of Massachusetts; Rufus King, of Massachusetts; Madison finally came to this view; George Mason, of Virginia; James Wilson, of Pennsylvania; Luther Martin, of Maryland, and others; but the greatest exponent of this doctrine was Hamilton.
I shall not stop to read some extracts from Hamilton's work, but I ask permission that there be printed in the Record as a part of my remarks certain extracts from pages 101 and 102 of volume 2 of the Federalist.
(From the Federalist. No. 78. By Hamilton)
No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this would be to affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize but what they forbid.
The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.