NOTE: The following was submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State as “The Argument in Support of the Checks and Balances Ballot Proposition” on July 10, 2012. If approved for the ballot in November, 2012, this would be published in a brochure accompanying the ballot question.
Thomas Jefferson stated “The government created by this compact [the US Constitution] was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers”
That is why the founders limited the Supremacy Clause to only those federal laws made “in pursuance” of the US Constitution. All federal laws not in pursuance of the limited powers delegated to the federal government in the US Constitution are, by definition, not supreme – and not laws at all.
The founding fathers knew that free elections, separation of powers, and the bill of rights were important protections to our liberties; but that the most important protection was the People themselves in their respective states.
This is why the States would not ratify the Constitution until the 10th Amendment was added- “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 most important of these powers is upholding the Constitution itself. The Constitution is not self-enforcing. It requires the constant vigilance by the People in their states to check the power of the federal government. That’s how we’ll keep ourselves free.