Each of the Free, Sovereign, and Independent States of this Union gave Assent to the Constitution and ratified it, thus establishing the Constitution within the States themselves as the law in conjunction with their individual State Constitutions. This act of assent and ratification subjected the Citizens of each of the States to the operation and function of the Constitution; yet, the jurisdiction of the Constitution as a binding force was never considered outside the character of the Sovereignty of the States. There is absolutely no contradiction between the Sovereignty of the States and the act of federalizing themselves into this voluntary union between them. The act of federalization was simply another act of Sovereignty, for federalization could have never taken place without their individual Sovereignty. The act of federalization did nothing but create and establish a functioning government that was deputized on behalf of the States; it neither transferred nor imbued sovereignty on the federal government and indeed, there is absolutely no sovereignty within the federal government, only limited delegated authority and power stemming from the Sovereignty of the States themselves.
No single act created this government; it was, in fact, the act of Nine Sovereign States that ratified the Constitution, making it binding on those and only those States until the remaining States gave eventual assent and ratification, at which time, they too became parties to the voluntary union we know as THESE united [i.e. Associated by Treaty] States of America. Though the People of this country have grown accustomed to the "nationalized" definition of Congress, as though it is an independent entity, it is, in fact, the united States in Congress Assembled. Congress is not a national "institution", it is nothing less than the Ambassadors of the Sovereign States Assembled. It is vital to understand just what took place when each of the Several States met in Convention to discuss and debate the Ratification of the Constitution and exactly how this action was viewed, it was most certainly not viewed as relinquishing any portion of the Sovereignty of the States themselves, otherwise the Constitution would have never been Ratification and we would have remained under the Articles of Confederation [which may or may not have been a good thing]. As an example, the Ordinance of Ratification from the State of New Hampshire concluded in 1788 and yet, to reiterate the Sovereign character of that State, in 1792 the New Hampshire Bill of Rights was added to her Constitution, several years after ratifying the federal Constitution. Included were these words: Article VII: "The People of this State have the Sole and Exclusive Right of Governing themselves as a Free, Sovereign and Independent State; and do, and Forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every Power which is not, and my not hereafter be, by them, expressly delegated to the united States in Congress Assembled."
In addition, there is probably yet another portion of the New Hampshire example that is even more compelling and that is Article 10 of the New Hampshire Constitution, that is the Right of Revolution, as declared: "Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."
No power or authority has ever left the States, none has ever been relinquished by the States, even the power and authority delegated to the federal government remains within the jurisdiction of the States themselves and is only on loan to their agent deputized to act in trust of such delegated powers and authority. All power and authority belongs to the States after such delegation as before such delegation; as such, it is entrusted by the States to their "agents or substitutes" to act in concert to the will of the States and on their behalf. The act of federalization, of creating a federal government, did not create a sovereign power, only a deputized agent to act in their stead and only upon the Sovereignty that stems from them, but no other. Thus the States federalized themselves, but never, in any respect, did they nationalize themselves. A federation of Sovereignties was created, all Free and Independent of each other, yet joined in a voluntary union based on a specific Agreement that contained specific obligations and requirements.
Every aspect of the type of government created through the Constitution is summed up by Chief Justice Theophilus Parsons: "A government, to be administered for the common good, by the servants of the People, vest with delegated powers, by popular elections, at stated periods. The federal Constitution establishes a government of this description, and in this case the People divest themselves of nothing; the government and the power which Congress can administer, are the mere result of a Compact made by the People with each other for their common defense and general welfare."
Roger Sherman, during the Ratifying Convention of the State of Connecticut, declared: "The government of the united States being federal, and instituted by a number of Sovereign States for the better security of their Rights, and the advancement of their interests, they may be considered as so many pillars to support it."
During the federal Convention, the idea of a national government was not only rejected by the delegations from the States, but all reference to the word "national" was expunged from the Constitutions, in its place, the phrase "the government of the united States" was agreed to as best expressing the actual character and nature of this government of the States.
