clearly explaining the difficult (read
to understand economics) the reader is quicklytaken through many of history¶s struggles and comes away with a better understanding of whynullification is so important in saving federalism each time it has been challenged.In this book another word is mentioned that may be new to many yet also serves historically tocheck nationalist intentions in the times of chaos created by progressive nationalists; interpose.Some will say interposition and nullification are basically the same. On the surface it mayappear to be but in reality these are more like cousins than twins.OnJune 8
, 1789 James Madisonpressed our new Congress to listen to his introduction of theamendments (those we know of as the Bill of Rights) to the new Constitution necessary for maintaining unity. While delivering his background on common opposition of the Constitutionhe stated;
There have been objections of various kinds made against the constitution. Some were leveled against its structure because the President was without a council; because the Senate, which is alegislative body, had judicial powers in trials on impeachments; and because the powers of that body were compounded in other respects, in a manner that did not correspond with a particular theory; because it grants more power than is supposed to be necessary for every good purpose,and controls the ordinary powers of the State Governments. I know some respectable characterswho opposed this Government on these grounds; but I believe that the great mass of the peoplewho opposed it, disliked it because it did not contain effectual provisions against encroachmentson particular rights, and those safeguards which they have been long accustomed to have
between them and the magistrate who exercises the sovereign power; nor ought we toconsider them safe, while a great number of our fellow-citizens think these securities necessary.
According to Felix Morley, in his book
(Indianapolis, 1959, p. 19),³The keyword here, from the viewpoint of federalism, has been italicized because it was the firsttime the doctrine of Interposition was foreshadowed as a proper and desirable constitutional practice for the United States.´ He further delineates the two cousins by using µresolutions of Interposition¶ and µacts of Nullification¶ when discussing each. He defines Interposition as;
«an official action on the part of a State Government to question the constitutionality of a policyestablished by the central government. The action at least temporarily interposes the sovereigntyof the State between its citizens and the distant authority of Washington. Customarily there is some sort of formal declaration to the effect that the objectionable national policy will beopposed until or unless the moot issue of its constitutionality is satisfactorily resolved. (p. 240)
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolution were resolutions of Interposition. Within the KentuckyResolution the legislature clearly stated it was a ³rightful remedy´ of States to nullify lawsinterpreted as unconstitutional. This was a peaceful protest by Kentucky yet it left no doubt itsintention, should the Aliens and Sedition Acts not be overturned, was to nullify them within their borders and protect their citizens from national usurpation and oppression.