Thursday, August 23, 2012
Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!
Senator Daniel Webster, January 27, 1830:
I do not admit that, under the Constitution, and in conformity with it, there is any mode in which a State Government, as a member of the Union, can interfere and stop the progress of the General Government, by force of her own laws, under any circumstances whatever.
This leads us to inquire into the origin of this Government, and the source of its power. Whose agent is it? Is it the creature of the State Legislatures, or the creature of the People? If the Government of the United States be the agent of the State Governments, then they may control it, provided they can agree in the manner of controlling it; if it be the agent of the People, then the People alone can control it, restrain it, modify, or reform it...
It is, sir, the People’s Constitution, the People’s Government; made for the People; made by the People; and answerable to the People. The People of the United States have declared that this Constitution shall be the Supreme Law. We must either admit the proposition, or dispute their authority. The States are, unquestionably, sovereign, so far as their sovereignty is not affected by this supreme law. But the State Legislatures, as political bodies, however sovereign, are yet not sovereign over the People. So far as the People have given power to the General Government, so far the grant is unquestionably good, and the Government holds of the People, and not of the State Governments. We are all agents of the same supreme power, the People.
Apropos of people bitching about the 11th Circuit's decision on Alabama's anti-immigrant law, folks demanding repeal of the 17th Amendment, the GOP's writing a platform plank that leaves abortion exemptions up to the states, etc.
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