Electoral College Case Study
Electoral College Case Study
State’s Powers in our Constitutional Republic
Our Founders had a distinctive understanding of human nature which formed the basis for the decisions they made in framing our civil government. Their understanding was based upon a plain reading of the Bible and they knew (and believed) what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter three:
10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 and the way of peace have they not known: 18 there is no fear of God before their eyes… 23 for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
These statements have sobering implications and the Founders took them seriously as they crafted a new form of civil government for these United States. Since all men are sinners, no man (or group of men) could ever be entrusted with unchecked powers. Moreover, history and their own experience convinced them that safety and prudence would only be served by the establishment of multiple checks from multiple sources on the exercise of any power or prerogative entrusted into the hands of any man.
Although most citizens are aware that the Constitution provides for horizontal checks and balances between and among the three branches, - Legislative, Executive and Judicial - on the Federal level, most do not realize that, in the opinion of the Founders, the more important check was a vertical one. That is to say, between the higher and lower levels of government, Federal, State and Local. Inasmuch as they feared the accumulation and consolidation of power, they wanted to ensure that if the Federal government would attempt to act beyond the powers granted to it in the Constitution, the State governments would stand in the gap against that overreach. In this chapter we will explore three categories of checks and balances,
- The Greater Powers of the State governments
- The State Legislature’s Powers via The Electoral College.
The Greater Powers of the State governments
We must remember that it was the States which created the Federal government. When Independence was declared on July 4, 1776, the former colonial governments of all thirteen colonies were officially abolished. Each State proceeded to form a new government based upon a State Constitution ratified by the citizens of those States. Those States sent delegates to craft a form of government which would govern the relationships between the newly formed States. That first agreement, The Articles of Confederation, was not ratified by all thirteen States until March 1st, 1781, after four years of bickering among the States over its terms. (This was barely six months before the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown and the virtual end of the War for Independence.)
Despite its claim to establish a “perpetual union,” the agreement itself was not long lived. Voices calling for a convention to consider amendments to the Articles reached enough force to bring delegates together from twelve States in May 1787. That Convention through the long, hot Philadelphia summer produced our Constitution. James Madison, rightly called the Father of our Constitution, was one of three authors writing the Federalist Papers which argued for the ratification of this new form of central government to replace the Articles of Confederation. In Federalist Paper #45 Madison explains the relationship between the Sovereign States and the proposed new government which would be inaugurated by the Constitution.
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government.
Clearly Madison and the other delegates to the Philadelphia convention envisioned a balance of powers between the existing States and the newly proposed Federal government under the Constitution where the States retained their “numerous and indefinite” powers. The Federal government would only possess “few and defined” powers that are clearly set out in the text of the Constitution. There are twenty-two powers that relate to taxing and spending and three others which relate to elections, immigration and importation as well as implementing certain amendments to the Constitution. The Federal government’s powers were small in number and very restricted in scope in contrast to those held by the State governments, “The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” To seal the restrictions on the Federal government the Bill of Rights was ratified as the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
The Tenth Amendment forcefully states,
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Tenth Amendment frames and is firmly fixed on the principle that the Federal government possesses no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution and that the States retained all powers which they possessed before the Constitution was ratified and did not surrender by means of the Constitution’s specific terms.
In light of these purposes and intentions, the question then presents itself:
What did they Founders expect would happen when the Federal government, given the
fallen nature of man, began to encroach upon the powers of the State governments and the God given rights of the people? The Answer is “Interposition”.
The Doctrine of Interposition is known by a few names. Author and Pastor Matt Truehella refers to “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates” in his book by that title. Dr. Paul Jehle, Founder and Director of the Plymouth Rock Foundation, speaks of the “Applied Doctrine of Interposition.” And while the term is not widely known or used in modern discussions among politicians or pundits, it is a well established and well documented remedy against unlawful actions by those men or groups of men who are charged with upholding and defending the law.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: Defines INTERPOSITION (in part)
- A being, placing or coming between; intervention; as the interposition of the Baltic sea between Germany and Sweden. The interposition of the moon between the earth and the sun occasions a solar eclipse.
