"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Constitutional Question of the Day - Representation

Did the Constitution speak to the People as represented by their States, or to the People directly? That's my latest conundrum as I try to understand the document better. Were rights guaranteed to the People separately from any government representation, or was it understood that the People would be represented by their individual States?

If rights were granted to the People separately, how would they go about exercising these rights when challenged by both State and Federal government? Did the Constitution provide machinery for them, and if so what kind?

Were the delegates to the Constitutional Convention representing their individual States (which in turn represented their People), or this third group of the People directly? What about the delegates at the individual Ratifying Conventions? Who exactly did they represent when they gave a yay or nay to ratify the Constitution? I find it highly unlikely these delegates were, across all the colonies, free of the influence of their State governments. Did they represent their States, or did they represent the People directly? Or did they represent both simultaneously?

And how does this situation, whatever it may be, inform the understanding of the Constitution's granting of powers? I don't know yet but studying this is in the queue.

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