Jefferson was protesting the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress when he wrote "whensoever the general government assumes undelegated
powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force." Lawmakers in Idaho and six other states are contending this doctrine gives states, not the U.S.
The answer, he explained, is that he sees himself as a "'Ninety-eight' guy--as in 1798." That's the year in which Thomas Jefferson wrote that, when the federal government exercises undelegated
power, "nullification of the act is the rightful remedy."
government from exercising undelegated
powers that will infringe on the
(7) As the Kentucky resolution of December 10, 1798, affirms, the United States is a compact in which certain precise powers are delegated but with each state reserving "the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated
powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force." http://www.constitution.org/cons/kent1798.htm (accessed May 26, 2006), 1.
The Resolutions also declared that the federal government had no authority to exercise powers not specifically delegated to it in the Constitution, and that any act by the federal government pursuant to an undelegated
power was void.
The Kentucky Resolutions, written in protest of the Alien and Sedition Acts, insisted, "whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated
powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force."
There is no core category of undelegated
powers which the Constitution reserves to the states.
(68) He wrote, "whensoever the general government assumes undelegated
powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force." (69) In light of the Court's recent emphasis on the reserved powers of the states, each individual state, including Alaska, should reevaluate its respective state constitution and promote the development of state law independently of federal doctrine, grounded in the text and intent of the state constitution.
Instead, as an old New York decision put it, the board's powers are "original and undelegated
." (65) The directors thus are Platonic guardians of a sui generis entity in which shareholders are but one of many contracting inputs.
[N]o bill has been offered in this House or in the other, the freedmen's bill not excluded, which proposes to give to Congress such dangerous powers over the liberties of the people as this bill under consideration, and if it can be constitutionally passed by the Congress of the United States, and is no infringement upon the reserved or undelegated
powers of the States, then Congress has the right, not only to extend all the rights and privileges to colored men that are enjoyed by white men, but has the right to take away.
Here we bump into again that cherished Baptist phrase--"the undelegated
sovereignty" of Christ.
Leave no issues unresolved or undelegated
. Review all decisions and commitments made.