And as recently as 1966 Random House Dictionary included this historically important idea in its definition of “Interposition”:
- U.S. Doctrine that an individual State may oppose any federal action it believes encroaches on its sovereignty.
And furthermore Black’s Law Dictionary defines Interposition as “The action of making something void; the action of a state in abrogating a federal law on the basis of state sovereignty.”
Whatever the formal name, it is vital that we citizens be able to understand and to describe the concept of Interposition and the “Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates”; to be able to articulate the duty of the lesser magistrate to stand against and to protect the citizen from a tyrannical government; and to be fully equipped to judge the ability of those seeking office to assume the responsibilities of the lesser magistrate.
Why is Interposition so Important? Because it is the lawful remedy for unlawful civil government.
Let me describe it with a illustration from your front yard, what I call Interposition and the Family Dog.
You’re a good parent. So, let’s suppose you think it wise to buy a watchdog so that when your little girl plays in the front yard the dog can protect and defend her from any intruders who may wish to do her harm.
After a little time goes by the puppy you bought becomes a full grown animal. His muscles become fully developed, his teeth are big and sharp, and now he towers over your little girl. You are worried that he is becoming too aggressive and one day you look out the door and witness your worst fear – you see the dog attacking your child.
As you burst out the front door, your daughter has gotten free and is cowering in the corner of the fence by the tree. The dog is charging across the yard and in a few seconds will be on her again. You just have time to do what your instincts tell you to do. You get your body – you insert yourself – between the dog and the child – between the danger and the daughter.
You don’t stop to think what will happen to you. Your desire and your duty come together in an instant.
You thrust yourself between the aggressor and the victim.
What you just did was an act of interposition.
You interposed between the agency that was originally a protector, but had become a threat, and the person or persons you have the duty to protect.
Interposition is as American as apple pie, baseball, and jazz. When we hire civil government to protect and defend our God given rights, if at any level it ever turns into the aggressor, we need a separate level of civil government to interpose on our behalf protecting us from the dangerous invasion of our God given rights.
In “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates”, Pastor Matt Trewhella explains that when the superior or higher civil authority makes a decree (or undertakes some action under the color of law) which is either immoral or unjust, the lesser or lower ranking civil authority has both the right and the duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority. Moreover, in some cases, the lower authority may actively resist the superior authority.
According to Dr. Archie Jones: “The Doctrine of Interposition is based on the biblical truth that the powers that be, the rulers of civil government, are ordained by God and are His ministers.” Romans 13:1- 10 clearly establishes this fact.
3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
“As God’s ministers they are to serve Him—not anyone else. They are to serve Him by protecting and giving praise to those who do good, and by punishing, and therefore restraining, those who do evil. As God’s ministers they must follow, obey, and apply His definitions and standards of what is good and what is evil: not their own, nor anyone else’s definitions or standards of good and evil.”
Interposition by the lower magistrate has been practiced since before the time of Christ. However, it was Christians establishing Western Civilization who formalized and embedded the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates into their political institutions. Furthermore Interposition by the lesser magistrate is the appropriate Biblical and Constitutional method to resist tyranny. Properly understood and implemented, it can provide a pathway for citizens to rein in lawless acts by civil government so that justice can be restored, justice being defined as “giving to everyone what is his due” according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.
There are many Historic examples of Interposition and the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates.
Consider the Magna Charta of 1215, where the Christian Noblemen who confronted King John at Runnymeade, forced the King (who had acted as a tyrant) to sign a treaty acknowledging certain rights for men. The Magna Charta made it clear that all authority comes from God, that all men are subject to the law, and that civil government’s role was a limited one.
During the Reformation both John Calvin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion and John Knox in his Appellation wrote about the necessity for interposition. Knox cited over seventy passages from Scripture supporting the Doctrine. In his famous work Lex Rex, published in 1644, Samuel Rutherford also contributed to the importance and necessity of Interposition.
