On page 73 of Nullification, Thomas E. Woods, Jr., provides an 1811 quote from the Pennsylvania legislature.  The quote comes from State Documents on Federal Relations, edited by Herman V. Ames.  That, in turn, contains the 1811 Pennsylvania Resolutions Against the Bank.  In the preamble to those resolutions, our legislature wrote,

The people of the United States by the adoption of the federal constitution established a general government for special purposes, reserving to themselves respectively, the rights and authorities not delegated in that instrument.  To the compact thereby created, each state acceded in its character as a state, and is a party.  The act of union thus entered into being to all intents and purposes a treaty between sovereign states, the general government by this treaty was not constituted the exclusive or final judge of the powers it was to exercise, for if it were so to judge then its judgement and not the constitution would be the measure of its authority.

Should the general government in any of its departments violate the provisions of the constitution, it rests with the states, and with the people, to apply suitable remedies. (emphasis added)

Ames also notes,

As first passed by the House the language of the Preamble was even stronger, and closely followed the text of the first resolve of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, but it was amended by the Senate by a vote of 20 to 8 and agreed to by the House in the form given below.

I have to admit that I’m curious why Dr. Woods quoted the first paragraph but omitted the sentence in bold.  Maybe I’ll find out when I get further into the book.

cross-posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center

Steve Palmer

The 10th Amendment

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