Delegates representing the states met in Philadelphia and drafted a Constitution to create a new government for the former British Colonies. They wanted to create a government that would protect the states from foreign invaders and to create a more peaceful and harmonious relationship between the states.
The authors of the Constitution wanted the states to be the masters and the national government to serve them. In order to prevent the abuse of power they delegated the the national government a short list of powers that were few and well define. All of other powers not prohibited in the Constitution to the states was to be forever retained by the states.
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote resolutions in 1798 known as the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. In their opinions the states had a lawful right to nullify any federal law which in their opinion violated the Constitution.
Since it was the states who wrote the Constitution shouldn't the states be responsible to interpret and enforce the Constitution?
This doctrine is affirmed in the Tenth Amendment where it states "All powers not granted to the government of the United States, nor prohibited to the states in the Constitution are reserved to the states and to the people".
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