The Roots of Printz: Proslavery Constitutionalism, National Law Enforcement, Federalism, and Local Cooperation
21 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2004
This article is about federal statutes that conscript state officials and how Congress should be required to carry out the laws. In Printz, the Solicitor General and Justice Scalia invoked the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 to support a legal proposition, though the analyses were both unlikely and incorrect. This article offers a history of the Fugitive Slave Law and Prigg v. Pennsylvania to illustrate the problems with relying on state officials to implement and enforce federal policy, and the state personal liberty laws that undermined the federal laws’ effectiveness.
Keywords: federal statutes, fugitive slave law
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