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English 101

In one or two paragraphs for each, answer the following questions:

1-What, according to Governor Edmund Randolph, were the defects of the Articles of Confederation?

2-By what logic did the majority of the Supreme Court rule in 2015 that state laws forbidding same-sex marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment?

1
Gov. Edmund Randolph, Speech to the Virginia Constitutional
Ratifying Convention, 1788
After the Constitutional Convention ended in Philadelphia, each state convened a ratifying
convention to decide whether to adopt the Constitution as the nation’s governing document and
to become a member of the union of states. As the two most populous states at the time the
ratifying conventions in Massachusetts and Virginia were particularly important – and
particularly polarized. Gov. Randolph, who had attended the Constitutional Convention and
come away unhappy with the final result, changed his mind and was instrumental in convincing
enough delegates to the Virginia ratifying convention to support the adoption of the Constitution.
[W]heresoever you look [in America], you see danger. Where there are so many witnesses in
many parts of America, that justice is suffocated, shall peace and happiness still be said to reign?
Candor, sir, requires an undisguised representation of our situation. Candor, sir, demands a
faithful exposition of facts. Many citizens have found justice strangled and trampled under foot,
through the course of jurisprudence in this country. Are those who have debts due to them
satisfied with your government? Are not creditors wearied with the tedious procrastination of
your legal process — a process obscured by legislative mists? Cast your eyes to your seaports:
see how commerce languishes. This country, so blessed, by nature, with every advantage that
can render commerce profitable, through defective legislation is deprived of all the benefits and
emoluments she might otherwise reap from it. We hear many complaints on the subject of
located lands; a variety of competitors claiming the same lands under legislative acts, public faith
prostrated, and private confidence destroyed…
My intention…is to [prove]…that a national government is absolutely indispensable, and that a
confederacy is not eligible, in our present situation: the introductory step to this will be, to
endeavor to convince the house of the necessity of the Union, and that the present Confederation
is actually inadequate and unamendable… If…Virginia, from her situation, is not inaccessible or
invulnerable, let us consider if she be protected by having no cause to fear from other nations.
Has she no cause to fear? You will have cause to fear, as a nation, if disunited; you will not only
have this cause to fear from yourselves, from that species of population I before mentioned, and
your once sister states, but from the arms of other nations…
Paper money may also be an additional source of disputes. Rhode Island has been in one
continued train of opposition to national duties and integrity; they have defrauded their creditors
by their paper money. Other states have also had emissions of paper money, to the ruin of credit
and commerce. May not Virginia, at a future day, also recur to the same expedient?… This
danger is taken away by the [proposed] Constitution, as it provides “that no state shall emit bills
of credit.”…
We want a government, sir — a government that will have stability, and give us security… How
far the Confederation is different from such a government, is known to all America. Instead of
being able to cherish and protect the states, it has been unable to defend itself against the
encroachments made upon it by the states. Every one of them has conspired against it; Virginia
as much as any. This fact could be proved by reference to actual history…
2
What are the powers of Congress [under the Articles of Confederation]? They have full
authority to recommend what they please; this recommendatory power reduces them to the
condition of poor supplicants. Consider the dignified language of the members of the American
Congress. May it please your high mightinesses of Virginia to pay your just proportionate quota
of our national debt: we humbly supplicate that it may please you to comply with your federal
duties. We implore, we beg your obedience! Is not this, sir, a fair representation of the powers of
Congress? Their operations are of no validity when counteracted by the states. Their authority
to recommend is a mere mockery of government…
In [the Articles of Confederation] one body has the legislative, executive, and judicial powers;
but the want of efficient powers has prevented the dangers naturally consequent on the union of
these. Is this union consistent with an augmentation of their power? Will you, then, amend it by
taking away one of these three powers?
Suppose, for instance, you only vested it with the legislative and executive powers, without any
control on the judiciary; what must be the result? Are we not taught by reason, experience, and
governmental history, that tyranny is the natural and certain consequence of uniting these two
powers, or the legislative and judicial powers, exclusively, in the same body? If any one denies
it, I shall pass by him as an infidel not to be reclaimed. Whenever any two of these three powers
are vested in one single body, they must, at one time or other, terminate in the destruction of
liberty.
In the most important cases [under the Articles of Confederation], the assent of nine states is
necessary to pass a law. This is too great a restriction, and whatever good consequences it may,
in some cases, produce, yet it will prevent energy in many other cases…
If anything were wanting to complete this farce, it would be, that a resolution of the Assembly of
Virginia, and the other legislatures, should be necessary to confirm and render of any validity the
Congressional acts; this would openly discover the debility of the general government to all the
world. But, in fact, its imbecility is now nearly the same as if such acts were formally requisite.
An act of the Assembly of Virginia, controverting a resolution of Congress, would certainly
prevail. I therefore conclude that the Confederation is too defective to deserve correction. Let us
take farewell of it, with reverential respect, as an old benefactor. It is gone, whether this house
says so or not. It is gone, sir, by its own weakness.

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