America’s first governing document was the Articles of Confederation. Under this form of government, the federal government was weak and each individual state operated like an independent country. At the 1787 constitutional convention, delegates formulated a plan to make the federal government stronger. This idea was centered on the concept of a democracy with three branches, the executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch. This system of government consisted of checks and balances to ensure that no single branch would have too much power. The U.S. Constitution established America’s national government and principal laws, and also guaranteed certain basic rights for all of its citizens. Delegates of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia officially signed it on September 17, 1787. The Bill of Rights is 10 amendments guaranteeing basic and individual protections. This was added to the Constitution in 1791 to make the antifederalist more comfortable with the idea of having a strong central government. Every single part of the Constitution was very important in setting up and framing the type of power the people of America wanted and deserved. With that being said, I believe the most important part of the Constitution is the Supremacy Clause because it shows the evolution of American government. The American people didn’t even want to ratify the Constitution in fear of too much government power and now the supremacy clause enables the federal government to overrule a state law.
Unlike the amendments, the supremacy clause has been in the Constitution since the very beginning. I think this is the most important clause in the Constitution because it shows how much our country has changed in a positive way. Our nation was founded when oppressed territories finally wanted to join and come together as a unified group of states that would work together in making the people of their areas happy. This notion is ironically what their suppressor was trying to do by ruling over them. By adding this clause, the American people are trusting their authority figures leading them to correctly enforce laws and use their power to the best of their ability in order to satisfy the requests of the American people. This full evolution of thought, the idea of the federal government using their power to fill the needs of the American people by periodically overruling over a state’s ruling, is exactly what the United States prides itself on.
At the beginning of this claus's existence, Chief Justice John Marshall clarified that the Supremacy Clause does not grant power to any federal body such as congress during the case of Marbury v. Madison. It deals strictly with resolving issues between state and federal governments. After that was settled, in 1819, the Supremacy Clause was used to as a source to the principle that states cannot regulate or interfere with a federal body. Over the years, the clause's wording has left some very important questions unanswered. While the federal government can prevent states from interfering with federal processes, that does not necessarily mean that the Supremacy Clause is the basis upon which Congress can exercise its all of its power. In a more recent case, Geier v. American Honda Motor Co. Inc. (2000), Congress could decide that they wanted to gradually phase in passive restraints on cars, thus preventing a local law, that required airbags to be installed in all new cars to be activated solely based on the Supremacy Clause.
I think this clause will continue to evolve primarily in the direction of the states. With more states becoming more specialized in different industries and needing different items, it will be important for the individual states to separate themselves in the various industries. Although the supremacy clause isn’t going to change physically, this clause is eventually going to evolve and be more lenient in its interpretation. Not all federal laws can be applied to every state because they are all becoming so different in their needs.
Every part of the Constitution was very important in setting up and framing the type of power the people of America wanted and deserved. With that being said, I believe the most important part of the Constitution is the Supremacy Clause because it shows the evolution of American government. The American people didn’t even want to ratify the Constitution, in fear of too much government power, and now the supremacy clause enables the federal government to overrule a state law for the good of the people. This Clause has left many questions unanswered is up for debate because of its confusing language and numerous interpretations. But the real question is, am I going to get into Government and Politics Seminar class? I don’t think the Supremacy Clause will help me out this time, but if Mrs. Everett is a judge then maybe it's up for a more lenient interpretation.