One of the most pervasive myths in American society today is the myth that our country was founded by ‘We The People’, as opposed to the States. It may seem a little out of order, however I feel it is important to look at what the myth means before delving into its origins. What are the consequences of this myth?
The first would be that the Federal government created by the Constitution was now the only sovereign entity, rather than the States who had prior to the Constitution been considered individually sovereign (under the Articles of Confederation).
Another consequence of this myth is that, following the line of thought that States are not sovereign, the Union created by the Constitution was one that was indivisible; it was a perpetual Union. We can see how prevalent this myth is by looking into the Pledge of Allegiance which states, “One nation, under God, indivisible,” and the first inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln where he said, “I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.”
The third consequence, following this same line of reasoning, is that since the States aren’t sovereign, they are not considered a party to the Constitutional compact. The importance of this is that it does not give them the freedom to judge for themselves whether the Constitution has been violated (by the Federal government), in which case they would be able to choose not to enforce Federal laws incompatible with the Constitution (nullification).
The fourth consequence which follows from the above one is that since states cannot judge for themselves whether the Constitution has been violated, the Supreme Court has usurped this power to act as the ‘arbiter of last resort’ and settle all Constitutional questions definitively, barring Constitutional Amendment.