Building a Nation from Thirteen States: The Constitutional Convention and Preemption
Pepperdine University School of Law
Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 33, No. 7, 2005
This article is adapted from a talk Professor Larson gave at Pepperdine’s symposium on federal preemption of state tort law - the problem of medical drugs and devices. Professor Larson begins with a discussion of the Constitutional Convention and James Madison’s role in the creation of the U.S. Constitution. He relates how fifteen resolutions, developed by Madison and the other Virginia delegates, became known as the Virginia Plan, and served as the foundation for the Constitution. Professor Larson continues by examining Madison’s notes of the Convention. Specifically he shares what the notes relate about the deliberations at the Convention regarding the national preemption of state laws. Fixing the proper balance between state and national authority stood out as one of the delegates’ major concerns. Professor Larson concludes that the clear majority of delegates shared a vision for a strong national government that held the power to oversee the country’s commerce.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: federal premption, tort law, Constitutional Convention, James Madison, Virginia Plan, Constitution, national authority, state authority, commerce
JEL Classification: K40
Date posted: October 17, 2009