Also consider the Founding of these United States. According to Dr. Paul Jehle (Plymouth Rock Foundation), the Declaration of Independence is a premier example of a document of Interposition because it clearly addresses the five components of Applied Interposition Doctrine. Dr. Jehle argues that lawful interposition must address these five questions:
- What are the sources of the rights violated?
- Under what authority are you interposing? (Who is the Lesser Magistrate?)
iii. How have you demonstrated submissive appeals for a reasonable period?
- To what specific abuses do you attribute your resistance and how are these abuses unlawful?
- To what higher authority are you appealing?
One area in which Interposition is vitally needed today is for the protection and defense of property rights. There is an agenda crafted by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and the UN General Assembly’s “Earth Summit+5” Special Session generally known as Agenda 21 (although recently touted as as 2030). Sustainable Development is the tool to implement this agenda and was apparently developed as a means of restructuring the world population to lessen environmental impact and achieve an improved supposed quality of life. In one major aspect it either takes direct control of private property or defeats the purpose for owning property at all. This agenda is in nearly every county in our land most commonly (but not limited to) the name of “Regional Planning Commissions,” where unelected bureaucrats usurp elected county representatives’ authority and openly attack citizen’s property rights through random regulations.
Here is a place where Interposition is desperately needed.
State Legislature’s Powers and The Electoral College
In addition to they duty of Interposition there are two specific checks assigned by our Constitution to the State Legislature, one against the Federal Legislature and a second against the Federal Executive. The first check was that the Senators were appointed by the State Legislators not elected by the people directly as is done today. In this power the State Legislator could instruct their Senators regarding their wishes such that in essence the only Federal legislation adopted would be that which a majority of State Legislatures approved. This unwisely was taken away by the Seventeenth Amendment weakening a very important check the States had against Federal overreach.
The other powerful check the State Legislatures were to have on the Federal government was a check against the Executive branch. That check is the Electoral College, it was our Founders method for electing a President.
When we hear the word College an image of Ivy covered walls arises. But the meaning to our Founders was not limited to an educational institution. In Webster’s 1828 Dictionary College is defined as:
“In a general sense, a collection, assemblage, or society of men, invested with certain powers and rights, performing certain duties, or engaged in some common employment, or pursuit.”
And the Electors in this assemblage, or society of men were designed to be a check on the Federal Government Executive Branch by the State Legislatures. Their powers were limited to only electing a President. When that work was done they were disbanded.
As a body, the electors were chosen by the method determined by each State Legislature and tasked to elect the President and Vice President of the United States. As laid out originally in the Constitution, the election process was meant to be a contest of individuals not of political parties. Before 1804, when an elector cast his ballot he listed his top two choices for president. The choices weren't ranked as “first choice” or “second choice” and no mention of vice president was made on the ballot. One list was then drawn up that included both names from every elector's ballot. Each Elector voted for two persons. The person with the majority of votes cast by the total number of electors was named president. The person with the next highest number of votes was named vice president. There were no “running mates” in this original system.
Article II Section 1 of our Constitution provided that State Legislatures should decide the manner in which their electors were chosen. Even those which did use the method of the popular vote, as most States do today, had widely varying restrictions based upon property ownership.
In the first presidential election of 1788–89 the different States chose differing methods to choose their electors.
- Five States chose Electors by direct appointment of the state legislature - Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina.
- Two States the Legislature divided the State into electoral districts, with one elector chosen per district by the voters of that district - Virginia and Delaware.
- Two States the Legislature decided the electors would be chosen at large by voters - Maryland and Pennsylvania
- One State chose two electors appointed by state legislature and each remaining elector was chosen by state legislature from top two candidates in each U. S. House district - Massachusetts.
- One State by each elector chosen by voters statewide; however, if no candidate won a majority, the state legislature appoints electors from top two candidates - New Hampshire.
- North Carolina and Rhode Island had not yet ratified the Constitution, remaining their own country under the Articles of Confederation.
