- Hardcover: 223 pages
- Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; 1st edition (July 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0806120592
- ISBN-13: 978-0806120591
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Federalism: The Founders' Design 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Berger first explains the relationship between the federal government and the states. The states -- that is, the peoples of the states -- preexisted the system and created the federal government. In other words, Berger provides powerful evidence that the Jeffersonian compact theory is correct.
The powers the states were supposed to have retained for themselves are truly amazing. Berger explains in great detail the original meaning of the "necessary and proper," "supremacy," and "general welfare" clauses, along with the 10th Amendment. The most fascinating part of the book for me was the in-depth analysis of the commerce clause. The intended power of Congress to regulate commercial trade between a state and another state is much more limited than one could expect; certainly far removed from what Congress is allowed to get away with today. Berger goes on to shred apart the majority opinion of Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (1985) which declared that a local mass transit system within a state can be regulated by the federal government via the interstate "commerce" clause.
This short but information-packed book is a classic, and is highly recommended for anyone curious about the true meaning of the Constitution. The insights about the intended meaning of the "commerce" clause were my favorite. This is required reading for originalism scholars.