State Documents on Federal Relations/14
14. New Hampshire to Virginia and Kentucky, June 15, 1799.
In the House of Representatives, June 14, 1799.
The committee to take into consideration the resolutions of the General Assembly of Virginia, dated December 21, 1798; also certain resolutions of the Legislature of Kentucky, of the 10th November, 1798, report as follows:
The Legislature of New Hampshire, having taken into consideration certain resolutions of the General Assembly of Virginia, dated December 21, 1798; also certain resolutions of the Legislature of Kentucky, of the 10th of November, 1798:
Resolved, That the Legislature of New Hampshire unequivocally express a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression, either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former.
That the State Legislatures are not the proper tribunals to determine the constitutionality of the laws of the general government; that the duty of such decision is properly and exclusively confided to the judicial department.
That, if the Legislature of New Hampshire, for mere speculative purposes, were to express an opinion on the acts of the general government, commonly called "the Alien and Sedition Bills," that opinion would unreservedly be, that those acts are constitutional, and, in the present critical situation of our country, highly expedient.
That the constitutionality and expediency of the acts aforesaid, have been very ably advocated and clearly demonstrated by many citizens of the United States, more especially by the minority of the General Assembly of Virginia. The Legislature of New Hampshire, therefore, deem it unnecessary, by any train of arguments, to attempt further illustration of the propositions, the truth of which, it is confidently believed, at this day, is very generally seen and acknowledged.
Which report, being read and considered, was unanimously received and accepted, one hundred and thirty-seven members being present.
In Senate, same day, read and concurred unanimously.
[Elliot's Va. and Ky. Res., 14, 15.]