POC Separation of Church and State Newsletter #5
Federalist #33, pg. 128-129, Hamilton
By Definition, National Law Supreme [BUT]
“It is said that the laws of the Union are to be the supreme law of the land. …
“But it doesn't follow from this doctrine that acts of the larger society [the federal government] that are not among its constitutional powers, acts that invade the authority of smaller societies [the states], will become the supreme law of the land. These will be acts of usurpation and deserve to be treated as such. …
“It will not, I presume, have escaped observation that it expressly confines this supremacy to laws made pursuant to the Constitution.”
Many of the states would not have signed the Constitution had it not been for the understanding that there would be an additional layer of protection against federal intrusion into individual and state’s rights. This additional layer of protection is known as our Bill of Rights.
Article X of the Bill of Rights states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
It should be crystal clear that the people, through their Constitution, gave limited enumerated powers to the federal government, and kept all the rest of the powers at the state and/or individual level.
Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution lists the limited federal enumerated powers. (see US Constitution link to right)
Article I, Section 9, covers the prohibitions for the federal government.
Article I, Section 10, lists the prohibitions against the states.
The next few newsletters will concentrate on the lack of authority of tyrannical federal judges who make judgments in areas where there is no federal authority, like in restricting the historical practice of the Christian religion. If federal judges rule in areas not contained in the constitution, they are legislating or adding to the Constitution without it being amended. The exception would be if they are ruling that laws passed by the Congress fall outside of federal authority and are themselves unconstitutional.