” In The United States, there is NO entity vested with absolute power. The Supremacy Clause does not mean that states are bound by any law that the Congress wants to pass, as simple-minded pop-culture voices imply. It means that states are bound to the principles of The Constitution and the enumerated powers of the federal government. “
” In the nullification movement, there are varying degrees and methods of nullifying certain federal acts. One who has been with the movement a while could forget and hyper focus on one, leaving someone new to the movement to think of nullification as a very narrow spectrum.
To eliminate that thinking, it is good to go back to the Tenth Amendment Center’s definition of nullification, which is: “any act, or set of actions, that results in a particular law being declared unconstitutional and rendered null, void or even just unenforceable…”
There are so many opinions on nullification, if I listed every article and opinion piece written on it in the past week, I’d probably be finished with this entry sometime around next Christmas. This is not a bad thing. If others are talking about it, it means the message is being heard and cannot be ignored.
This is intended to be a general review, so while there is a time for everything under the sun, there is no time to include links and sources today, just a quick refresher. There is, however, a time when a certain forms of nullification may be more applicable than others.
The most commonly discussed type of nullification at the Tenth Amendment Center is legislative nullification. This is when a State or local government passes a law refusing to comply with a federal action. In the most forceful cases, this even includes arrest and jail time for federal agents attempting to enforce said federal act.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have nonbinding resolutions warning the federal government that a certain act is unconstitutional and/or unjust, much like a cease and desist letter. While not outright nullification, these resolutions “till the soil” so to speak, setting the stage for future action.
Legislative nullification can be very useful when used at the right time, such as opposing REAL ID, but can also be abused in rare cases, such as during the period of segregation (more about combating that later). The stronger bills, which would fall under the category of interposition, could lead to armed conflicts between state and federal officials, so courage and prudence should be carefully balanced when deciding how far a nullification bill should go.
Too little, and the legislature will either wind up having to draft a bill for stronger measures. Too much, and conflict gets created where it needn’t be.
Other Types Of Nullification Explored In The Article Include :
Read The Whole Thing . We Have Some Alternatives Besides The Sword . Familiarize Yourself With Our Legal System As We Prepare To Do Battle To Save Our Beloved Constitution .
A BROADER DISCUSSION
When we open our thought processes, and we allow for a broader discussion of nullification, it’s easy to see we don’t just have one hammer with which to try to fix every problem in our broken system. We have a massive toolkit at our disposal, with a movement consisting of individuals and groups with a very general surface knowledge, specialists in specific areas, and people who have an in depth knowledge of many or all areas of nullification.
The vehicle of liberty is broken and waiting in the shop. Let’s get everyone working on it, perhaps in different ways, but with the same goal in mind, complete and total restoration.”
For Further Enlightenment :
” What Is It? State nullification is the idea that the states can and must refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal laws.
Says Who? Says Thomas Jefferson, among other distinguished Americans. His draft of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 first introduced the word “nullification” into American political life, and follow-up resolutions in 1799 employed Jefferson’s formulation that “nullification…is the rightful remedy” when the federal government reaches beyond its constitutional powers. In the Virginia Resolutions of 1798, James Madison said the states were “duty bound to resist” when the federal government violated the Constitution.
But Jefferson didn’t invent the idea. Federalist supporters of the Constitution at the Virginia ratifying convention of 1788 assured Virginians that they would be “exonerated” should the federal government attempt to impose “any supplementary condition” upon them – in other words, if it tried to exercise a power over and above the ones the states had delegated to it. Patrick Henry and later Jefferson himself elaborated on these safeguards that Virginians had been assured of at their ratifying convention.
What’s the Argument for It? Here’s an extremely basic summary:
1) The states preceded the Union. The Declaration of Independence speaks of “free and independent states” that “have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.” The British acknowledged the independence not of a single blob, but of 13 states, which they proceeded to list one by one. Article II of the Articles of Confederation says the states “retain their sovereignty, freedom, and independence”; they must have enjoyed that sovereignty in the past in order for them to “retain” it in 1781 when the Articles were officially adopted. “
Nullification: The Rightful Remedy