States’ Rights? Part 6.
by Mike Crane
"Our Rights are like a
cookie, no matter how big the cookie and how small the bites,
eventually you run out of cookie"
In Part 1 of this series a concept was
presented that runs a bit contrary to current public conception –
that the term States’ Rights can be used more for partisan
benefit than a true effort to protect the God-Given Rights of the
people. Part 2 demonstrated that as early as 1801 incursions
attacking American Liberty and State’s Rights had already started
and have continued to this day. Part 3 gave details on an obvious
expansion of central government powers (authority) by legislative
action. Part 4 began listing the causes of the failure of State’s
Rights. Part 5 and this article continue listing the causes of the
failure of States Rights.
Part 6 is the
second continuation of: Cause # 2:
Misconceptions about original Constitution of 1787 (prior to Bill of
Rights) from Parts 4 and 5.
As a brief recap on the debate concerning
the Virginia Plan (See Parts 4 & 5), a model for a "national" government,
Mr. Morris of Pennsylvania clearly explained the difference between
a federated and a national government as follows:
Mr. Govr. Morris
explained the distinction between a federal and national, supreme,
Govt.; the former being a mere compact resting on the
good faith of the parties; the latter having a compleat and
compulsive operation. He contended that in all Communities there
must be one supreme power, and one only.
Now let’s look at the continuing debate to
further clarify the actions of the Framer’s of the Constitution of
The United States.
Mr Sherman1 who took his seat today, admitted that the Confederation had not
given sufficient power to Congs. and that additional
powers were necessary; particularly that of raising money which he
said would involve many other powers. He admitted also that the
General & particular jurisdictions ought in no case to be
Mr. Sherman is basically agreeing with Mr.
Morris in that the General (central government) and particular
(State governments) jurisdictions should not be concurrent. But all
delegates were not of a like mind on this issue. What follows is an
effort or parliamentary move to remove the word "national."
It was moved by Mr. Read,2 2ded. by Mr. Chs. Cotesworth
Pinkney, to postpone the 3d. proposition last offered by
Mr. Randolph viz that a national Government ought to be
established consisting of a supreme Legislative Executive and
Judiciary, in order to take up the following,—viz. "Resolved that in
order to carry into execution the Design of the States in forming
this Convention, and to accomplish the objects proposed by the
Confederation a more effective Government consisting of a
Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, ought to be established."
Mr. Read moved and seconded by Mr. Pinkney
to replace the word "national" with "effective" and
eliminate the word "supreme."
In other words he is clearly stating that
the problems of the Articles of Confederation can be fixed without
resorting to a totally new form of government, specifically that a "national"
or "consolidated" government was not required. Mr. Pinkney
also urged his fellow delegates to return to their charter, to
propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation.
The motion to postpone for this purpose was
Yeas Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, S.
Carolina—4 Nays. N. Y. Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina—4.
On the question as moved by Mr.
Butler, on the third proposition it was resolved in Committee of
whole that a national governt. ought to be established
consisting of a supreme Legislative Executive & Judiciary,—Massts.
being ay—Connect.—no. N. York divided (Col. Hamilton ay Mr.
Yates no) Pena ay. Delaware ay. Virga. ay. N.
C. ay. S. C. ay. (6-1-1)
But let me summarize what these two votes mean in very simple
The Virginia Plan was submitted as an initial
draft or model. It was a plan for a national or consolidated
government. A motion was made to lay this plan side and instead work toward an
effective government, rather than a national government.
This motion to lay aside failed by a tie vote
The delegates then voted to affirm the draft
model of a national or consolidated government (6-1-1).
In the very early days of the Constitutional
Convention of 1787, the delegates, the framers of the Constitution
made a deliberate and conscious decision to discontinue a federated
form of government and to replace it … let me emphasize … REPLACE IT
… with a national form of government in their deliberations.
Let me summarize what this means for the
concept of States Rights …
By the votes of May
30, 1787 the framers of the Constitution began debating the ultimate
elimination of States Rights! The concept of States Rights is mutually exclusive with the concept of a national or consolidated government as clearly
explained ("…the latter having a compleat and compulsive
operation …") by Gov. Morris.
What does this mean?
If it is true that the framers of the
Constitution of 1787 proposed a national government, then it should
be easy to understand why the Anti-federalists were opposed to its
ratification. It explains why our Confederate forefathers made
changes in several areas when drafting the Confederate Constitution
Most importantly - it explains why efforts to
Reform have failed for 200 years and why efforts at Reform are most
likely a fool’s errand with little or no hope of success.
For the benefit of the doubting Thomas’s, let’s
continue looking at the debate for more insight.
On May 31, the debate continued on the Virginia Plan:
The other clauses giving powers necessary to
preserve harmony among the States, to negate all States laws
contravening in the opinion of the National Legislature the articles
of the union, down to the last clause, (the words :or any treaties
subsisting under the authority of the Union," being added after the
words " contravening &c. the articles of the Union," on motion of
Dr. Franklin) were agreed to without debate or dissent.
On May 31, 1787 the framers agreed without debate or dissent that
the National Legislature would be Supreme over the State
Legislatures in any matter that in the opinion of the National
Legislature was important.
Just 13 years earlier, some of these same
men had assembled in the First Continental Congress and as a major
step toward the creation of American Liberty and our Independence
from England had rejected this same concept as absolutely and
totally unacceptable! But here in Philadelphia on May 31, 1787 - it
was accepted without dissent or debate.
The debate then continued using the
"national" form of government submitted by Virginia delegates as
On June 6, 1787 the debate centered on electing the first branch of
the national government by the State Legislatures.
General PINKNEY wished to have a good National Govt. & at the same time to leave a
considerable share of power in the States. An election of either
branch by the people scattered as they are in many States,
particularly in S. Carolina was totally impracticable. He differed
from gentlemen who thought that a choice by the people wd. be a
better guard agst. bad measures, than by the Legislatures.
Mr. MADISON considered an election of one branch at least of the Legislature by
the people immediately, as a clear principle of free Govt. and that
this mode under proper regulations had the additional advantage of
securing better representatives, as well as of avoiding too great an
agency of the State Governments in the General one.
we have General Pinkney proposing involving the State Legislatures
in the selection of what became the US House of Representatives. On
the other side James Madison argued against it. He argued for a
national or consolidated government, eliminating or minimizing the
influence of the States. The vote:
On the question for electing the 1st. branch by
the State Legislatures as moved by Mr. Pinckney it was negative
Mass. No. Ct. ay. N. Y. no. N. J. ay. Pa. no.
Del. No. Md. No. Va. No. N. C. no. S. C. ay. Geo. No. (3-.8)
When did the US House of Representatives start
down the road of being out of control? On June 6, 1787 and look
where we are today! How would Mr. Madison like the so called "better
representatives" that assemble in Washington City today?
This proposal or
motion would have embedded a federated aspect to the new form of
government which in 1776 was a major factor in our Independence.
In fact an argument can be made that had the Congress in 1776 been
composed in the manner of the current US House of Representatives
the Declaration of Independence would not have passed Congress at
the time and manner that occurred.
This article is already over 1,500 words so
will pick up at this point in Part 7 and will close this one with a
passage in the Scriptures to describe our current day
Representatives in Washington City:
Proverbs 28:20 Hell and destruction are never
full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
To be continued …
Sections that are in italics are
copy and paste from the historical record of the Convention or in
the last case from the King James Bible.