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I am truly sympathetic with the Tenth Amendment Center and support its efforts to become an important voice critical of our federalist system. According to Wikipedia, "American government has evolved from a system of dual federalism to one of associative federalism. In "Federalist No. 46," James Madison asserted that the states and national government "are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers." Alexander Hamilton, writing in "Federalist No. 28," suggested that both levels of government would exercise authority to the citizens' benefit: "If their [the peoples'] rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress."
Notwithstanding the fine efforts of this organization to promote nullification and provide a high level of legal scholarship in this area, it seems to me that when push comes to shove, the feds will win hands down. In fact I believe states rights, and even the 10th amendment itself, were buried at Appomattox Courthouse in early April 1865, along with the Confederacy itself. Lincoln thought that, at the end of the day, the Union should trump states rights.
A more recent example of this was the states’ resistance to school integration as ordered by SCOTUS in "Brown v. Board of Education" (1954). But in 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, exercising what he thought was clearly an exclusive right of the states to govern public education, decided to ignore the Supremes and continue the "separate but equal" ruling that the Court made 60 years earlier. To that end, Faubus sent in the National Guard to keep Little Rock's school system from being integrated. However, to remind the miscreant governor that states rights were no longer available to Arkansas, and all other states for that matter, President Eisenhower dispatched the 101st Airborne Division to disabuse him of any notions he may have had regarding noncompliance.
That said, I believe there is one possibility of justifying a state’s nullification of Federal Law. When the Constitution was sent to original 13 states for ratification, several of them, New York and Virginia in particular, made their approval continent on a right to withdraw from the "union" if they so choose. They were "grantors" if you will. But all subsequent states, beginning with Vermont in 1791, were established pursuant to the terms of the Constitution itself; i.e., they became grantees. Therefore, those original 13 states could make a case that their being and continuing to be a part of the union has always been conditional pursuant to their ratification of the Constitution. Indeed, it could be argued that Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, as four of the original states that ratified the Constitution, were perfectly within their rights to succeed from the union in 1861 and create a Confederacy. The other would-be Confederate states, however, being creatures of the Constitution, were not so lucky.
I know the 10th Amendment Center likes to quote Thomas Jefferson a lot. He is also a hero of mine. Problem is, Jefferson was a founder, but not a framer. When the Constitution was being drafted, Jefferson was in Paris, no doubt partying with Sally Hemings. And that’s a real shame. I believe our Constitution would have been much much different if Jefferson had spent that long hot summer of 1787 in Philadelphia instead of Paris.
By the way, even though the Constitution begins with We the People, we the people never ratified it, never voted on it, not then, not ever. We the People were, in fact, the original 13 states. I just saying . . .
2 years ago on Everyone is Important in the Fight Against Tyranny
The assertion that the liberals/progressives want to "disarm" citizens is as bogus as it is absurd. There are many in the left wing of politics who are members of the NRA, who are members of gun clubs, and who routinely hunt with firearms. Further, there is no legislation proposed or pending that I am aware of that would threaten the confiscation of guns from the citizens of the U.S.
Moreover, the Second Amendment is no longer operative as a matter of law, Supreme Court opinions to the contrary notwithstanding. I made the argument that, even though this amendment died upon the establishment of the National Guard in 1903, the right is still protected under the 9th amendment and under common law. See http://theabsurdityindex.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/second-amendment-what-second-amendment/
2 years ago on The 2nd Amendment and the Preservation of Liberty