At the 1787 Convention: State Sovereignty and Standing Armies

It has been 227 years since August 23, 1787, but the debates that occupied the 50 or so delegates present that day at the so-called Federal Convention in Philadelphia can still be heard in Congress today.

On that hot summer day, representatives confronted the delicate and divisive issue of state sovereignty.


Who Decides Constitutionality?

Who decides when the federal government has acted outside of those delegated powers? Most Americans will quickly answer, “The Supreme Court, of course!” Thomas Jefferson emphatically disagreed, arguing that the states make the determination in the last resort. Jefferson pointed out the absurdity of a branch of the federal government determining the extent of the…