VIII.3: Anti-Federalist Objections to Judicial Review

The Federalists were the people who wrote the US Constitution. And the Anti-Federalists were those who fought against it. There were Anti-Federalists in the Constitutional Convention. And there were more in the state conventions for ratifying the US Constitution. Both groups were united against the Federalists’ expansion of power in the courts. In particular, there … Read more

VIII.1: The Origin of Judicial Review

“Judicial review” means that a court has the power to declare that a law involved in a case brought before it is unconstitutional. A court has the power to strike down that law if it thinks the law contradicts its interpretation of the Constitution. Such decisions can be appealed to higher courts, and ultimately to … Read more

VII.5: Getting Back to the Constitution

Many believe that America could solve the problems with our government if only we would “get back to the Constitution”. I like that idea, but it misses the real point. Let’s imagine we could re-align our laws and government operations perfectly with the Constitution. If those laws and operations got away from the Constitution before, … Read more

VII.3: Anti-Federalist Predictions against the Constitution

In 1787, the U.S. Constitution was written, but not without a fight. That is, many of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention opposed it. But in the end the majority decided what it would say. That majority group became known as the Federalists. And those who opposed them became known as Anti-Federalists. Moreover, there were … Read more

VII.2: What Does “Federal” Mean?

The word ‘federal’ refers to the division of governing power between a nation and its sub-regions or states. It is confusing that in America it has become common to use the word “federal government” to refer to the national government alone. It would be far clearer to use the phrase “national government” for that purpose. … Read more

VI.1: The Fight over the US Constitution

The Articles of Confederation acted as a “federal constitution” for the original thirteen American states, but it had no enforcing power. The story of the fight over the US Constitution begins after the War for Independence. At that time, the state governments ignored the Articles of Confederation. In fact, they refused to cooperate on much … Read more