Kentucky Resolutions Redux

On 02/24/09, Kentucky State Representative, John Will Stacy (D) intrduced House Concurrent Resolution 168, which reads:

“A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION claiming sovereignty over powers not granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution; serving notice to the federal government to cease mandates beyond its authority; and stating Kentucky’s position that federal legislation that requires states to comply under threat of loss of federal funding should be prohibited or repealed.”

For those history buffs out there, Kentucky was at the forefront in asserting the principles of State Sovereignty in the early days of the Republic.   The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 took what some consider to be the strongest position on this issue in our history.

Here’s an excerpt:

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The Constitution or Liberty

by Sheldon Richman, Foundation for Economic Education

“Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

We might think those words—or words to the same effect—are in the U.S. Constitution. But they are not. They are from Article II of the Articles of Confederation, America’s first constitution. They could have been placed in the U.S. Constitution but were deliberately left out in 1787.

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