Surprise! Even Alexander Hamilton Made the Case for Nullification by Non-Cooperation
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Surprise! Even Alexander Hamilton Made the Case for Nullification by Non-Cooperation

This probably comes as a surprise, but
when Alexander Hamilton was arguing for ratification of the Constitution, he
swerved into the truth and inadvertently made the case for nullification through
non-cooperation. We’ll talk about that next In Federalist #16 Hamilton, was
trying to convince his readers that the federal government needed more power
than it had under the Articles of Confederation. As he saw it, one of the
biggest problems was that under the Articles the states had to act in order
for anything to get done. For example, Congress could only make requests of
funds to the states. It could not directly tax people, property, or commerce. If the states refused to fill a requisition, Congress was essentially
powerless to enforce its will. And on this Hamilton wrote, “If the interposition
of the state legislators be necessary to give effect to a measure of the Union
they have only not to act, or to act evasively, and the measure is defeated.”
Well this is exactly the situation we have today. Because of massive
unconstitutional overreach, the federal government depends on state action to do
almost everything. It needs state resources and state personnel to enforce
its laws and implement its programs. By simply doing nothing, states have the
power to stop federal actions dead in their tracks.


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  • greenskeeper59

    It seems to me the overriding of the Constitution was started in earnest with the 17th amendment. Followed by the states themselves selling their legal authority to bind the Fed Gov when they agreed to Fed Gov largess in exchange for "stuff." Of course the state govt's couldn't have done this w/o approval from their own citizenry. The lowest common denominator? "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." — Wimpy

  • Professor Shekelstein

    This seems to me that Hamilton was just pointing out the flaw of the Articles, rather than a function of the Constitution

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