In the votes cast by the Electoral College
- George Washington received 69 votes, one from each elector
- John Adams received 34 votes
- John Jay received 9 votes
- Robert H. Harrison received 6 votes
- John Rutledge received 6 votes
- John Hancock received 4 votes
- George Clinton received 3 votes
- Samuel Huntington received 2 votes
- John Milton received 2 votes
- James Armstrong received 1 vote
- Benjamin Lincoln received 1 vote
- Edward Telfair received 1 vote
In the Second Presidential election of 1792 there were 132 electors as North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont and Kentucky had joined the Union.
- Nine States chose Electors by appointment by the state legislature - Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont and South Carolina.
- Two States the Legislature divided the State into electoral districts, with one elector chosen per
district by the voters of that district - Virginia and Kentucky.
- Two States the Legislature decided the electors would be chosen at large by voters - Maryland and Pennsylvania
- One State by each elector chosen by voters statewide; however, if an insufficient number of electors are chosen by majority vote, runoff is held between the top 2n vote-getters, where n is the number of vacancies remaining - New Hampshire
- One State chose by
- two Congressional districts chose five electors each; the remaining two districts chose three electors
- each elector chosen by majority vote of voters in Congressional district
- if an insufficient number of electors are chosen by majority vote from a Congressional district, remaining electors would be appointed by the state legislature - Massachusetts
In this election
- George Washington received 132 electoral votes, one from each elector
- John Adams received 77 votes
- George Clinton received 50 votes
- Thomas Jefferson received 4 votes
- Aaron Burr received 1 electoral vote
In the Third Presidential election of 1796:
- Eight States chose Electors by appointment by the state legislature - one State with voter input.
- Four - In electoral districts voters choose Electors.
- Three - Electors choose by voters Statewide. Remember the voters are not directly voting for the President and Vice President but for electors in the Electoral College who are indicating they will vote in the Electoral College for the those they deem most suited to be President and Vice President.
- One - By popular vote, but the County voters chooses delegates and the delegates then choose Electors.
So you can see in these first three Presidential elections the wide variation between the States, the point is that the State Legislatures were in the drivers seat, they could determine the method by which to select their electors to the Electoral College. Such a system produced a wide ranging out come from the Electoral College in 1796:
- John Adams received 71 votes
- Thomas Jefferson received 68 votes
- Thomas Pinckney received 59 votes
- Aaron Burr received 30 votes
- Samuel Adams received 15 votes
- Oliver Ellsworth received 11 votes
- George Clinton received 7 votes
- John Jay received 5 votes
- James Iredell received 3 votes
- Samuel Johnson received 2 votes
- John Henry received 2 votes
- George Washington received 2 votes
- Charles Cotesworth Pinckney received 1 vote
One odd note here is that George Washington received 2 votes when he had declared that he was not running. But two out of the 138 electors believed that he would be the best President. That was their job as electors, it was not a popularity contest to choose a homecoming king, but to evaluate the character, ability and track record of leading men in the country to determine who would be the best President for our country.
The fourth Presidential election of 1800 saw the rise of the political parties and the jockeying for Electoral College votes to produce the party’s desired nominee for President. The Democratic-Republican Party had chosen Thomas Jefferson as the party's candidate for president and Aaron Burr was to be his vice-president. But evidently some electors did not obey what their party bosses determined. The result in the Electoral College was a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. This resulted in the election being decided by the House of Representatives as Article II Section 1 clause 3 calls for. It took 36 ballots before the tie could be broken in the House of Representatives and Thomas Jefferson chosen as President.
This election of 1800 caused a great stir which ultimately changed the Electoral College. The Twelfth Amendment was proposed in 1803 and ratified in 1804. It sought a solution to the problem created by the rise of political parties in that the Constitution did not require electors to vote for president and vice-president separately. The Twelfth Amendment changed the system so that the electors would indicate their choice separately for President and Vice President. Thus, the party system was, in effect, constitutionally recognized by the Amendment.
