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State Resolutions Seek To Void Federal Laws


Congressional passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 dramatically increases the federal government’s authority. In protest, Thomas Jefferson writes the Kentucky Resolutions, which are adopted by the Kentucky State Legislature. These resolutions argue that the states have the right to void federal legislation that they consider to go beyond the scope of Congress’s constitutional authority. In 1799, the Virginia legislature enacts similar resolutions, known as the Virginia Resolutions, that were authored by James Madison.