Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on March 26, 2012

in History, Law, Reality Is Not Optional

… is from pages 95-96 of the original edition of the 1978 collection, American Law and the Constitutional Order, edited by Lawrence M. Friedman and Harry N. Scheiber; specifically, it’s from Scheiber’s essay “Federalism and the Constitution: The Original Understanding”:

The most accurate predictions, however, actually came from the Antifederalists.  It was they who foresaw that the “general welfare” and “necessary and proper” clauses in the Constitution could readily legitimize sweeping changes in the balance of national versus state powers.  By contrast with Madison’s tortured construct of an “assimilated” system in which the lines of dependence ran only one way, the Antifederalists predicted accurately that the national government might eventually, or even immediately, become the instrument for massive centralization of power – indeed, potentially of nearly all power.


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