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destarr97

Virginia and Kentucky resolutions. 1. Are the resolutions favoring a strict or loose interpretation of the constituion? 2. The Kentucky & virginia resolutions raise a fundamental question about the new government of the united states : who is the arbitrator of the constitution? What is the position of Madison and Jefferson on this question.

  • one year ago
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  1. Carl_Pham
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    Strict, I would say. The Constitution is written in a negative way, as setting severe limits on the powers of the central government. The V&K resolutions take the Constitution at its word, and assume the Framers meant those limits to be just as severe as they sound. Traditionally, "loose" interpretations of the Constitution have tended to argue there are all kinds of implicit or "true in spirit if not in letter" caveats to these limits, so that the central government can exercise powers not explicitly found in the Constitution. Madison and Jefferson both believed that the states were just as entitled to judge the constitutionality of the actions of Congress as was Congress itself, or the Supreme Court, or any other agent of the Federal government. They partook of the general belief that the states were in some sense signatories to the Constitution, and that the United States was to some extent a voluntary association of sovereign states. The contrary viewpoint, which ascended during the Civil War, was that the Constitution was a convenant between the central government and the people directly, bypassing the states, and that therefore the United States was an indissoluble union -- it may have been formed by the states voluntarily, but once formed, no state could back out or change the terms of its participation. It was a marriage without the possibility of divorce.

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