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252                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
cur. For aught that appears, new states might have been re-
ceived on some other condition, either that of having no rep-
resentation at all or but one member in the senate ; but that
would have tended to destroy the senate itself, which is the
keystone of our arch, and without which consolidation or di-
vision would be more to be feared than they are at present.
The same intention to continue partial state independence
is shown—to go no farther—by the ninth amendment—" the
powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states
respectively!or to the people/' where " delegated" is an un-
fortunate word. This clause is most valuable as confining
the departments of government strictly within their spheres.
The expression prohibited to the states points at what is a
peculiarity of the constitution—that it deals with the states
not in the way of command to do, but of prohibition against
doing. Only in the way of prohibition is serious interference
in state affairs possible. A command—as for instance one
that has been suggested by high authority—that the states
should all pass school-laws of a certain kind, would be a most
serious departure from the spirit of our constitution.
3. Perhaps the most unique provision of the constitution
is that which relates to the supreme court of the
The supreme court    TT   .       ,  /-.                   TT           -
united btates. Here the weakness of the con^
federation was manifest, and experience suggested a remedy
which was perilous, perhaps, but not as dangerous as the in-
stitution of an administration clothed with great and exten-
sive powers. The court has power extending " to all cases
in law and equity under the constitution, the laws of the
United States,.and treaties made under their authority."
Where, therefore, a law is resisted by a private person,
whether acting as an agent of a state or for himself, the only
valid plea he can make is that it is opposed to the constitution.
What the constitution means becomes thus a question which,
in the last resort the supreme court must decide. So also the
interpretations made by officers of the administration in their
departments, by the attorney-general, or even by the presi-