Tenth Amendment Center national communications director
@Jon_Roland State nullification is any act or set of acts that makes an unconstitutional "law" null, void or simply unenforceable within a state. This includes abandonment of enforcement efforts, non-cooperation and actions to overtly block federal efforts. Northern states utilized all three approaches to nullify the Fugitive slave act of 1850 - including arresting federal marshals.
Only one true "sovereign" exists in the American system...that is the people. The people first created independent political societies (states) and through those political societies delegated some powers to a general government to form a union. Since the people acted through existing political societies to form a union and delegate powers to the federal government, they can also act through those same political societies to stop their creation from exercising undelegated powers.
1 week, 2 days ago on A Basic Civics Lesson for Pseudo-Historians
@the beeste Indeed - even the courts agree that the feds can't compel the states to enforce their acts.
1 week, 4 days ago on A Basic Civics Lesson for Pseudo-Historians
@SethDelconte They key to understanding the meaning of the Constitution is through the lens of the ratification debates. NOT the convention. They tossed all kinds of ideas around at the convention. Madison pushed for a federal veto of all state laws during the convention. That idea was soundly rejected over and over again. (In essence, that's the role the Supreme Court serves in today.) I don't know if you clicked the link in the article for "extra reading," but that will lead you to a more in depth discussion on the role of the courts. If you are really interested in digging into the subject, I recommend you pick up a copy of my book, Our Last Hope. I lay out the case for nullification piece by piece and dissect the direct evidence for it in the ratification process. The bottom line is that you can't have a federal government with limited power (and there is NO debating that was the intention) if a branch of the federal government decides the extent of its own power. It simply makes no sense.
@NormDPlume Fair enough. In my defense, I understand the reference, I just didn't think it made sense in context with nullification - who is the imaginary enemy? And I didn't make that clear. But I went back an reread what Sid wrote, I realized I misread the context of the quote. So I just removed that sentence.In the future, it would be really helpful if you find a typo or a mistake (because, like everybody else, I do make them) you might want to shoot me an email so I can correct the issue as opposed to calling me out in comments that I may or may not ever see.
1 week, 5 days ago on They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know – Tenth Amendment Center Blog
2 weeks, 2 days ago on They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know – Tenth Amendment Center Blog
@Frudoc This was a weird situation where I made some edits and then the author added some things and the two versions didn't get meshed properly. I think I've cleaned up the issues! Thanks for pointing it out.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Do you believe in self-rule? – Tenth Amendment Center Blog
@DavidBrown1 Nullification of the Fugitive Slave Act by northern states failed so miserably that South Carolina listed it as its first complaint in its Declaration of Causes for secession.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on An important introduction to Nullification. http:/...
@GeorgeSeaver The feds clearly have no authority to dictate a state's definition of marriage. But here's the interesting question: does the federal government have the authority to define marriage as it sees fit for the purpose of granting FEDERAL benefits? In other words, if the federal government wants to restrict military survivor benefits to only male-female marriages, not same-sex unions, does it have that authority? Or conversely, can the feds open up federal benefits to same-sex marriages. That's where it gets tricky.
2 months ago on Nullification for Lawyers
@CSA1861It's legitimately debatable whether the tariff was constitutional. Madison definitely thought it was. But the argument against it was that it did not fit the definition of "general welfare" because the benefits accrued to northern manufacturing states and harmed the south. At any rate, I think you would see what happened to S.C. happen in any dubious attempt to nullify - there would be very little support for other states and it would likely fail. Organizations like ours would oppose it. It just wouldn't fly. I don't see anything in today's nullification movements that are even close to the line. Federal power is SO out of control.
<p>But I grant, there is always the risk of unwarranted nullification. But I'll take that risk to the risk of an unchecked, all-powerful federal government.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Who Decides Constitutionality?
@cptbanjo Hamilton was addressing the structure of the federal government. He was not addressing the relationship between the principle - the people of the states - and their agent - the federal government they created. The agent doesn't dictate to the principle the terms of its existence. That's nonsensical.
As Madison pointed out:
"Dangerous powers, not delegated, may not only be usurped and executed by the other departments, but that the judicial department also may exercise or sanction dangerous powers beyond the grant of the Constitution; and, consequently, that the ultimate right of the parties to the Constitution, to judge whether the compact has been dangerously violated, must extend to violations by one delegated authority, as well as by another; by the judiciary, as well as by the executive, or the legislature.However true, therefore, it may be, that the judicial department, is, in all questions submitted to it by the forms of the Constitution, to decide in the last resort, this resort must necessarily be deemed the last in relation to the authorities of the other departments of the government; not in relation to the rights of the parties to the constitutional compact, from which the judicial as well as the other departments hold their delegated trusts."
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Yeah, I’m OK With That – Tenth Amendment Center
@PaulYannucci This is one of the grossest comments I've seen posted on this website. Ever.
3 months ago on February 19, 1942: A Black Stain on American History
@dover Republicans support this detention garbage too. This is not a partisan issue.
@Ripcity Interesting - because those ratifying the Constitution seemed to think they were doing so on behalf of the people of a sovereign state - and that those sovereign states were not giving up any sovereignty other than the specifically delegated powers enumerated in the Constitution. In fact, those "selling" the Constitution told them that was the case."Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution." Madison, Federalist 39So the fact that the Supreme Court - part of the federal government the people of those sovereign states created - came along down the road and "rejected" what was clearly the case at ratification and declared itself the judge of its own power doesn't seem like a very convincing argument.In order for your view of the Republic to carry any weight, it is incumbent upon you to show proof from the ratifying period that they were ratifying as "one American people." You also need to unravel Jefferson's basic argument."The several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."
3 months, 2 weeks ago on An important introduction to Nullification. http:/...
@whitemcky The British sent the Redcoats.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Sheriffs, States and the Supreme Court
@dmellon Agreed. The people of the states are the final arbiters. My assumption is that the people delegated powers to their state governments. The state legislators are the duly elected representatives of the people. Therefore they have the authority to nullify. The people of the states ultimately control their legislators.
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Nullification: The Basics – Tenth Amendment Center Blog
@ChrisSwenson Armed guards may or may not make sense. Personally, I'm concerned about the increasing militarization of our local police forces and the unintended consequences of increasing "security" after every tragic event - especially when federal agencies get involve. We only have to look at the aftermath of 9/11 to find reason for concern. But the bottom line is that security in schools is a state and local issue and should be addressed and debated at that level.
5 months ago on NRA says to hell with the Constitution
@AnthonyJamesPalumbo @Mike I didn't think you were. Just wanted to be clear for all of the readers. And you are absolutely right. More federal power is not the solution to any problem!
@MichaelBrady I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this is the first time you've come across the Tenth Amendment Center. We are not "left wing." Our tenacious opposition to Obamacare would make us pretty piss-poor left wingers. On the other hand, we're not "right-wingers" either. In fact, we refuse to allow the political establishment pigeon-hole us into its silly boxes. We stand for one thing - follow the Constitution, every issue, every time, no exception, no excuses. And we've been standing consistently on this principle for a long time, since 2006, in fact.
@AnthonyJamesPalumbo @Sean Just for the record - I do not support incorporation. In fact, I will be publishing an article on that subject in the very near future!