Federalist 80: “A Constitutional Method of Giving Efficacy to Constitutional Provisions” | Hamilton on the Authority of the Federal Judiciary

April 1, 2024   Joseph Kochanek

  • Rights and Liberties
  • Podcast


We typically begin these podcasts with three big ideas – here are three big ideas concerning Federalist 80.

Big idea one: in Federalist 80, Hamilton stressed the need for the federal judiciary, rather than the state judiciaries or legislatures, to oversee a range of cases bearing upon the country as a whole, its sovereign status in international politics, or other matters of national importance. 

Big idea two: Hamilton’s defense of the powers of the federal courts was cast in terms of the need to maintain peace, whether in the sense of international peace or of domestic tranquility. This implicated the privileges and immunities clause, which Hamilton described as the “basis of the union” 

Big idea three: Hamilton in Federalist 80 described the role of equity in judicial decision-making.