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respectively possess the constitutional power of settling for themselves the construction of this supreme law in all doubtful cases.

The practical result of this great question turns, then, on this single point. It has not as yet been seriously pretended that each individual may judge for himself, and determine in his own case, the nature and extent of his obligations as a member of the Union. But if the state within whose local jurisdiction he may happen to reside, may judge for him, or for itself, in a case of an alleged

violation of the Federal Constitution, and finally decide and execute their respective decisions by their own powers, the inference follows that, being sovereign, there is no power to control the decision of the state, and its own judgment on its own contract must be conclusive. But this doctrine is founded in mere theory and assumption ; and is refuted, not only by plain and express constitutional provisions, but by the very nature of the compact. It has been shown most conclusively, in the legislative halls,* as well as in the judicial tribunals of the Union, that the Government of the United States possesses, in its appropriate departments, the authority of final decision on all these questions of power, both by ne cessary implication and express grant.

1. If the Constitution be, indeed, a government existing over all the states, operating upon individuals, and not a mere treaty of alliance, it must, upon general principles, possess the authority in question, as it is, in fact, an authority naturally belonging to all governments. And al. though the Constitution establishes a govern respectively possess the constitutional power of settling for themselves the construction of this supreme law in all doubtful cases. ¿ The practical result of this great question turns, then, on this single point. It has not as yet been seriously pretended that each individual may judge for himself, and determine in his own case, the nature and extent of his obligations as a member of the Union. But if the state within whose local jurisdiction he may happen to reside, may judge for him, or for itself, in a case of an alleged

* Vide the speeches of Mr. Webster on this subject in the Senate of the United States.

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violation of the Federal Constitution, and finally decide and execute their respective decisions by their own powers, the inference follows that, being sovereign, there is no power to control the decision of the state, and its own judgment on its own contract must be conclusive. But this doctrine is founded in mere theory and assumption ; and is refuted, not only by plain and express constitutional provisions, but by the very nature of the compact. It has been shown most conclu. sively, in the legislative halls, * as well as in the judicial tribunals of the Union, that the Govern. ment of the United States possesses, in its appropriate departments, the authority of final decision on all these questions of power, both by ne cessary implication and express grant.

1. If the Constitution be, indeed, a government existing over all the states, operating upon individuals, and not a mere treaty of alliance, it must, upon general principles, possess the authority in question, as it is, in fact, an authority naturally belonging to all governments. And although the Constitution establishes a government of limited powers, yet, as it extends equally over all the states, it follows, independently of the express declaration to that effect, that to the extent of those powers it must necessarily be supreme; while, from the nature of the powers granted, that government must be National in its character, as well as Federal in its principles of organization. The inference, then, appears to be irresistible, that the government, thus created by the whole, for the whole, and extending over the whole, must possess an authority superior to that of the particular governments of any of its parts. As the Government of the Union, it has a legislative power of its own, and a judicial power coextensive with the legislative power. To hold, therefore, that these are not supreme, but subordinate in authority to the legislative and judicial powers of a state, is equally repugnant to common sense, and to all sound reasoning and established principles. The legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the Union must each necessarily judge of the extent of its own powers, as often as it is called on to exercise them; and that independently of state control, or they could not act at all. Without any express declaration, therefore, to that effect in the Constitution, the whole question is necessarily decided by those provisions which create a legislative, an executive, and a judicial power; for if the powers exist in a government intended for the Union, the inevitable consequence is, that the acts of the Federal Legislature and the decisions of the Federal judiciary must be binding over the whole Union, and on each of its federative parts. From the nature of the case, then, and as an inference wholly unavoidable, the laws of Con.

* Vide the speeches of Mr. Webster on this subject in the Senate of the United States.

gress and the decisions of the Federal Courts must be of higher authority than those of the states.

2. But the Constitution, as we have already seen, has not left this point without full and explicit provision. For if the express grant to Con. gress of distinct and substantive power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution all other powers vested in the Gov. ernment of the United States mean anything, it means that Congress may determine what is necessary

and proper for that purpose ; and if Congress may judge of what is requisite for the execution of those powers, it must of necessity judge of their extent, as well as interpret them. With regard to the judicial power, the Constitu. tion is still more explicit and emphatic. . If any case arise depending on the construction of the Federal Constitution, the judicial power of the Union, we have seen, extends to it, in whatsoever court it may originate. Of all such cases the Supreme Court of the Union has appellate jurisdiction, and its judgments are final and conclusive. Nothing more effectual could have been done for subjecting all constitutional questions, whenever and wherever they may arise, to the ultimate deeision of the Supreme Court than has actually been accomplished by this salutary provision of the Constitution. Congress was saved by it from the necessity of any supervision of the state laws; and while the whole sphere of state legislation was thus left untouched, an adequate security was obtained against any infringement of the constitutional power of the General Government.

It is clear, then, that the Constitution, by express grant, as well as by necessary implication,

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