Bill Merkel 
Member since Nov 15, 2013



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Re: “Nearly 200 years later, specter of nullification haunts Holy City

Happy to take up the 10th Amendment issue VaSteve. First, it's worth noting that the wording of Article II in the Articles of Confederation was deliberately rejected by the framers of the 10th Amendment. According to the Articles of Confederation, "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independance, and very power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by the Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled." In marked and deliberate contrast, the 10th Amendment, both in Madison's original draft and as ratified by the states, leaves out the qualification "expressly." Hamilton argued, and Chief Justice Marshall accepted as early as McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), that this omission confirmed the existence of implied Congressional powers. As for the meaning of sovereign states, it is worth stressing that there is no mention of sovereignty in the 10th Amendment -- again, a marked and deliberate contrast to the Articles. And how could the framers of the 10th Amendment possibly claim the states were sovereign, since Art. I Sec. 10 of the Constitution strips the states of the powers to enter into treaties, print or coin money, tax imports or exports, or maintain armies – all essential attributes of sovereignty. I suggest that you give Madison's Vices of the Political System of the United States a careful read and then ask yourself whether your assumption that the farmers of the Constitution of the United States intended to preserve state sovereignty makes sense. State sovereignty existed under the Articles. The Constitution replaces the Articles, and in the process severely constrains if not eliminates state sovereignty. If the framers cherished state sovereignty above all else, they would have left the Articles in place.

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Posted by Bill Merkel on November 15, 2013 at 5:35 PM
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