President Jackson is a “states’ rights” Democrat, and doesn’t believe the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the last word. But even he is alarmed by talk in South Carolina that a state can “nullify” a new tariff law it sees as unconstitutional. Could the Union survive such an idea?
The President and the author of this nullification idea, his own Vice President John Calhoun, were both at a banquet tonight. Each gave a toast and everyone wondered: would Jackson endorse Calhoun’s idea?
First, Jackson: “Our federal Union: it must be preserved!”
“To the Union,” replied Calhoun. “Next to our liberty, most dear.”