Federalist No. 46 – The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared – How is this relevant today?

Tomorrow, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will appear before U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson to argue against lawyers from the Obama Administration, who have filed a motion to dismiss Virginia’s challenge to the recently passed healthcare bill.

Cuccinelli will argue that the provision that forces citizens to purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine, is in violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, because it compels citizens to engage in commerce.

Virginia recently passed a law stating that Virginians do not have to purchase health insurance. Florida has filed a lawsuit similar to Virginia’s, and over 20 states have joined.

Cuccinelli is quoted in today’s Richmond Times Dispatch as follows, “”The Commerce Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] does not give the federal government the power to order you to buy a product.  We’re fighting to protect liberty as best as we can.”

The Richmond Times Dispatch article goes on to quote Governor McDonnell as saying that the healthcare legislation would cost Virginia an additional $1.5 billion in health care costs by 2022. One of the primary cost factors is the expansion of Medicaid.

As Madison predicted:

“On the other hand, should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps, refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union; the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassments created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, difficulties not to be despised; would form, in a large State, very serious impediments; and where the sentiments of several adjoining States happened to be in unison, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.”


“They must be told that the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone, and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other.”

Throughout the Federalist Papers, the above themes surface again and again.  The ultimate authority of the government derives from the people.  If the federal government oversteps its bounds, the people will sound the alarm, and the states will rise to defend their rights.

For many years, and for various reasons the people and the states have let the federal government slowly encroach.  But the people are awake, and are awakening the states.  The alarm is sounding.

Tomorrow, Cuccinelli’s court appearance is an important step in guiding our country back to the path of liberty, and back to the constitutional structure envisioned by our founding fathers.

AND Thank you to David Kopel! I LOVED the breakdown of how many state, federal, local employees there are, and how many military! Last night when I read Madison’s statement in Federalist 45 that fewer people will be federal employees than state employees, I immediately began trying to find those numbers, and finally gave up, because it was so late.  I was happy to read your essay this morning and see that you had them.

Thank you to all those who commented today, and thank you to our founder and co-chair Janine Turner for her great press appearances today on Laura Ingraham and Megyn Kelly!  I believe it was Chris Wallace who said Janine is spreading the word like a modern day Paul Revere.  I could not think of a better description. All of you who are participating in this blog, and in the Constituting America effort are great patriots, and our founding fathers would be proud.

Good night and God Bless!

Cathy Gillespie

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

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