After two weeks of debating the Virginia Plan, a counterproposal was put forth by William Patterson, which has become known as the New Jersey Plan (or the Small State Plan or the Patterson Plan). Patterson's ideas amounted to no more than a simple reshaping of the Articles of Confederation. 83
The plan once again offered the idea of a unicameral (one house) legislature in which all states would have an equal number of votes.
Nevertheless, Patterson did advance one highly valuable idea:
"All acts of the United States in Congress made in pursuance of the powers hereby and by the articles of confederation vested in them, and all Treaties made and ratified under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the respective States . . . and the Judiciary of the several States shall be bound thereby in their decisions, anything in the respective laws of the individual States to the contrary notwithstanding."
This was an expression of the supremacy of federal law; those state laws which ran counter to federal statutes were to be voided.
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