against the usurpation of their reserved powers under their authority.” by any one of the departments, rest solely upon the ma. This constitution, and the laws of the United States chinery and regulating checks of the Federal Government which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties itself?

| made, or which shall be made, under the authority of It is conceded by me, that, generally, the security the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; against abuses of the delegated powers lies in the nature and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, and organization of the Government itself; the distribu- any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the tion of its powers into several departments; the tenure of contrary notwithstanding." office; the mode and frequency of elections, &c. When These are the two provisions of the constitution which

« ПредишнаНапред »