State Sovereignty, Judicial Review, and Nationalism

The Federal Judiciary and Judicial Review

The federal judiciary included provisions that encouraged state and federal governments to comply. Article VI required the support of all government officials as well as the federal government. The courts of the state, together with federal law, also had to apply the U.S. Constitution. Thus, it is clear that the judicial review was undertaken in Article VI. The State Court had to examine the actions of the State, and the State Judge had to make federal law and constitutional interpretations (Les Benedict, Michael).

State Judges and Federal Laws

Article VI's involvement in the requirement for State judges were to sustain only the federal laws which were made by the Constitution was to enforce a state law that was challenged. The enforcement was to be made in case the federal law was found to be unconstitutional. There was no place in which the Constitution gave power to the federal courts.

Power of the Federal Judicial

Section 2 of Article III defined the power of the federal judicial as extending to all cases. A Large portion of the Federalist wanted the Congress to develop an establishment of a complete system of the federal court to eliminate the obstructions on the enforcement of the federal laws and treaties by the juries and the state courts. On the other hand, the local congressmen expected to keep the power of the local boards for the protection of the popular rights and the local interests. According to Article VI, the state courts had the responsibility of deciding whether there was a violation of the federal Constitution by such cases, and therefore there was no appeal to the Supreme Court (Les Benedict, Michael).

The Federalist Victory and the Judiciary Act

The Federalist victory that was the biggest was the one expressed in section 25 of the Judiciary Act. This section gave provision for appealing to the Supreme Court anytime the supreme court of state upheld the provision of the constitutional law or any action against the violated claim as far as the federal laws or Constitution was concerned.

The Constitution as a Legal Document

According to Marshall, the Constitution was a legal document as opposed to being referred to as a political one. He made the separation between politics and the constitutional law whereby he brought out the argument that the constitutions were more important than the basic principles. As a result, the Americans' point of view on courts was that they were the most appropriate forums for the enforcement of the constitutional limits (Les Benedict, Michael).

Nationalism and the Supreme Court

Nationalism was enhanced through the Supreme Court and the national supremacy. The support that the Marshall court provided to the broad national power helped in the promotion of the economy. They offered a solution to the economic problems which were there and endorsed the constitutionality of the national Republicans' programs. Besides, Marshall enhanced the endorsement of the nationalist interpretation of the powers of the federal government.

Marshall's Broad Interpretation of the Constitution

Marshall expounded to the world's first written Constitution. He, therefore, wrote the opinions he had in a grand and broad style and did not depend on the precedents of the common law. He did not also rely on the narrow rules of the statutory construction. Instead, his claim was that the Americans wanted to establish a nation as soon as they approve the Constitution. The main point for him was avoiding the crabbed interpretation of the national power that the central government had under the Articles of Confederation (Les Benedict, Michael).

The State-Sovereignty Reaction

Marshall expected that the decisions he made would develop an establishment of the doctrines for the nationalists' constitution without any opposition. However, the state-sovereignty reaction was that the interference of the federal courts by the popular policies of state led to the state sovereignty defense as well as the full-fledged revival of the constitutionalism of the state-sovereignty (Les Benedict, Michael).

Critics of Marshall's Opinions

Madison and Jefferson motivated the critics of the opinions that Marshall made during 1810. The leaders of these critics came from Virginia, and they strengthened the old strictures of Jeffersonian, which opposed the development of the federal powers. The argument of the critics was that the states had formed the federal government and hence they retained sovereignty. According to them, the Constitution did no enhance the formation of the national government. Instead, it created the sovereign states' confederacy. The Confederacy government was the states' subordinate, and there was no way the subordinate government was allowed to impose its will.

The Supreme Court's Response

The Supreme Court denied the argument of the Virginians making the section of the Judiciary upheld. However, the courts of Virginians went on to refuse the decisions of the Court. As a result, Marshall was forced to find a case that would make the Virginians find it hard to resist the ruling of the Court. He picked the case that could not provide them with a chance to defy the judgment of the Court. There were, however, various issues which arose in the South, including the bankruptcy issues, the perennial land-title, and the banking issues (Les Benedict, Michael). There was a lot of worry by Southerners that the strong national government could threaten slavery.

Work Cited

Les Benedict, Michael. The Blessings of Liberty. 2nd ed., Cengage/Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

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