James Madison Is Not The Sacred Oracle Of Nullification But Guess Who Is?
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Why should it all just come down to whatever James Madison said? Madison was just one man after all. It seems that you would find other opinions on this and other writings and other things that could help flesh out what it was those that framed the Constitution, and the framers of that document, and those that implemented it, and then those that had to live under it, and then those that acted against it when it acted against what they thought was the extent of its own powers? It wasn’t just James Madison. There were others.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: During the time around the turn of the 19th century, there was robust discussion here about just how far this new monstrosity called the general government, just how far it could go and how it could be slowed or stopped. In this particular instance, just a mere eight or nine years after ratification, the Adams administration had requested and then received and then signed into law these horrific proposals called the Alien and Sedition Acts. Now, some of them were the result of John Adams’ own personal paranoia. Some of them were just the result of rabid federalists believing that they had little restriction on their own powers, that they were going to do what Congress does today, they were just going to ignore the plain meaning of the Constitution and how they themselves had presented it to themselves when it was ratified.
This is what led the State of Virginia, which, again, at the time was the most populous state. It had a magnificent population of statesmen, future presidents. Jefferson, Madison, James Monroe all were residents. It was home to George Mason. Of course, I think Mason was dead by then. It had been home to Patrick Henry and other patriots whose names you know. It is, of course, where the great John Taylor of Caroline, who, as Kevin Gutzman calls him, was the…
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Madison was rebuffed at every turn. [mocking] “Yeah, but Madison was the one that proposed the Bill of Rights.” Yes, and his pet amendment, the one that would give the federal government veto over the acts of the states if they violated rights of conscience couldn’t make it out of the committee in the House. It never saw the light of day. He argued for it and he gave a speech. You can read the speech online. He spoke for almost an entire day. At the end of the day, they went: Uh, yeah, how about no?
The idea here that James Madison and Madison alone is the only authority we can turn to when we’re talking about nullification and interposition is just ridiculous. He is one of those but not the source.
End Mike Church Show Transcript