A Check on Federal Power: “Superior to All Parchment Checks that can be Invented”

While James Madison wrote the most specific and complete set of instructions on how to stop the federal government without going to the federal government, he was far from the only founder to talk about states as a check on federal power. A little-known Founder from Massachusetts made the case, just like James Madison did,…

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The Myth of Marbury v Madison

The common understanding of the famous Marbury v. Madison case is that it established the authority of the Supreme Court to determine what the Constitution says. From there, it’s held that the Court gets to determine the limitations placed on the federal government as well as the states. In short, the rest of the federal government, and the states, are bound by what the Supreme Court decides.

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Thomas Jefferson on the Misuse of the Commerce and General Welfare Clauses

Barely 8 months before he died, Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Virginia politician William Giles about the threat posed by the usurpation of states rights by a growing federal power. He identified federal powers claimed under the commerce and general welfare clauses as especially dangerous.

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