IV. State and National Laws

Catechism of the Constitution Book CoverThe Federalist Papers has posted a PDF copy of an Elementary Catechism on the Constitution from 1828 written by Arthur J. Stansbury. I’m publishing it here on Mondays in a series of posts. There are no sections in the book, so I’m dividing it into any natural breaks of topics and the posts will vary in length. Any emphases within the text are Stansbury’s. I’m posting two today, because this one differentiating between state and national laws is so brief.

IV. State and National Laws

Q. You say that in a republic the laws are made by certain persons whom the people choose for that purpose:—who make the laws in our republic?

A. The laws which concern only one of the states are made by persons chosen by the people of that state, and who, when met, are called the Legislature, the General Assembly, or the General Court, of that particular state. Those, for instance, who make laws which concern only the state of New York, are called the Legislature of the state of New York; those who make laws which concern only the state of Massachusetts, are called the General Court of Massachusetts. But laws which concern all the states or more states than one are made by the CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Q. But if even the Congress itself should make a law which is contrary to the Constitution, must the people obey it?

A. No.

Q. Who is to determine whether any law is contrary to the Constitution or no, the people themselves?

A. No: but certain persons whom they have appointed, [called Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States.]

Q. Do the members of the Congress of the United States all meet together in one assembly, when they make the laws?

A. No: they meet in two separate assemblies, one of which is called THE SENATE, and the other is called THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

In the heading under Charters of Freedom, you will find a copy of the Constitution as well as links to other pertinent primary documents and commentary on the Constitution.

Elementary Catechism on the Constitution posts:
Elementary Catechism on the Constitution (Preface)
I. The Necessity of Government and Its Forms
II. The American Revolution
III. The Occasion and Purpose of the Constitution
IV. State and National Laws
V. The House of Representatives
VI. The Senate
VII. Impeachment
__________
Book image from The Federalist Papers. Other reading formats of the Elementary Catechism on the Constitution can be found here.

Advertisements

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s