tious course if there were reason to believe that an appeal would be taken, as from a ruling of the chair, to the source of ultimate sovereignty. Yet the States themselves, for their part, it may be imagined, seldom would risk an immediate and decisive rebuke by their brethren for interposing on light or unwarranted grounds. Year after year, it would be supposed, the States would accept the interpretations placed upon their Constitution by the Court, and would acquiesce without objection in the acts of Congress; indeed, for the past half-century, they have done so with few exceptions.
The object must be to preserve in the hands of the people, which is to say in the people of the States, some effective power that may be utilized, in great and extraordinary instances, by which an asserted usurpation of power may be checked, suspended, and submitted for decision to the principals in the constitutional compact. John Calhoun, building upon the foundation of Madison and Jefferson, offered a means by which that object may be attained. His adversaries have offered nothing.
The Personal Liberty Laws
WE MAY now resume, may it please the court, a discussion of those instances of particular State interposition, by which it may be discerned that every portion of this Union, at some point in its history, has recognized the imperative necessity of a State veto upon acts of the Federal government.
In commencing this section, it ought not to be necessary to make one disavowal:138 The author of these notes utterly disclaims any affection or admiration for the detestable institution