States Pass Resolutions Allowing Them To Void Federal Laws

1798

Congress passes the Alien and Sedition Acts, which dramatically increase the federal government’s authority. In protest, Thomas Jefferson writes the Kentucky Resolutions, which argue that the states have the right to void federal legislation that they judge to be beyond the scope of Congress’ constitutional authority. The Kentucky Legislature passes the resolutions. The Virginia Legislature follows suit, passing the Virginia Resolutions, authored by James Madison.