Need help with a History Question about the Missouri Compromise

timer Asked: Nov 9th, 2015
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Question Description

 Shortly after the Missouri Compromise, Congress imposed tariffs on foreign imports, which severely impacted the South. In response, South Carolina threatened to nullify the new taxes. Ultimately, a compromise was made and a stand-off was averted. Should states be able to "ignore" laws or policies mandated by the federal government?

Tutor Answer

School: Purdue University

Thank you for the opportunity to help you with your question!

No, states should not be able to "ignore" laws or policies stated by the federal government, as long as they are constitutional.  If the laws or policies that the federal government made were constitutional, the states must follow because there is a balance of powers shared between federal government and the states.  The states have the power to argue or go to court against the federal government's laws.  

In Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the federal government is given the power to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, to raise and maintain armed forces, and to establish a Post Office.

In the case when Congress imposed tariffs on foreign imports, the federal government is given this power "to regulate commerce" in the Constitution.  Since the states abide by the federal Constitution, they must abide with the laws mandated by the federal government, as long as it is Constitutional.  States can go to the Supreme court to argue that it is not constitutional.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I'm always happy to answer your questions.

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