that the Constitution would prevent consolidation.rnFor most of the founding generation, “consolidation” was arndevil term. The ratification debate swirled around not only thernpowers expressly delegated to the federal government by thernConstitution, but also the fear that even those few powers wouldrngive the government such a toehold that it could usurp otherrnpowers and eventually become tyrannical. If they could see usrnnow, the Antifederalists would feel vindicated in their dark premonidonsrnof total centralization.rnJefferson warned that the federal government must never bernallowed to become the authoritative interpreter of the Constitutionrnbecause it would construe its own powers broadly and thernrights and powers of the people and the states narrowly, eventuallyrnachieving the consolidation most Americans dreadedrn(which is exactly what happened). The inaugural addresses ofrnthe presidents before Lincoln are full of assurances that Congressrnwould not be allowed to usurp powers not granted by thernConstitution; the presidential veto would, in effect, enforce thernTenth Amendment. All this has been largely forgotten by today’srnconservatives, who are woefully ignorant of our constitutionalrnheritage.rnThe great crisis of the Constitution arrived with the CivilrnWar. Abraham Lincoln quickly revealed that he took thernConstitution lightly; within a few weeks of taking office, he arrestedrnMaryland legislators who recognized the right of secession,rnensuring that the remaining lawmakers would vote hisrnway. He also sent federal troops to Maryland to guarantee hisrndesired result in the next election. By these acts, we may judgernLincoln’s real regard for “government of the people, by the people,rnand for the people.” (The Gettysburg Address carefullyrnavoids reference to “the consent of the governed.”)rnAs everyone knows, Lincoln suspended the privilege of thernwrit of habeas corpus, but few are aware that, when Chief JusticernRoger Taney ruled that this was a usurpation of a power givenrnto Congress, Lincoln not only defied the ruling but issued anrnorder for Taney’s arrest. For some reason, the order was neverrnserved; maybe Lincoln realized that arresting the chief justicernarbitrarily would appear a mighty odd way of “preserving thernConstitution.”rnGarry Wills has written that the Gettysburg Address was arn”swindle”; Lincoln falsified the meaning of both the war andrnthe Constitution. Wills calls that swindle “benign,” much asrnother liberals have praised Franklin Roosevelt for mendaciouslyrndrawing the countr)’ into World War II; Lincoln and Rooseveltrnwere both avid consolidators of power as well as ablernswindlers.rnThe long-term result of the Civil War was to make the federalrngovernment an irresistible force. The states were crushed—rnnot only the Southern states, but, finally, the power of all thernstates to withstand federal tyranny.rnFor some time, constitutional forms were observed. Thernthree postwar amendments were adopted to keep up appearances,rnalthough the Southern states were forced to ratify thern14th Amendment at the point of a bayonet. The principle thatrnthe federal government’s powers could be increased only byrnamendment was still honored, after a fashion.rnOver the next half century, the process of consolidation continued.rnFor a while it was achieved by further amendments,rnwhich authorized a federal income tax, transformed the U.S.rnSenate, and imposed Prohibition. These amendments vastiyrnincreased federal power over the states and individual citizens.rnOf these, the 18th Amendment is the most interesting. It authorizedrnProhibition—the first attempt by the federal governmentrnto regulate personal moralify. It was a failure, and it wasrnrepealed; the power to ban the sale of liquor reverted to thernstates and localities.rnMeanwhile, Congress and the federal judiciary were construingrnthe Commerce Clause with unprecedented breadth.rnW^en Franklin Roosevelt’s appointees finally prevailed in thernSupreme Court, they found that the Tenth Amendment was arnmere “truism,” of no effect. According to FDR’s Court, anrnOhio farmer who raised grain on his own land to feed his livestockrnwas subject to congressional legislation because his practice,rnif widely adopted, might have a “substantial effect on interstaterncommerce.”rnBy this absurdly loose standard, nearly anything can be adjudgedrn”interstate commerce” and regulated by the federal government.rnIf the Commerce Clause imparted such comprehensivernpower to the central government, slavery and liquor couldrnhave been outlawed by simple acts of Congress, without thernbother of amendments! Roosevelt’s Court dishonestly used arnfew words in the Constitution to destroy the careful balance ofrnpowers the Framers had established. The Tenth Amendmentrnand the philosophy it encapsulated were dead. It was no longerrnnecessary to amend the Constitution to increase federal power;rnthe beast was out of the cage, and it devoured at will.rnIt still devours. Today, Congress seldom bothers to offer constitutionalrnjustifications for its acts; it merely does as it pleases,rnusurping countiess powers never delegated to it. We no longerrneven speak the language of the Framers; most Americans havernno idea what the words “sovereign,” “delegate,” “usurpation,”rnand “consolidation” mean. Our ancestors have becomernstrangers to us.rnAt the same time, the federal judiciary has ceased to be arncheek on Congress, preferring to strip the states of their reservedrnpowers under the fraudulent principle of “incorporation.” Thisrnis usually done by invoking a few phrases from the First, Fifth,rnand Fourteenth Amendments, which are construed withrnsweeping latitude: “establishment of religion,” “freedom ofrnspeech,” “privileges and immunities,” “due process of law,”rn”equal protection of the laws.”rnSo the states keep discovering that their traditionally reservedrnpowers are deemed unconstitutional, while congressionalrnusurpations of power pass muster with the courts. Instead oi preventingrnconsolidation, as Hamilton promised, the SupremernCourt has become an aggressive agent of consolidation. Thernoriginal plan has been inverted and trivialized. We are told thatrnthe Constitution means precisely the opposite of what everyonernused to understand it to mean.rnConstitutional jurisprudence has become intellectuallyrnshameful. It might be called the jurisprudence of free association.rnInstead of viewing the Constitution as a whole, the justicesrntypically write essays on what the phrase “freedom of speech” orrn”equal protection” or “cruel and unusual punishment” remindsrnthem of—often something nobody ever thought of before.rnConsider the surprising implications that the liberal federalrncourts have found in the First Amendment: Pornography turnsrnout to be protected from state and local legislation; publicschoolrnprayer is forbidden; and communist teachers are sheltered.rnIn New York City, the First Amendment is invoked tornpreserve public funding of an odious art exhibit.rnIn 1973, the Supreme Court produced its most ravenousrnprogeny in Roe v. Wade, which cited not the text of the Consti-rn14/CHRONICLESrnrnrn