James Madison Essay

James Madison Essay-34
It is long-winded because James Madison was a hypocrite on the issue of nullification, supporting the notion when it suited him, and rejecting it when it did not. Rowley Ph D, Constitutional Amendment VI, Constitutional Amendment X, Constitutional Amendment X, Federalist No. If you find the essay long-winded, you are correct in this assessment.

Supporters of nullification argued that the states’ power of nullification is inherent in the nature of the federal system.

Prior to ratifying the Constitution, the states essentially were sovereign nations.

In any event, Jefferson and Madison secretly drafted the 1798 Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions denouncing the federal legislation and calling for nullification, though the state legislatures of both states rejected these resolutions.

Jefferson went one step further in the case of Kentucky and drafted a threat for Kentucky to secede from the Union.

Nullification, in United States constitutional history, is a legal theory that a state has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any law which that state has deemed to be unconstitutional.

James Madison (and Thomas Jefferson) were no exceptions to this insight.The Constitution is a contract or compact among the states whereby the states delegated certain powers to the federal government, while reserving all other powers to themselves.As parties to the compact, the states retained the inherent right to judge compliance with the compact.Had this action become public knowledge at the time, Jefferson may well have been impeached for treason.After all, he was calling for outright rebellion, if needed, against a federal government of which he was serving as Vice-President.The federal courts and not the states are empowered to determine whether federal laws are constitutional, with the Supreme Court having the final authority.The concept of nullification of federal law by the states was not discussed at the Constitutional Convention, so the records of that Convention provide no support for the theory of nullification.The unrest in France was sweeping into the United States, encouraged in some instances by Republicans, some of whom were calling for secession.The unrest was viewed by Federalists as emanating from French and French-sympathizing immigrants. Well Jefferson certainly hated John Adams as though he were Satan himself!Opposition to the laws became focused in the highly controversial 1798 Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions authored respectively by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Again, as so often would occur in the future, the federal courts conspired to judge unconstitutional laws constitutional. Twenty-five people were arrested, eleven were tried, and ten were convicted.The Alien and Sedition Acts were never appealed to the Supreme Court, whose judicial review was not established until in 1803.


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