Reply To: Professor McClanahan & Article I Section 10


Yes, Dr. Gutzman, that makes sense. If Virginia was given assurance they could leave if things got out of hand, then obviously Article I, Section 10 could not mean that no State can leave. That is, unless the Federalists talking to Virginia were out to lunch when they made such promises.

I have actually encountered this “out to lunch” argument when discussing constitutionality with the law school type. They will argue that the Federalists were either (deliberately or incidentally) misconstruing the Constitution at all the State ratifying conventions. Therefore, we cannot look to those conventions to help us understand the original intent. They say the Philadelphia convention is fair game but nothing else.

How ought we answer that?