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with foreign nations, and with each other. Their submission to its operation is voluntary : its councils, its engagements, its authority are theirs, modified and united. Its sovereignty is an emanation from theirs, not a flame by which they have been consumed, nor a vortex in which they are swallowed up. Each is still a perfect State, still sovereign, still independent, and still capable, should the occasion require, to resume the exercise of its functions, as such, in the most unlimited extent.”—Appendia, p. 187.
A work that was written by John Taylor, of Virginia, and published in 1820, contains the following passages: “The State sovereignties made, may revoke, or can alter the Constitution itself; and therefore the supremacy bestowed upon the Constitution, being some power subservient to the State Sovereignties, demonstrates that the word ‘supreme’ was used in a sense subordinate to these sovereignties; and being used in that sense, it is impossible that the people intended it as a revocation of those powers, or of any of their appurtenances, or of the spherical sovereignties, previously bestowed, never recalled, and specially reserved to the State governments by the Sovereignties, to whom the whole Constitution and all its words are subordinate.” # * * “Previously to the Union, the States were in the enjoyment of sovereignty or Supremacy. Not having relinquished it by the Union, in fact having then exercised it, there was no occasion, in declaring the supremacy of the Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof, to notice that portion of State Supremacy, originally attached to, not severed from, and of course remaining with the
powers not delegated to the Federal Government; whilst it was necessary to recognize that other portion of supremacy attached to the special powers transferred from the States to the Federal Government.” # * * “The States by common consent may dissolve or modify the Union, over which, by the natural right of self-government, which they have never relinquished, they retain a complete Supremacy.”—Construction Construed, pp. 122, 127, 142.
On the 27th of January, 1830, in the Senate of the United States, Robert Y. Hayne, a distinguished Senator from South Carolina, delivered a speech in which the following passages appear:
“Nothing can be clearer than that, under such a system, the Federal Government, exercising strictly delegated powers, can have no right to act beyond the pale of its authority, and that all such acts are void. A State, on the contrary, retaining all powers not expressly given away, may lawfully act in all cases where she has not voluntarily imposed restrictions on herself.” # * * “All sovereigns are of necessity equal; and any one State, however small in population or territory, has the same rights as the rest, just as the most insignificant nation in Europe is as much sovereign as France, or Russia, or England.” “ * *
“It is clear that questions of sovereignty are not the proper subjects of judicial investigation. They are much | too large, and of too delicate a nature, to be brought within the jurisdiction of a court of justice. Courts, whether supreme or subordinate, are the mere creatures of the sovereign power, designed to expound and carry into effect its sovereign will. No independent State ever
yet submitted to a judge on the bench the true construction of the compact between himself (?) and another sovereign.” # * *
“I think I have now shown that the right of a State to judge of infractions of the Constitution, on the part of the Federal Government, results from the very nature of the compact; and that, neither by the express provisions of that instrument, nor by any fair implication, is such a power exclusively reserved to the Federal Government, or any of its departments—executive, legislative, or judicial.” # * *
“No doubt can exist, that, before the States entered into the compact, they possessed the right, to the fullest extent, of determining the limits of their own powers— it is incident to all sovereignty. Now, have they given away that right, or agreed to limit or restrict it in any respect? Assuredly not. They have agreed that certain specific powers shall be exercised by the Federal Government, but the moment that Government steps beyond the limits of its charter, the right of the States “to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them,” is as full and complete as it was before the Constitution was formed. It was plenary then, and never having been surrendered, must |be plenary now. But what then? asks the gentleman. A State is brought into collision with the United States in relation to the exercise of unconstitutional power: who is to decide between them? Sir, it is the common case of difference of opinion between sovereigns as to the true construction of a compact. Does such a difference of opinion necessarily produce war? No. And if not among rival nations, why should it do so among friendly States?” # * *—Gales and Seaton's Register of Debates in Congress.
In an “Address on the relation which the States and General Government bear to each other,” John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, said: “The great and leading principle is, that the General Government emanated from the people of the several States, forming distinct political communities, and acting in their separate and sovereign capacity, and not from all the people forming our aggregate political community; that the Constitution of the United States is, in fact, a compact to which each State is a party, in the character already described; and that the several States, or parties, have a right to judge of its infractions; and in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of power not delegated, they have the right, in the last resort, to use the language of the Wirginia Resolutions, “to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them.” This right of interposition, solemnly asserted |by the State of Virginia, be it called what it may—State right, veto, nullification, or by any other name—I conceive to be the fundamental principle of our system, resting on facts historically as certain as our Revolution itself, and deductions as simple and demonstrative as that of any political or moral truth whatever; and I firmly 'believe that on its recognition depend the stability and safety of our political institutions.” ” * * “That different opinions are entertained on this subject, I consider but as an additional evidence of the great diversity of the human intellect.” # * * “The error may possibly be with me, but if so, I can only say that, after the most mature and conscientious examination, I have not been able to detect it.”—Calhoun’s Works, Vol. VI, pp. 60–62.
“The General Government is one of specific powers; and it can rightfully exercise only the powers expressly granted, and those that may be necessary and proper to carry them into effect.”—Calhoun's Works, Vol. VI, p. 2.
The Report of a Committee of twenty-one members, appointed by the Nullification Convention of South Carolina in 1832, contains the following passage: “Before the Federal Government had thus been called into being, the several States unquestionably possessed as full sovereignty, and were as independent of each other, as the most powerful nations of the world.—President Jackson’s Message and accompanying documents, transmitted to Congress, January 16, 1833.
A Convention, in which the States of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee were represented, re-assembled at Nashville, Tennessee, in November, 1850, and adopted a Preamble and Resolutions, in which it is asserted that, when the Constitution of the United States was adopted, “the States of this Confederacy acceded to that compact, each State for itself, and ratified it as States;” and that “if the non-slaveholding States, who are parties to that compact, disregard its provisions and endanger our peace and existence by united and deliberate action, we have a right,