Garcia and the Values of Federalism: On the Need for a Recurrence to Fundamental Principles
Two centuries ago, the Framers who met at Philadelphia labored to produce a constitution crafted to the needs of a free people living in a republic of extended territory. Drawing on the lessons of history, they sought to give the central government sufficient authority to deal with such national concerns as commerce among the states, while dispersing power in such a way as to protect individual liberty and local self-government-two of the ends for which the war of independence had been waged.
A linchpin of that constitutional order is federalism. One has but to read the text of the Constitution-which refers to the states at least fifty times-to realize how central the concept of federalism was to the Founders' thinking. Indeed, it was a concern about the potential power of the new federal government that led to the adoption of the Bill of Rights.