When the Framers of the Constitution sent their handiwork out to the states for ratification in 1787, opponents denounced it. The new system of government, they argued, threatened to take away power from the states and the people and give it to the federal government. Many of these Anti-Federalists, as they were called, agreed to support ratification, though, in return for a promise that the new Congress would quickly add amendments protecting the people’s rights.
Just as the Earth contains underground fault lines that slip, slide, and sink, causing earthquakes, so does the basis of our Constitution contain fractures that can demolish our government.
What’s a constitution for, anyway? What good does one do? What use is it?
In response to recent events, we want to explore a different clause in the Constitution—the Supremacy Clause—and raise the question: is this aspect of our government another fault line? Or is it actually solid bedrock that should remain unchanged?
After many years of finding fault with our founding document, Sandy had the chance to try to correct Framers’ missteps and to update it. So, how did he do it and what does it look like?
If you could design the structure of an entire governmental system from the ground up, the way the Framers did, how would you do it?