ConstitutionFINAL - Saleh 1 Fahad Saleh Professor Brennan...

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Saleh 1 Fahad Saleh Professor Brennan Founders, Framers and Philosophers September 24, 2007 State Sovereignty and the Constitution Reform rarely gets implemented without debate. In the case of our Constitution, a debate formed between Brutus and Alexander Hamilton as to the ramifications of the implementation of the Constitution on state governments. In Brutus V, Brutus argues that under the Constitution, the state governments would “exist no longer than the general legislature choose[s] they should” while in Federalist #32, Alexander Hamilton counters, stating that the Constitution provides state governments enough authority to remain solvent and in existence; although both sides make reasonable arguments, Hamilton fails to directly and comprehensively counter Brutus’s points (Ball 470; 145). Brutus primarily maintains that most Americans “agree that the form of government most suitable for the United States is that of a confederation” (466). To this end, the independent state governments must have domain over “internal and local affairs” (466). However, the Constitution views “the people of the several states as one body corporate,” saying “we the people of the United States” at the beginning of the preamble and then suggesting that the people of the United States want “a more perfect union” (466; 545). Nonetheless, Brutus’s primary gripe lies not with the preamble but with specific clauses in the Constitution which empower the national government to a degree that threatens the
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Saleh 2 existence of the state governments (466-7). Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states that “Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,” and that Congress also has the authority “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof” (548; 549-50). In addition, Article VI establishes the Constitution and the laws of the United States as the supreme law of the land thus nullifying the legal validity of all laws and procedures contradicting the policy of the national government (556). Brutus claims that the aforementioned clauses of the Constitution amount to unlimited
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ConstitutionFINAL - Saleh 1 Fahad Saleh Professor Brennan...

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