Jefferson's Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank : 1791Submitted by rocketman on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 04:25
The bill for establishing a National Bank undertakes among other things:
1. To form the subscribers into a corporation.
2. To enable them in their corporate capacities to receive grants of land; and so far is against the laws of Mortmain.(1)
3. To make alien subscribers capable of holding lands, and so far is against the laws of Alienage.
4. To transmit these lands, on the death of a proprietor, to a certain line of successors; and so far changes the course of Descents.
5. To put the lands out of the reach of forfeiture or escheat, and so far is against the laws of Forfeiture and Escheat.
6. To transmit personal chattels to successors in a certain line and so far is against the laws of Distribution.
7. To give them the sole and exclusive right of banking under the national authority; and so far is against the laws of Monopoly.
8. To communicate to them a power to make laws paramount to the laws of the States; for so they must be construed, to protect the institution from the control of the State legislatures, and so, probably, they will be construed.
I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That " all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people." [XIIth amendment.] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.