Justice John McLean Quote

“That distinct sovereignties could exist under one government, emanating from the same people, was a phenomenon in the political world, which the wisest statesmen in Europe could not comprehend; and of its practicability many in our own country entertained the most serious doubts. Thus far the friends of liberty have had great cause of triumph in the success of the principles upon which our government rests. But all must admit that the purity and permanency of this system depend on its faithful administration. The states and the federal government have their respective orbits, within which each must revolve. If either cross the sphere of the other, the harmony of the system is destroyed, and its strength is impaired. It would be as gross usurpation on the part of the federal government, to interfere with state rights, by an exercise of powers not delegated; as it would be for a state to interpose its authority against a law of the union.”

~ Justice John McLean

Craig v. Missouri, 4 Peters 410 (1830) [29 U.S. 410, 464]

Ratings and Comments

Ben, Orem, UT

Died 1861, just as his idea of federalism was crumbling. It is sad that he lived to see it.

jim k, austin

Our Republic has now morphed into a democracy. Here's what John Adams said about that. " Remember, democracy never lasts long.It soon wastes, exausts and murders itself.There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

J Carlton, Calgary

Dead Right jim k...The "Hope/Change" program should finish it off. Time for a reenactment of 1776?

Mike, Norwalk

Secession in New Hampshire was narrowly defeated. Session from any one state will probably start a land slide of States seceding. I believe session might be the only avenue to begin a return to a representative republic (one where the representative represents the individual sovereign, not the particular union).

Paul, Gig Harbor, WA

You are dead right, Mike of Norwalk. The mythology of an indivisible Union is one created and perpetuated by those who draw power only to DC, who love big govt and big taxes. A two-faced, self-serving Lincoln hypocritically said before the War of Nothern Agression: “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right --a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is the right confined to cases which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.” --Jan 12, 1848 (The War with Mexico: Speech in the United States House of Representatives)

E Archer, NYC

There certainly is an open question as to whether the Constitution is actually in operation. The US government became 'National' instead of 'Federal' after the southern states were defeated. The Amendments that followed were declarations of what the People must do, not restrictions upon what the government can or cannot do. It switched from being a rule book for the government to a rule book for all Americans, not the States that comprised the nation. Our rights have not changed, only the protection of them have. Up until the War Between the States, it was agreed by the founders and the states that each state was a sovereign state and the citizens of those states were sovereign state citizens. Natural Law still supports that definition, and when Americans and people around the world realize that, the next Revolution will begin. Remember that the American Revolution started in the hearts and minds of the people first -- I believe people are waking up again only that it will be a global revolution, not just a renaissance of American Common Law.

Waffler, Smith

I am an American. California, Washington State. Maine and Florida and everything in between are mine to inhabit, visit etcetera without any restrictions what ever. None of them have a right to secede from me and deny me access to my birthright as an American. If you prefer the life akin to looking at the same four walls every day I recommend moving to some small European country, I would suggest Hungary. They have a totally different psychological outlook due to theri inward looking way of life.

Waffler, Smith

Archer seems to double talk when he calls for state sovereignity and then calls for a new American Revolution. Would not each state have to have its own unique revolution with its own flavor, issues, and style to be really a state sovereignity thing. I mean if Americans everywhere and in every state revolted for the same thing does that seem to say that Americans are united across state lines, and thus does not that scenario say that voila Americans are still United and not disUnited as some would like to see us be. Finally I think Archer as usual speaks with forked tongue.

E Archer, NYC

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." -- Declaration of Independence, 1776. The Common Law is the only form of jurisprudence that will protect the average person, the laborer, the merchant, the tradesman, the farmer, the land owner, the renter, the lender, the borrower, the soldier, the patriot. Justice is blind to skin color, wealth, power, and privilege. The sovereign man is still an ideal -- an ideal that is lawfully mandated in American law -- you must be free, and are accountable for your actions. We are not to be a collection of wards of the state, ready for the next command 'or else.' It is not yet a brave new world where the Alphas rule over the Betas and the Betas over the Gammas. Life is a liberating process, and its collective manifestation is to throw off the old yokes of church and state and return to REALITY. It will happen, it IS happening, and it is an honor to be part of it.

J white, tn

i am a vietnam vet 1967-68 and i think mc cain even tho a prisoner of war should get his ass out of govermint he draws more compers.r than any american soldier wounded in the whole conflict get out ass whole and spend your money you've stolen from taxpayers & VIETNAM VETS

Mike, Norwalk

Sovereignty exists uniquely and distinctly as an element of a tangible living person. The discovery and expression of inalienable rights are tied intimately to sovereignty of the individual. A government or other intangible / inanimate / inorganic object can "NOT" be sovereign in and of itself. It is only when an individual sovereign's rights are represented can the representative entity (government or otherwise) claim a portion of that sovereignty. In the expressing aura of the individual sovereign, in the de jure States united, the "State" can claim sovereignty. That sovereign expression (the State) acting as an independent / representative party, then unites with other sovereign expressions (States) with extended expression of individual sovereign rights. Archer's quote of the Declaration of Independence is extremely accurate and to the point - when any body politic no longer represents individual sovereign rights, that sovereign individual (individually and/or in concert with other individual sovereigns) have the absolute inalienable right to institute new representatives that will represent their individual sovereign rights.

Waffler, what a stupid and NOT-true statement (I know you think that you are an omni-present / omni-potent god but they have treatments for that) The world is yours to inhabit or visit the exact same as the States you mention (each jurisdiction may have different say so's though). You have no birthright as an American - a body politic with certain rules and regulations may exist in America as per you birthright but, not the other way around. Your sick god complex explains why you can work for the IRS.

Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT

The rule, in short, is as good for one as for the other. Amen and so should it be..

Ronw13, Yachats OR

" Was a phenomenon in the political world, which the wisest statesmen in Europe could not comprehend " notice the past tense.We on the other hand, being given access to understanding this phenomenon in harmony. What but we have the instrument, it is the tri-cord, and all the leading tones. Put your fingers where they need to go. Experience was there guide, as so it is ours. perhaps the ancient first nation had more to offer than meets the eye. As also the second and their same understanding. However this harmony goes forth, it is harmonious and peaceful. Sight and sound, word and number. A Very Graceful Art. respect and love. in Amen


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