Today, state and federal governments continue to square off on jurisdictional issues. • In 1996, the Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts in Texas and North Carolina that had been redrawn to increase minority representation were unconstitutional. • In 2000, the Supreme Court agreed to hear another case in the ongoing—since 1979—dispute between the federal government and the state of Alaska over who has authority to lease offshore land for oil and gas drilling. Constitutional conflicts between states’ rights and federal jurisdiction are pic- tured here. As you read, see how each issue was resolved. NULLIFICATION ISSUE: The state of South Carolina moved to nullify, or declare void, a tariff set by Congress. In t he car t oon above, Presiden t Andrew Jackson, ri g h t , is playin g a g a m e called bra gg . One of his opponen t s, Vice-Presiden t John C. Calhoun, is hidin g t wo cards, “Nullifica t ion” and “An t i-Tariff,” behind hi m . Jackson is doin g poorly in t his g a m e, bu t he even t ually won t he real nullifica t ion dispu t e. When Con g ress passed hi g h t ariffs on i m por t s in 1832, poli t icians fro m Sou t h Carolina, led by Calhoun, t ried t o nullify t he t ariff law, or declare i t void. Jackson t hrea t ened t o enforce t he law wi t h federal t roops. Con g ress reduced t he t ariff t o avoid a confron t a t ion, and Calhoun resi g ned t he vice-presidency. 1787 ▼ 1832 ▼ 322 C HAPTER 10 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION ISSUE: The Constitution tried to resolve the original debate over states’ rights versus federal authority. A t t he Cons t i t u t ional Conven t ion in Philadelphia, del- e g a t es wan t ed t o crea t e a federal g overn m en t t ha t was s t ron g er t han t he one crea t ed by t he Ar t icles of Confedera t ion. Bu t dele g a t es disa g reed abou t whe t her t he federal g overn m en t should have m ore power t han t he s t a t es. They also disa g reed abou t whe t her lar g e s t a t es should have m ore power t han s m all s t a t es in t he na t ional le g isla t ure. The conven- t ion co m pro m ised— t he Cons t i t u t ion reserves cer t ain powers for t he s t a t es, dele g a t es o t her powers t o t he federal g overn m en t , divides so m e powers be t ween s t a t e and federal g overn m en t s, and t ries t o balance t he differin g needs of t he s t a t es t hrou g h t wo houses of Con g ress.
1860 SOUTH CAROLINA’S SECESSION ISSUE: The conflict over a state’s right to secede, or withdraw, from the Union led to the Civil War. In December 1860, Southern secessionists cheered “secession” enthusiastically in front of the Mills House (left), a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. South Carolina seceded after the election of Abraham Lincoln, whom the South per- ceived as anti-states’ rights and antislavery.