Fast forward to our day and all but two States Legislatures have chosen a State wide selection process with the winner take all (that is all the State’s electors are given to the electors committed to the slate for President and Vice President which received the majority in the November election for Electoral College candidates).
State Legislators can change this structure at any time. Two states have done so in recent memory. Maine changed its method of selecting electors in advance of the 1972 presidential election, while Nebraska enacted a change starting with the 1992 election. In both States the winner does not take all the electors, instead they are using the 'congressional district method.’ These states allocate two electoral votes to the state popular vote winner, and then one electoral vote to the popular vote winner in each Congressional district (2 in Maine, 3 in Nebraska). This creates multiple popular vote contests in these two States. Consider the difference this made in 2008, Obama won Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District (Omaha and its suburbs), gaining a Democratic electoral vote in that state for the first time since 1964. Also in 2016, Donald Trump won Maine's 2nd Congressional District, which covers most of the state away from Portland, Augusta and nearby coastal areas. Statewide, Maine last voted Republican in 1988.
Moving States to this Congressional District method for selecting electors for the Electoral College would give those outside the heavily populated urban areas true representation in the Electoral College. It would make the Presidential campaigns nationwide, and not laser focus on the swing States and those urban areas with the greatest population. This chart gives a proportional understanding of the weighting of each State in the Electoral College. (Note: Red = Republican, Blue = Democrat, Yellow = swing State, also note Maine and Nebraska with their Congressional District plan for selecting electors.)
But a growing movement today is calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. They want it crushed and the National Popular Vote to be established as the way we elect a President.
Recognizing the difficulty of amending the Constitution the advocates are pursuing an unconstitutional initiative hoping to persuade enough states to pass laws assigning all of their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The strategy would kick in when states with enough Electoral College votes to put a candidate in the White House join the movement. Ten Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia have joined so far, representing 165 electoral votes. States representing another 105 electoral votes would be needed to secure the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency. But this is an illegitimate route as they would be circumventing the Constitution rather than amending it.
The results of a National Popular Vote would mean that the system of representation by each State in the selection of a President would be destroyed. A popular vote system nationwide would guarantee the President would be chosen by the major population centers and the great majority of the States would have no say in that election.
The last time in our history a candidate became President without receiving one vote from one elector in the Electoral College from nearly half the country, the result was the bloodiest war that our land ever experienced. The States of AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN and TX did not cast one vote for Abraham Lincoln. The geographical divide, where more than half the country did not cast a single vote for the man who became President, demonstrated the reality of secession even before those States voted to secede.
The National Popular Vote would bring a similar geographic divide in our country. Consider what that divide looks like between counties with more than one million in population, verses counties with less. Half of the population in the United States lives in the counties in blue.
The Electoral College was designed to give representation through the State Legislatures and a check upon the Executive Branch of the Federal government so that the rest of our country was not ruled by the blue counties.
When we examine the weight of each vote in the Electoral College we find that the smallest or least- populated states (WY, VT, ND, and AK) have approximately 200,000 popular votes backing each electoral vote, while the largest states (CA, NY, TX, and FL) have approximately 700,000 votes behind each electoral vote – considerably higher, but not overwhelming. It’s simply a sliding scale that assures that all states receive Constitutional representation.
For a closer comparison between the Electoral College and the Popular Vote, consider the balance in national representation applied to the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, in which Donald Trump won the election with 290 electoral votes while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by just over 1 million.
The Electoral College was originally created by our Founding Fathers to ensure equal representation of all states, rather than all individuals (the difference between a republic and a democracy). Why is that necessary? It assures that all states have a reasonable representation, that larger states cannot silence the voice of the smaller. Originally, this was based on state size; now census-based population data has become the key factor. The number of electoral votes per state is equal to their representation in
Congress: 2 votes per state plus the number of Representatives they have in the House.
Realistically, this allows each state to popularly vote for the candidate of their choice and receive a Constitutional share of the electoral votes.
