The Federalist Papers and Obamacare

Patrick Jakeway
While publishing the Federalist papers in 1787/1788, two of the major architects of the Constitution, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, made some highly pertinent comments that apply to Obamacare.

James Madison, Federalist Number 14:

 “In the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. The subordinate governments, which can extend their care to all those objects, which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity.”

James Madison, Federalist Number 10:

 “When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest, both the public good and private rights, against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquires are directed.”

Concerning Article 1, Section 8(3) of the Constitution that “Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes," Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 17:

“The administration of private justice between the citizens of the same state; the supervision of agriculture, and of other concerns of a similar nature; all those things, in short, which are proper to be provided for by local legislation, can never be desirable cares of a general jurisdiction.”

 (Note: if a transaction between a doctor and patient is not local and therefore subject to local and not general jurisdiction, like buying produce from a farmer, then I don't know what is. Article I, Section 8 was clearly focused on regulating commerce with foreign nations, eliminating multiple currencies within the states and removing inter-state tariffs in place during the Articles of Confederation. The Founding Fathers are turning in the graves at this massive intrusion into individual liberty.)

Last but not least Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 16 something very profound considering the situation we find ourselves in:

“The success of it [an illegal usurpation of authority] would require not only a factious majority in the legislature, but the concurrence of the courts of justice, and of the body of the people. If the judges were not embarked in a conspiracy with the legislature, they would pronounce the resolutions of such a majority to be contrary to the supreme law of the land, unconstitutional and void. If the people were not tainted with the spirit of their state representatives, they, as the natural guardians of the constitution, would throw their weight into the national scale, and give it a decided preponderancy in the contest.”

The Founding Fathers defined the citizens as the natural guardians of the Constitution. Ultimately, it comes down to us. Remember the immortal motto of Gen. Nathaniel Greene who led his rag-tag militia across the Carolina in 1779-1780, "lost" every battle until providing the Continentals their first major victory at Kings Mountain and cut down Cornwallis' troops from 30,000 to 15,000 before he quit Charleston and headed to Yorktown:

"I fight, I am defeated, I rise and fight again."  

It is precisely now that one must not despair. Now is the time for lovers of liberty to throw themselves into the national scale. You are the natural guardians of the Constitution. Now is not the time for Summer Soldiers and Sunshine Patriots; now is the time for the heirs of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, Ben Franklin, James Monroe, John Adams, John Paul Jones, Patrick Henry, Nathaniel Greene and Ethan Allen.

You have a choice. What will it be? Acquiescence? Submission? Defeat? Where would we be if all the aforementioned had quit when they faced a little headwind (and, comparatively speaking, this is light breeze next to Valley Forge). Be ashamed; be very ashamed if you choose to go gently into that dark neo-Soviet night.  Be assured; a new dawn of American liberty will rise as American Patriots resolve to protect their Constitution and use all of its provisions to protect their liberties.


While publishing the Federalist papers in 1787/1788, two of the major architects of the Constitution, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, made some highly pertinent comments that apply to Obamacare.

James Madison, Federalist Number 14:

 “In the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. The subordinate governments, which can extend their care to all those objects, which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity.”

James Madison, Federalist Number 10:

 “When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest, both the public good and private rights, against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquires are directed.”

Concerning Article 1, Section 8(3) of the Constitution that “Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes," Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 17:

“The administration of private justice between the citizens of the same state; the supervision of agriculture, and of other concerns of a similar nature; all those things, in short, which are proper to be provided for by local legislation, can never be desirable cares of a general jurisdiction.”

 (Note: if a transaction between a doctor and patient is not local and therefore subject to local and not general jurisdiction, like buying produce from a farmer, then I don't know what is. Article I, Section 8 was clearly focused on regulating commerce with foreign nations, eliminating multiple currencies within the states and removing inter-state tariffs in place during the Articles of Confederation. The Founding Fathers are turning in the graves at this massive intrusion into individual liberty.)

Last but not least Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 16 something very profound considering the situation we find ourselves in:

“The success of it [an illegal usurpation of authority] would require not only a factious majority in the legislature, but the concurrence of the courts of justice, and of the body of the people. If the judges were not embarked in a conspiracy with the legislature, they would pronounce the resolutions of such a majority to be contrary to the supreme law of the land, unconstitutional and void. If the people were not tainted with the spirit of their state representatives, they, as the natural guardians of the constitution, would throw their weight into the national scale, and give it a decided preponderancy in the contest.”

The Founding Fathers defined the citizens as the natural guardians of the Constitution. Ultimately, it comes down to us. Remember the immortal motto of Gen. Nathaniel Greene who led his rag-tag militia across the Carolina in 1779-1780, "lost" every battle until providing the Continentals their first major victory at Kings Mountain and cut down Cornwallis' troops from 30,000 to 15,000 before he quit Charleston and headed to Yorktown:

"I fight, I am defeated, I rise and fight again."  

It is precisely now that one must not despair. Now is the time for lovers of liberty to throw themselves into the national scale. You are the natural guardians of the Constitution. Now is not the time for Summer Soldiers and Sunshine Patriots; now is the time for the heirs of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, Ben Franklin, James Monroe, John Adams, John Paul Jones, Patrick Henry, Nathaniel Greene and Ethan Allen.

You have a choice. What will it be? Acquiescence? Submission? Defeat? Where would we be if all the aforementioned had quit when they faced a little headwind (and, comparatively speaking, this is light breeze next to Valley Forge). Be ashamed; be very ashamed if you choose to go gently into that dark neo-Soviet night.  Be assured; a new dawn of American liberty will rise as American Patriots resolve to protect their Constitution and use all of its provisions to protect their liberties.