POC Separation of Church and State Newsletter #4
No honest and complete discussion of our founding history and the intent of our founders could be complete without reference to the Federalist Papers.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the Federalist Papers, they were written by, James Madison ?| considered the father of our Constitution, Alexander Hamilton ?| a major player in the Constitutional Convention, and John Jay who was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court by George Washington.
The Federalist Papers are the most definitive work on the US Constitution, its purpose, and intent of our founders.
The purpose of the papers was to explain the meaning and intent of the US Constitution to the citizens of our union so the people could decide whether or not to support its ratification through their states. The state’s ratification of the Constitution reflected the will of the people and this is why the Constitution is considered the Peoples Law, and is therefore the most foundational law of the land. This is why the Constitution begins with, “We the People …”
The main difference between the US Constitution and constitutions of other nations is that ours was meant to empower the citizens, where other constitutions empower the state.
Federalist 14, Madison, from The Federalist Papers in Modern Language,
Federal Government:Defined, Limited Jurisdiction
First, remember that the federal government[‘s] …jurisdiction is limited to specific objectives [enumerated powers] of the whole republic. The subordinate [State and local] governments will retain their authority to care for all other concerns.
Federalist # 32, States Sovereignty, pg. 124 & 126
“But since the Constitution is only a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty they had before and are not, by the Constitution, exclusively delegated to the United States.
“The rule that all authorities, except those the States explicitly relinquished to the Union, remain fully with the States, … is the clear meaning of the proposed Constitution.”
Emphasis added in several places.
All quotes from the Federalist Papers are from: The Federalist Papers in Modern Language, Edited by Mary E. Webster, unless otherwise stated.
The next POC Newsletter will continue building the case for limited enumerated federal powers.