In this election, there are multiple examples of the necessity of the electoral system. Looking at the following state maps, Trump was favored by the vast majority of Illinois counties, yet Clinton won the state by a huge margin: 55% to 39%. This is due to large population centers - huge numbers of people in small areas that do not necessarily reflect the needs of the majority of the state. In Nebraska, Clinton won 34% of the vote while winning only 2 counties. In Nevada, she won the entire state with only 2 counties! In Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, Trump won the vast majority of the state, but still took less than 50% of the popular vote.
Imagine if this were to happen country-wide instead of state-wide. The majority of the States would not be accurately represented. A popular vote would guarantee a president chosen by population centers, while completely ignoring the majority of the country.
In this election, the country (and most of the states) came out vastly “red,” yet Trump lost the popular vote by a minuscule margin (less than 1%), thus proving that the popular vote does NOT accurately represent either the individual states’ or the country’s demographics.
So, what are the “real” statistics of this election?
Trump won 29 states; Clinton won 21. This is a 16% majority.
Trump won 290 electoral votes; Clinton won 232. This is an 11% majority.
Trump received 61.0 million popular votes to Clinton’s 62.1 million popular votes. This was a difference of .9% (9/10ths of 1%). (source: https://elections16.usatoday.com/results/president)
The outcome of the Electoral College vote in 2016:
Presidential Electoral Votes:
- Donald Trump – 304 (306)
- Hillary Clinton – 227 (232)
- Colin Powell – 3
- Bernie Sanders – 1 [2 failed votes]
- John Kasich – 1 [1 failed vote]
- Ron Paul – 1
- Faith Spotted Eagle – 1
Vice President Electoral Votes:
- Mike Pence – 305 (306)
- Tim Kaine – 227 (232)
- Elizabeth Warren – 2
- Susan Collins – 1
- Carly Fiorina – 1
- Winona LaDuke – 1
- Maria Cantwell – 1
So as you can see, some electors understand they have the power to vote contrary to the popular vote which was cast in their State. We must be reminded of the great danger our Founders warned against, the danger of mobocracy. Gouverneur Morris, penman of the final draft of our Constitution, famously stated, "I see with fear and trembling, that [we may be] under the worst of all possible dominions … the dominion of a riotous mob.”
And James Madison sagely wrote in Federalist No. 55:
“As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form…” Madison also warned in The Federalist, No. 10: "... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they are violent in their deaths."
Our Constitutional structure was designed to prevent the cities from ruling the rest of our country. The Electoral College’s purpose as a State check on the Executive Branch at the Federal level was to assure that our God given rights are not quashed by demagogues who may gain ascendency in the urban areas of our land.
As we have seen, our Founders held a Biblical Worldview, especially regarding the nature of mankind. They knew men to be fallen, sinful and far to ready to abuse any power entrusted to their hands. They wisely crafted a system of multiple checks and balances from multiple sources on anyone holding any office of profit or trust in this Constitutional Republic. They clearly structured the State governments to have powerful checks on the Federal government. They limited the Federal government to only those delegated, enumerated powers specified in the Constitution. States held the trump card in the balance of powers between Federal and State governments.
Our Founders believed, taught, and practiced the Doctrine of Interposition. States officials were duty bound by their oath of office to interposes on behalf of their citizens whenever the Federal government stepped outside of the boundaries clearly established by the Constitution.
Our Founders also structured two very powerful tools by which State Legislatures held a check upon the powers of the Federal government. As we have seen, it was their design that the State Legislators appoint their State’s Senators in the United States Congress to do the bidding of that Legislature. That check was destroyed by the 17th Amendment. The second check was the Electoral College by which each State Legislature could determine the method by which they would be represented in the selection the President and Vice President of the United States. It should surprise no one then that this check is now under attack by the same forces which desire all power centralized in Washington, D.C. with out any checks on that power by the State Legislatures.
Today as never before it is critical that every freedom loving American learn these foundation principles of freedom, teach them to others and work to maintain the powers We the People delegated to our State governments to protect our God given rights from an over reaching mobocracy centralized in Washington, D.C.. It is We the People that must enforce the 10th Amendment -
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”