The full text is available from the above link. The quotes from the resolutions are in bold, and my comments are in italics.
The following resolutions were adopted by the Kentucky Legislature on November 10, 1798, as a protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress. They were authored by Thomas Jefferson, but he did not make public the fact until years later.
1. Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government;
Until Lincoln raped the Constitution during the War to Prevent Southern Independence, the right of secession, since the states preceded the United Collection of States, was almost universally acknowledged to be a right.
but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, 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:
Jefferson held the view that the federal government could ONLY perform the functions that were specifically listed in the Constitution. That is Constitutional. Unfortunately, the Tenth Amendment was murdered long ago. If the people want an EEOC to mess with private businesses, then amend the Constitution. Otherwise, it’s unconstitutional.
that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers;
Since the federal government basically has nothing to restrain its growth and acquisition of power, what’s to stop it from growing? Nothing, of course. This gives rise to legalized theft via the IRS, income redistribution via Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security, neocons waging wars like the perpetual war on “terror” (I guess it’s a shame that they’re just so darn jealous of us, right? Yeah right.), etc. When the constitution of Sweden was drafted, it was based upon the US Constitution. However, it did not rely on what turned out to be a weak 10th Amendment, but specifically reaffirmed the federalism of the individual cantons.
2. Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, and no other crimes, whatsoever;
Martha Stewart should never have been prosecuted by the federal government. It was unconstitutional. D.C. bureaucrats just slobber at the thought of increased power, however. The claim that “interstate trade” is involved has been incredibly abused.
3. Resolved, That it is true as a general principle, and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the Constitutions, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, our prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and that no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press being delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, and were reserved to the States or the people:
If Alabama wanted to make Christianity their official state religion, the federal government couldn’t do jack about it, as much as the ACLU would foam and froth at the mouth about it. If Hollywood wanted to make Buddhism its official municipal religion, the federales couldn’t do anything about that, either. Because, ultimately, the PEOPLE have power, and the government exists to serve them, not the other way around.
the act of the Congress of the United States, passed on the — day of July, 1798, intituled “An Act concerning aliens,” which assumes powers over alien friends, not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void, and of no force.
If it ain’t specifically mentioned in the Constitution as a power of the federal government, it ain’t constitutional.
8th. Resolved, That a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed, who shall have in charge to communicate the preceding resolutions to the Legislatures of the several States: to assure them that this commonwealth continues in the same esteem of their friendship and union which it has manifested from that moment at which a common danger first suggested a common union: that it considers union, for specified national purposes, and particularly to those specified in their late federal compact, to be friendly, to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all the States:
The ultimate check on federal power is the right of secession. When the government of united States ceases to be friendly, peaceful, happy, and prosperous for ALL states (not merely some at the expense of others), secession is a possible answer. Secession, by the way, is constitutional.
that it does also believe, that to take from the States all the powers of self-government and transfer them to a general and consolidated government, without regard to the special delegations and reservations solemnly agreed to in that compact, is not for the peace, happiness or prosperity of these States; and that therefore this commonwealth is determined, as it doubts not its co-States are, to submit to undelegated, and consequently unlimited powers in no man, or body of men on earth: that in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the general government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non fœderis) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them:
Because Lincoln forcibly restrained states from maintaining their secession, that basically eliminated whatever restraint there was on federal power. Thus, the federal government expanded exponentially after that (which is exactly what Lincoln wanted, since the “Republican” was really a Whig). Our federal government and its minions basically have unlimited power today because of it. American citizens are under the absolute and unlimited dominion of the federal government.
that if the acts before specified should stand, these conclusions would flow from them; that the general government may place any act they think proper on the list of crimes and punish it themselves whether enumerated or not enumerated by the constitution as cognizable by them: that they may transfer its cognizance to the President, or any other person, who may himself be the accuser, counsel, judge and jury, whose suspicions may be the evidence, his order the sentence, his officer the executioner, and his breast the sole record of the transaction: that a very numerous and valuable description of the inhabitants of these States being, by this precedent, reduced, as outlaws, to the absolute dominion of one man, and the barrier of the Constitution thus swept away from us all, no ramparts now remains against the passions and the powers of a majority in Congress to protect from a like exportation, or other more grievous punishment, the minority of the same body, the legislatures, judges, governors and counsellors of the States, nor their other peaceable inhabitants, who may venture to reclaim the constitutional rights and liberties of the States and people, or who for other causes, good or bad, may be obnoxious to the views, or marked by the suspicions of the President, or be thought dangerous to his or their election, or other interests, public or personal;
This is how you get such silly arguments as that it’s illegal for a business to hire only 7% of their employees of a certain minority if the overall population of that minority group constitutes 14% of the national population. That became a crime in the 20th Century, and it’s amazing how some companies just roll over when such allegations are made (such as the cool $475 million that Coca-Cola paid out for two settlements). There are no set standards for crimes. What is judged to be criminal or not is the mere whim of the government (note—not the people).
Long post, but worthwhile, I think.