The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article IV, Section 4: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union … and shall protect each of them against Invasion….” This provision means that the U.S. military would protect any state from a threatened or a real invasion from another state or from a foreign nation.
“From its earliest history the American colonies, and later the states, suffered from border intrusions and sometimes open civil war as the inhabitants of one state invaded the territory of another. Regardless of the reason, border skirmishes constituted a threat to the stability of the Union.
“Until the soul-sobering shock of the devastating Civil War, mob action between states was disgracefully common. Sometimes entire communities were put to the torch. It was no idle gesture on the part of the Founders when they included this provision to provide for the sovereign security of the individual states against enemies, both foreign and domestic.” (See W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America – The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 642.)
Robert G. Natelson wrote, “This section is called the Guarantee Clause, because by its terms the federal government makes certain guarantees to the states. One of these – protection from foreign invasion – continued Congress’s prior obligation under the Articles of Confederation. This guarantee is a part of the larger doctrine, reflected in both the Articles and the Constitution, that although the federation may be decentralized internally, it is to have a common foreign policy and present a unified face to the outside world….
“The … portion of the clause declaring that the United States shall protect each state `against Invasion’ was designed by the Framers to prevent a sectional president from refusing to defend certain parts of the nation from foreign attack. As St. George Tucker noted, the provision guarded against `the possibility of an undue partiality in the federal government in affording it’s [sic] protection to one part of the union in preference to another, which may be invaded at the same time.’ There has been, however, no occasion when that section has been invoked.” (See The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, pp. 282-284.)