GiN Quotes: State Sovereignty/10th Amendment

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State Possesses Inherent Advantages

“The State governments possess inherent advantages, which will ever give them an influence and ascendancy over the National Government, and will for ever preclude the possibility of federal encroachments. That their liberties, indeed, can be subverted by the federal head, is repugnant to ever rule of political calculation.” -Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 17, 1788

Foundation of the Congress

“I consider the foundation of the Congress as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition.” -Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, February 25, 1791

If Federal Government Overpasses Its Authority

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” -Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 33, January 3, 1788

Don’t Transfer State Offices to Washington

“(T)he States can best govern our home concerns and the national government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore…never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market.” -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge William Johnson, June 12, 1823

Federal Powers are Few and Defined

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”  -James Madison, Federalist No. 45, January 26, 1788

No Universal Power to Federal Government

“It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It (the Constitution) was intended to lace them up straightly with in the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.” -Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on a National Bank, February 15, 1791

When All Usurped from the States

“The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body, (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be ursurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one.” -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821

When the Federal Government Has Failed

“The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refused reimbursement therefore, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.” -THE DECLARATION OF CAUSES: February 2, 1861 (This was the declaration of the causes from the State of Texas on one of the reasons they wanted to secede from the Federal Union.)

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