"WOULD WE be far wrong," President Lincoln asked in a special message to Congress in 1861, "if we defined [sovereignty] as a political community without a political superior?"
The Sovereign Constitution
Returning to Lincoln, his understanding was that in an important sense American sovereignty rested in the Constitution.
Article 7 of the Constitution declares that it will go into effect when it is ratified by nine states, for those nine states. And once ratified—once the people of those states have entered into the "more perfect Union’’ described in its Preamble—the Constitution is irrevocable.
Unlike a treaty, it represents a commitment that cannot be renegotiated.
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