Was the adoption of the U.S. Constitution a liberal or conservative act?

Sep 2019
84
Seattle
#61
That was the first major dispute of the Convention - whether they were amending or scrapping the Articles. By the end of the first day of Committee of the Whole (May 30, iirc), the Convention agreed that they were scrapping the Articles and creating a new government, as expressed in that day's resolution no. 3, which replaced the Virginia Plan's stated goal of amending the Articles with the following:

That a national government ought to be established, consisting of a supreme judicial, legislative and executive.

'Supreme' was the operative word, as the proposed government would be able to overide any given state's legislative objection.
 
Sep 2019
84
Seattle
#62
Agreed. The Articles of Confederation were along the lines of a "treaty" or "alliance" between sovereign states. The Constitution created a new "sovereignty," that of the United States, which subordinated the parts to the whole. That was the importance of the State ratifying conventions. The "authority" of the Constitution didn't rest with the State legislatures, but with the "people" as represented in the State Conventions.
 
Jul 2019
554
New Jersey
#63
Agreed. The Articles of Confederation were along the lines of a "treaty" or "alliance" between sovereign states. The Constitution created a new "sovereignty," that of the United States, which subordinated the parts to the whole. That was the importance of the State ratifying conventions. The "authority" of the Constitution didn't rest with the State legislatures, but with the "people" as represented in the State Conventions.
But the legal force of those State Conventions relied on the decision of the state legislatures to hold them.
 
Sep 2019
84
Seattle
#64
But the legal force of those State Conventions relied on the decision of the state legislatures to hold them.
Ever get a letter from an attorney that concludes with "if I don't hear from you in x number of days, I'll assume you agree with the above?" Two-thirds of the Constitutional Convention attendees were lawyers. I'd say that everyone knew the Articles of Confederation weren't getting the job done and neither the Continental Congress or the State Legislatures felt powerful enough to reject the Constitution's proposed method for ratification. And, of course, there were various battles in the State Legislatures regarding how the representatives to the State Conventions were to be chosen, its authority versus theirs, etc. Even in the end, ratification was a close call. I believe Michael Klarman, in his 2016 book on the Constitutional Convention, called it "The Framers' Coup."
 
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Jul 2019
554
New Jersey
#65
Ever get a letter from an attorney that concludes with "if I don't hear from you in x number of days, I'll assume you agree with the above?" Two-thirds of the Constitutional Convention attendees were lawyers. I'd say that everyone knew the Articles of Confederation weren't getting the job done and neither the Continental Congress or the State Legislatures felt powerful enough to reject the Constitution's proposed method for ratification. And, of course, there were various battles in the State Legislatures regarding how the representatives to the State Conventions were to be chosen, its authority versus theirs, etc. Even in the end, ratification was a close call. I believe Michael Klarman, in his 2016 book on the Constitutional Convention, called it "The Framers' Coup."
I'm going to concede your point (which we've debated over several threads), based on the wording of Justice Marshall's ruling on McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), in which he asserted the Constitution's supremacy over state legislatures. Among other things, he wrote:

"The convention which framed the Constitution was indeed elected by the State legislatures. But the instrument, when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without obligation or pretensions to it. It was reported to the then existing Congress of the United States with a request that it might 'be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification.'

This mode of proceeding was adopted, and by the convention, by Congress, and by the State legislatures, the instrument was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only manner in which they can act safely, effectively and wisely, on such a subject -- by assembling in convention. It is true, they assembled in their several States -- and where else should they have assembled? No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their States. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the State governments.

From these conventions the Constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people; is "ordained and established" in the name of the people, and is declared to be ordained, 'in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and to their posterity.'"

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P.S. I still vehemently disagree with regard to the Electoral College.
 
Sep 2019
84
Seattle
#66
I'm going to concede your point (which we've debated over several threads), based on the wording of Justice Marshall's ruling on McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), in which he asserted the Constitution's supremacy over state legislatures. Among other things, he wrote:

"The convention which framed the Constitution was indeed elected by the State legislatures. But the instrument, when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without obligation or pretensions to it. It was reported to the then existing Congress of the United States with a request that it might 'be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification.'

This mode of proceeding was adopted, and by the convention, by Congress, and by the State legislatures, the instrument was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only manner in which they can act safely, effectively and wisely, on such a subject -- by assembling in convention. It is true, they assembled in their several States -- and where else should they have assembled? No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their States. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the State governments.

From these conventions the Constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people; is "ordained and established" in the name of the people, and is declared to be ordained, 'in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and to their posterity.'"

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P.S. I still vehemently disagree with regard to the Electoral College.
A cop-out. It would be absurd to then deny the Presidency to a majority of the people who cast their vote for that individual. It destroys the basic realignment of power imposed by the Constitution itself...the supremacy of the federal legislative body over that of state legislative bodies...with a "fig leaf" termed "the electoral college." But I gather you've already read my reply in the other thread.
P.S. Thanks for the Marshall quote...let's face it...the country was founded by clever attorneys, who convinced a few others, such as Washington, to fight for them.
 
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Sep 2019
84
Seattle
#67
A cop-out. It would be absurd to then deny the Presidency to a majority of the people who cast their vote for that individual. It destroys the basic realignment of power imposed by the Constitution itself...the supremacy of the federal legislative body over that of state legislative bodies...with a "fig leaf" termed "the electoral college." But I gather you've already read my reply in the other thread.
P.S. Thanks for the Marshall quote...let's face it...the country was founded by clever attorneys, who convinced a few others, such as Washington, to fight for them.
P.P.S. And, doesn't religion pretty much work the same way? Isn't it the "interpreters of the laws" who still tell us what the texts mean?
 
Jul 2019
554
New Jersey
#68
A cop-out. It would be absurd to then deny the Presidency to a majority of the people who cast their vote for that individual. It destroys the basic realignment of power imposed by the Constitution itself...the supremacy of the federal legislative body over that of state legislative bodies...with a "fig leaf" termed "the electoral college." But I gather you've already read my reply in the other thread.
P.S. Thanks for the Marshall quote...let's face it...the country was founded by clever attorneys, who convinced a few others, such as Washington, to fight for them.
You ignore Marshall's vehement assertion that "No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people into one common mass."

The fact remains that the states retain their sovereignty in all matters pertaining to them. You mistake a partial transfer of sovereignty for a complete transfer of sovereignty. But I've respoded to you at greater length in the other thread.
 
Sep 2019
84
Seattle
#69
You ignore Marshall's vehement assertion that "No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people into one common mass."

The fact remains that the states retain their sovereignty in all matters pertaining to them. You mistake a partial transfer of sovereignty for a complete transfer of sovereignty. But I've respoded to you at greater length in the other thread.
I have no problem with the states retaining partial sovereignty. I just believe part of the sovereignty transferred should have included a national election, for national offices, based on the rule of the majority. That would mean one federal law, to which state law would have to conform, for the election of the President, Vice President and members of the House. Gotta go run errands.
 
Jul 2019
554
New Jersey
#70
I have no problem with the states retaining partial sovereignty. I just believe part of the sovereignty transferred should have included a national election, for national offices, based on the rule of the majority. That would mean one federal law, to which state law would have to conform, for the election of the President, Vice President and members of the House. Gotta go run errands.
I've dealt with that at length in the other thread. That would be the best place for a rebuttal.