people on both sides of the aisle must come to grips with the fact that the federal government does not exist to impose on the nation either the Right’s or the Left’s visionDetails
by David Gordon, Mises.org
[The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. By Kevin R.C. Gutzman. Regnery Publishing, 2007. Xiii + 258 pgs.]
Kevin Gutzman gives his readers much more than they had a right to expect. The “Politically Incorrect Guide” series in which his book appears aims at a popular audience: its goal is to correct commonly held myths of leftist propaganda.
Gutzman eminently fulfills this goal, but his book cannot be called an elementary work. Quite the contrary, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution is a major contribution to American constitutional history.
Gutzman is a leading authority on the Virginia ratification debates on the Constitution, and he uses his research to great effect. He has been much influenced by the pioneering originalist scholar Raoul Berger, but he strengthens and extends Berger’s views.
The principal thesis of the book is that the Jeffersonian, states’ rights understanding of America’s founding and the Constitution is correct. When the American colonies assembled in the Continental Congress and adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, they did not create a new nation, Abraham Lincoln to the contrary notwithstanding.Details
by Gennady Stolyarov II
The doctrine of nullification, i.e., the idea that states have the right to unilaterally render void an act of the federal government that they perceive to be contrary to the Constitution, finds its origins in the writings of Thomas Jefferson, most notably his 1798 Kentucky Resolutions, written to protest the Federalist Congress’s passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions claim that the U. S. Constitution was a compact among the several states-whereby the states delegated certain limited powers to the U.S. government; any undelegated power exercised by the U. S. government is thus void.Details