There is, found within the Constitution of the State of New York, a few very interesting declarations, declarations understood by all the Citizens of the Several States as beyond question, as being the most fundamental law: "the Sovereignty and Jurisdiction of this State extend to all the places within the boundaries thereof, as declared in the preceding title; but the extent of Jurisdiction over places that have been, or may be, ceded to the united States, shall be qualified by the terms of such cession." It must be noted that there is a substantial difference in the legal terminology used; though lands may have indeed been ceded to the government of the united States in terms of jurisdiction and that jurisdiction is qualified by the terms of such a cession, there is no mention that Sovereignty over such ceded territory has ever been ceded to the federal government of the united States. Additionally, the declaration is extended: "no member of this State shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any of the Rights and Privileges secured to any Citizen thereof; unless by Law of the Land, or judgment of his peers; no authority can, on any pretense whatsoever, be exercised over the citizens of this State, but such as it, or shall be, derived from, and granted by the People of this State."
We must come to an understanding, that the heirs of the Sovereignty of the Crown of Great Britain was the People, and that Sovereignty is expressed in the States or, it can be said that the States express the Sovereignty of the People for the People are the States and the States are the People. These expressions of Sovereignty, the States, each in its individual capacity as Sovereign, agreed on the Terms of Union between the States as the sole parties of that Agreement.
The idea that there is, in any form or fashion, any controlling power by a supreme national or central government is an absurdity, given the volumes of evidence to the contrary, not to mention the Constitution itself. There has been, for well over a hundred and fifty years, a concerted effort to create and propagate the false theory and doctrine of federal supremacy and sovereignty. For the most part, this effort has been extremely successful and equally as detrimental to the well-being of this country and the People of the States. It is utterly impossible to read the various documents, the writings, letters, and legal opinions of the early years after The Declaration of Independence, the War years, and then the union under the Articles of Confederation, to find an assertion that the federal powers would be superior or in any way supreme over the States. The old Son of Liberty, Samuel Adams, emphatically proclaimed that a Bill of Rights would allow the People to: "see a line drawn, as clearly as may be, between the federal powers vested in Congress, and the distinct Sovereignty of the States."
It is rarely stated, but there were several proposals for the Bill of Rights, many of the States proposing Amendments, and while many of them were similar in tone and conception, there were some that stood out in terms of detail and concern. One of those proposals for the 10th Amendment was given by the State of North Carolina and declared: "That each State in the union shall respectively retain every power, Jurisdiction and Right, which is not by this Constitution delegated to the Congress of the united States, or to the departments of the federal government."
Another Amendment, in the spirit of the 10th, was proposed by the State of Rhode Island: "The united States shall guaranty to each State its Sovereignty, Freedoms, Independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and Right, which is not by this Constitution Expressly Delegated to the united States."
As is clearly evident, all of the States viewed themselves as absolutely and completely Sovereign; there was no question as to their character as Free, Sovereign, and Independent States both before the Ratification and after the Ratification of the Constitution. So, to what end did the States exercise their Sovereignty? These Sovereignties associated themselves in a federal Compact for the express purpose "to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty;". This association was to create one of the most unique and most incredible countries ever founded on the face of the earth and yet, usurpation and abuse of powers bestowed on this federal government have effectively destroyed the Republic and replaced its government, through a gradual, illegal coup d'e'tat, with an alien, illegitimate, consolidated government that is totally foreign to the intent and principles upon which this grand federation of Sovereign States was forged with the precious Blood of Patriots. There is the assumption that the current government is the government of the united States, but it is indeed a counterfeit, holding all the elements of the real government without the substance of the legitimate government of These united States of America.
This government and the condition this country finds itself in would be shocking to those who first conceived and established the Constitutional Republic, for today there is no Republic, only the very fragile shell of one. Indeed, if the Founders were alive today, they would once again find themselves in a conflict of the ages, a revolution for liberty fighting once again for independence and liberty. Without doubt, they would once again foment revolution against the usurpation and abuse of power that has been concentrated within a government that has subverted its purpose for existing. They would remind the People of the several States 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."
A Classical Liberal of the Jeffersonian political philosophy.