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@KansasBright @West Texan One additional comment. the Judiciary does have the power to interpret the Constitution. Hamilton described this power in Fed. no 78: The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar r province of the courts. A constitution is in fact and must be regarded by the judges as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative both.
But we all know how that the justices have exceeded their constitutional bounds just as have the Congress and the preisdent.
1 year, 11 months ago on Eric Holder Threatens Kansas in Letter on Gun Control Nullification Law
Sorry my answer was somewhat flippant--i had to work and was short on time. I wish a had a better answer for you and the problem we face. I guess the people are the ultimate management authority of the contrast.
@Begneli @RightDetour @BillRoe
I wish I had a better answer for the problem we face. The best one I know is the republican solution: citizens electing representatives to reign in the federal govt.
here are a couple of links on the historical background of nullification that I posted on another website.:
@Begneli @KansasBright @West @RightDetour
I guess we can get into a "Founding Fathers Throw Down" for fun. Just a reminder: Madison was at the Constitutional Convention while Jefferson served as our minister to France. But even Madison never claimed that he himself was the final authority on the meaning of the Constitution. He even said that he and the others who wrote the Constitution were not the finally authority. Instead, he said the final authority lies with the people in the state ratifiying conventions and how THEY interpreted the Constitution. Interesting, but not very helpful.
The ultimate check is the American people, because that is where ultimate sovereinty lies. So we elect constitutionalists to do the right thing.
We might could construe it that way. The most common meaning of nullification derives from the attempt of South Carolina to illegally nullify the Tariff Laws of 1828 and 1832. John Calhoun a couple of year before I think had written a detailed constitutional defense of it. James Madison was still alive at that time and he rejected the idea of nullification. For those who support that idea it is almost like 1787 never happened and we were still operating under the old Articles of Confederation.
Non-enforcement is a little diffent and should not be lumped together with nullification as historically understood. Tom Woods of the Cato Institute, who I generally agree with, uses nullification ambiguously in this way.
@GrumpyOldGoat @Begneli The contract describes ways to do this. Nullification, however, is not one them.
@KansasBright @West Texan @RightDetour Yes yes yes. And I agree with everything you quoted (excepting Jefferson's allusion to nullification. Without the context, I cannot say whether or not I agree. I have pointed out already in another post, that James Madison rejected nullification. )
None of your quotes, however, have much to do with the substance of my post to which you replied. Art. 4 sec 2 says "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."
that simply says state laws may not change the legal status of runaway slaves that enter that state and that runaway slaves much be returned. Two different Supreme Courts upheld that constitutional provisions against states that attempted to override those provide through state laws or state court decisions (see Prigg v Pa and Ableman v Booth.
Ill come back later and revisit your post. I enjoyed reading it. I must go off to work, however, so I can reduce the debts that my grandchildren will owe the US Treasury.
@BillRoe The phrase "held to service or labor" is a euphemism for enslaved persons. Most founders despised slavery and refused to use the word slave in the Constitution. I agree with your second point and share your view that the federal government needs to stay within the bounds of their constitutionally delegated powers. I just think that we need to use constitutional means to oppose the government when it exceeds those bounds. Nullification will accomplish nothing other than generate more of the usual negative press--you know the drill--nullification, John Calhoun--states rights--slavery--racism--secession--blah blah blah. Does Kansas plan on arresting Holder that throwing him in the slammer. I cant imagine that going down.
@West Texan Art. 4 sec. 2 of the Constitution says that no state law can interfere with the return of runway slaves. Taney simply followed the "original intent" of Art. 4 Sec 2.
@Begneli @RightDetour But we can do something about it. First, although states may not have the constitutional authority to declare laws of Congress unconstitutional, we can use what authority we to not cooperate--kind of like those "sanctuary cities" do when they refuse to enforce federal immigration laws that they find unjust. Second, we organize politically to elect representatives who will abide by our Constitution. That's why I joined my local chapter of the tea party patriots.
However much we dislike the fact that our federal government routinely exceeds its delegated powers, nullification--in the sense of a state declaring laws of Congress null and void--is itself unconstitutional. The Founders never envisioned such a construction of our federal system. When South Carolina first attempted nullification in 1832, James Madison called it "a preposterous and anarchical pretension."
Your example of Fugitive Slave Laws as historical precedents does not hold much water. Although they were disgusting acts, they were Constitutional. Constitution Art. 4 Sec. 2 grants Congress authority for Congress to enact such laws. The Supreme Court in Prigg vs. Pa. and in Ableman vs. Booth upheld federal fugitive slave laws. The former case, did imply that states could avoid assisting the feds., which is exactly what state personal liberty laws did.
Nice try though.