Nullification Of UnConstitutional Laws
January 31, 2011 by Bob Livingston
Nullification, the idea that States don’t have to follow laws that are unConstitutional, is a growing movement in the United States. Legislators in as many as 11 or 12 states have either introduced nullification measures or plan to once their State legislatures are in session.
Many of these states are among the 25 that have sued the Federal government over the mandates in Obamacare — the unConstitutional and farcical legislation that would require Americans to purchase healthcare insurance whether they want it or not.
Now the zombie talking heads and pundits in the mainstream media are using lies and tired arguments to try and “educate” the populace that nullification is a losing proposition. (Watch the video to see a response to the zombies and their mindless questions.) Their points? The Federal government is supreme. Nullification equals racism. Nullification equals slavery. Only Neo-Confederates would get behind such a thing. Say it enough and the sheeple will believe it… and comply.
From a Jan. 26 story by The Associated Press:
“The efforts are completely unconstitutional in the eyes of most legal scholars because the U.S. Constitution deems federal laws ‘the supreme law of the land.’ The Idaho attorney general has weighed in as well, branding nullification unconstitutional.”
“‘There’s nothing in the Constitution to suggest that the states are superior to the federal government," [David Gray] Adler [a Constitutional scholar who directs the University of Idaho's McClure Center for Public Policy Research] said. ‘We have a long string of Supreme Court decisions that reject their theory.’”
“Nullification has been invoked several times over the years — to no avail.”
Lies, lies, lies.
Nullification has a long and storied history in the country, and it stems from the idea that “the United States consists not of a single, aggregated people, but of particular people, organized into distinct states,” writes Thomas E. Woods Jr., in his book Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century.
This idea, called the compact theory, is supported by the very fact that the states voted separately to ratify the Constitution, and that the Constitution was not ratified by a single, consolidated vote of all individuals in the original 13 states, according to Woods.
This, of course, is the opposite of what most children — educated in public schools that propagandize the supremacy of the Federal Government and centralized authority — are taught. They are taught the nationalist theory.
Woods writes that the nationalist theory stemmed from the arguments made by Joseph Story in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, published in 1833. In this view, the U.S. is just another modern unitary state, in which a monopolistic central authority is the source of all power, and any lesser bodies (in this case, the states) derive their own power and privileges from this central authority.
That’s the pabulum foisted on our children in government re-education education camps. It is designed to promote fealty to almighty government.
Neither Thomas Jefferson nor, more importantly James Madison, subscribed to the nationalist theory. And they made their point early on — in the “Principals of ’98.”
In 1798 the second president, John Adams, signed legislation that made it a treasonable activity to publish “any false, scandalous and malicious writing.” This was one of the laws that became part of the Alien and Sedition Acts. As a result, 25 men, most of them Republican supporters of Thomas Jefferson, were arrested and their newspapers forced to shut down.
One of those arrested was Benjamin Franklin’s grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, editor of the Philadelphia Democrat-Republican Aurora.
In response, Jefferson, then the vice president, secretly wrote the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. In them he argued that the Alien and Sedition Acts were acts of usurpation — that the Federal government had overstepped its bounds and was exercising powers which belonged to the States.
After all, the 10th Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
He saw the Constitution not as a document that restrained the people, but as one that restrained the Federal government. And he believed that was a good thing. As an aside: Obama has stated just the opposite. He has said he finds it unfortunate that the Constitution contains the restrictions on Government that it does.
Jefferson corresponded with James Madison (known as the father of the Constitution) about the Kentucky Resolutions and Madison drafted similar Resolutions for Virginia.
Both Kentucky and Virginia adopted the resolutions which essentially said that when the Federal government assumes undelegated powers — those not enumerated in the Constitution — those acts are “unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”
In subsequent years, nullification was employed by the New England states to oppose everything from an embargo on exports to tariffs to military conscriptions to opposition of the fugitive slave act. And nullification continues today.
It was Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull who said in 1809, “Whenever our national legislature is led to overleap the prescribed bounds of their constitutional powers, on the State Legislatures, in great emergencies, devolves the arduous task — it is their right — it becomes their duty, to interpose their protecting shield between the right and liberty of the people, and the assumed power of the General Government.”
And nullification continues today, as evident by California’s defiance of Federal drug laws, laws that restrict Federal law enforcement agencies from making arrests without first informing local sheriffs and measures passed by States that exempt firearms and ammunition from Federal oversight as long as it is sold in-state.
Yes, rogue U.S. Supreme Courts have ruled that Federal law supersedes State law. But that is because Supreme Court justices are employees of the Federal government — just as Congresspeople are employees of the Federal government — and they have long shown a proclivity to rule in favor of more government. They have become the despotic judicial oligarchy Jefferson feared when he wrote, “You seem… to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”
Finally, the idea that “There’s nothing in the Constitution to suggest that the states are superior to the federal government” completely disregards the 10th Amendment — an amendment as important to those approving the original Constitution as the other nine.
Many went to the polls in November seeking to remove progressives from Congress. And in many cases, the effort was a successful first step in slowing the growing leviathan of Marxism that has pervaded both the Democrat and Republican parties. Unfortunately, the idea that the Federal government is supreme is too entrenched throughout the three branches of government and the populace to depend on elections as the final remedy.
Nullification of unConstitutional laws, and a return to the Constitution and the America envisioned by the Founders, is the only way for Americans to take their government back. And it’s got to happen one state at a time.