In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I talk about the Constitution’s supremacy clause.
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Whenever I talk about a state taking action to limit federal overreach, some political hack inevitably screams, “Supremacy Clause!” at me. Federal supremacists use this particular constitutional clause as a billy club to end all debate. But whenever these lawyers, law professors and political hacks quote the supremacy clause, they always leave out the seven most important words.
In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I tell you what those seven words are and why they’re so important. I also show that the supremacy clause has as much to do with the supremacy of the states and the people as it does the federal government.
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SHOW NOTES AND LINKS
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Thoughts from Maharrey Head #54: What Is Necessary and Proper?
Thoughts from Maharrey Head #48: The Constitution and General Welfare
“If a number of political societies enter into a larger political society, the laws which the latter may enact, pursuant to the powers intrusted [sic] to it by its constitution, must necessarily be supreme over those societies and the individuals of whom they are composed….But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the large society which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. Hence we perceive that the clause which declares the supremacy of the laws of the Union, like the one we have just before considered, only declares a truth, which flows immediately and necessarily from the institution of a federal government. It will not, I presume, have escaped observation, that it expressly confines this supremacy to laws made pursuant to the Constitution.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #33
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