It conducts us to this palpable truth, that a power to lay and collect taxes must be a power to pass all laws NECESSARY and PROPER for the execution of that power; and what does the unfortunate and culumniated provision in question do more than declare the same truth, to wit, that the national legislature, to whom the power of laying and collecting taxes had been previously given, might, in the execution of that power, pass all laws NECESSARY and PROPER to carry it into effect?
He later repeats his concerns . . .
The answer is, that it could only have been done for greater caution, and to guard against all cavilling refinements in those who might hereafter feel a disposition to curtail and evade the legitimate authorities of the Union. The Convention probably foresaw, what it has been a principal aim of these papers to inculcate, that the danger which most threatens our political welfare is that the State governments will finally sap the foundations of the Union; and might therefore think it necessary, in so cardinal a point, to leave nothing to construction.
And then, puts a stake through the heart of "States Rights" . . .
But it will not follow from this doctrine that acts of the large society which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies, will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. Hence we perceive that the clause which declares the supremacy of the laws of the Union, like the one we have just before considered, only declares a truth, which flows immediately and necessarily from the institution of a federal government. It will not, I presume, have escaped observation, that it EXPRESSLY confines this supremacy to laws made PURSUANT TO THE CONSTITUTION; which I mention merely as an instance of caution in the convention; since that limitation would have been to be understood, though it had not been expressed.
Said another way (paraphrasing) . . . Any laws passed by the United States Congress, as long as it is Pursuant to its constitutional powers, will become supreme Law of the Land.
The Father of the Constitution, and two term fourth President of the United State, James Madison, makes an even stronger case that the primary Founding Fathers thought that the United States Congress was the "supreme" arbitrator of Federal Law. Madison's entire The Federalist No. 39 speaks to the subect of National vs Federal supremacy. It is well worth reading the entire essay, but here are some portions that a Justice of the Supreme Court would have to consider as compelling that the Founders leaned heavily in favor of a "National" supremacy.
Madison identifies the States opposition to to National supremacy . . .
The Federalist No. 39, by Publius (James Madison)
"But it was not sufficient," say the adversaries of the proposed Constitution, "for the convention to adhere to the republican form. They ought, with equal care, to have preserved the FEDERAL form, which regards the Union as a CONFEDERACY of sovereign states; instead of which, they have framed a NATIONAL government, which regards the Union as a CONSOLIDATION of the States." And it is asked by what authority this bold and radical innovation was undertaken? The handle which has been made of this objection requires that it should be examined with some precision.
From there, Madison proceeds with a detailed examination of the different aspects of the United States government, and whether they would be a "national" or "federal" feature, under the new Constitution. It's a brilliant, fascinating read. This is Madison's concluding paragraph:
The proposed Constitution, therefore, is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both. In its foundation it is federal, not national; in the sources from which the ordinary powers of the government are drawn, it is partly federal and partly national; in the operation of these powers, it is national, not federal; in the extent of them, again, it is federal, not national; and, finally, in the authoritative mode of introducing amendments, it is neither wholly federal nor wholly national.
Mind busting ain't it? Basically, he was walking a tightrope. He had to sell it to NATIONALISTS and FEDERALISTS. So, he brilliantly blurred the NATIONAL and FEDERAL features of the Constitution and painted the coming NATIONAL government as part FEDERAL. In the end it worked. Thirteen States fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. All he had to give them was a weakly worded Article the Twelfth.
If you're scratching your head, that's the 10th Amendment. Two got the boot.
From Madison's Notes on Nullification (1835-36):