State Nullification movement
Recently, states have started pushing back against the federal government. They have mounted court challenges to the massive new rules and regulations pushed through by the various bureaucracies. The problem is the Federal courts have a tendency to bow to the supremacy of the Federal government, forgetting about the 10th Amendment.
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.
That’s a pretty straightforward amendment. Basically, it says that unless the Constitution says it is a responsibility of the Federal Government, then it is the states and ultimately the people who have the power. This amendment, and what it stands for has been pretty much ignored since at least the Roosevelt3 Administration, with some saying it was Abraham Lincoln4 who dealt the 10th a mortal blow.
I can’t speak to Lincoln, but FDR hated the fact that people could run their own lives. He and other in his administration believed that centralized power, in the hands of an elite group of bureaucrats, was the way to go. This is known by many names. Progressivism, Socialism, Marxism, Communism, Fascism and of course, National Socialism.5
All of these movements believe, at one level or another, in the power of the State over the rights of the people. This is dead opposite of what the founders meant when the wrote the Constitution and the 10th Amendment. The court case the really broke open the floodgates was the Wickard v. Filburn case in 1942.
In this case, the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Commerce Clause6, so that it granted the Federal Government ultimate power over the United States economy. Since then, the Federal Government has expanded massively to the detriment of the States and People. Well, the states have had enough and have started pushing back.
As I mentioned above, one of the things they have been doing is taking all these regulations to the judicial branch in the hopes that they will finally understand that the pendulum has swing to far in the favor of the Federal Government. The decision by the Supreme Court to allow Obamacare to remain on the books, going so far as to rewriting it in a total violation of the constitution,7 that the fines mandated in Obamacare were in fact a tax.
Well the states had finally had it and started to pass what are called “Nullification” laws8. These are laws that repudiate federal laws and regulations that the states deem unconstitutional. The run the gamut from medical use of marijuana to firearms. Some of the state laws go so far as to authorize the arrest and criminal prosecution of federal agents attempting to enforce federal laws inside the states. Here are a few details on this phenomenon from Politico:
Infuriated by what they see as the long arm of Washington reaching into their business, states are increasingly telling the feds: Keep out!
Infuriated is a nice way of saying “In a blind rage.”
Bills that would negate a variety of federal laws have popped up this year in the vast majority of states — with the amount of anti-federal legislation sharply on the rise during the Obama administration, according to experts.
This is not surprising, considering that Barack Obama hates the constitution and pretty much ignores it as much as possible. This is why there are so many court cases proceeding against his administration.
The nullification trend in recent years has largely focused on three areas: gun control, health care and national standards for driver’s licenses. It has touched off fierce fights within the states and between the states and the feds, as well as raising questions and court battles over whether any of the activity is legal.
And here is the rub. Is this legal? The founders would probably not have to much of a problem with the nullification movements, and in fact would see it as a check on the Federal governments tendency to grab powers it is not entitled to.
In at least 37 states, legislation has been introduced that in some way would gut federal gun regulations, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The bills were signed into law this spring in two states, Kansas and Alaska, and in two others lawmakers hope to override gubernatorial vetoes. Twenty states since 2010 have passed laws that either opt out of or challenge mandatory parts of Obamacare, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. And half the states have approved measures aimed knocking back the Real ID Act of 2005, which dictates Washington’s requirements for issuing driver’s licenses.
The state laws repudiating the federal gun laws are what really started this ball rolling. The Real ID9 law was one of the many federal laws passed after the 9/11 attack, and was not popular with a number of states. This law was pushed by that other scion of States Rights. George Walker Bush.
The reaction by the Bush administration after 9/11 was to create large central bureaucracies and centralize more power into the hands of Washington. When Obama came in, with his utter contempt for the rule of law and the Constitution, things got a lot worse and now people are staring to push back.
“Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be, ‘We, the people’?” he added. “Over the past few years, you’ve seen this growing. … People are getting sick and tired of federal power.”
In fact, the state-level anger at the nation’s capital has reached such a fever pitch that many of the bills do not even address specific federal laws but rather amount to what is in effect pre-emptive nullification, wiping out, for instance, any federal law that may exist in the future that a state determines violates gun rights. The flurry of such efforts was spurred by fear on the part of states that in the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that Congress would pass restrictive gun control legislation.
Gun control is the classic example. When the founders wrote the Second Amendment, people, as in individuals, literally owned every type of weapon then available up to and including warships. When the Federal government needed to call out the Militia, the people were ready to go10. After years of stripping away the people’s right to keep and bear arms, the courts are slowly waking up to the fact that the constitution means what it says. Of course, there are those, (Progressives, Liberals, Democrats and RINO’s), who think that nullification is a bad idea.
Critics respond that the flood of legislation to override the feds is folly that won’t stand up in court and amounts to a transparent display of the political and personal distaste for President Barack Obama. And in some cases, the moves in the states have provoked an administration counteroffensive: Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Kansas after it passed the Second Amendment Protection Act threatening legal action if necessary to enforce federal laws.
I’m sure the state legislatures are trembling in fear over Holder’s threats. He has managed the feat of becoming the most corrupt Attorney General in the history of the United States. The general reaction from the States to Holder has been, “Go ahead and try you jerk! We dare you!” In a few cases, the Governors have vetoed nullification bills passed by their legislatures.
In Missouri, for example, lawmakers are preparing for a veto session in September in which supporters of a gun measure that would eviscerate any future congressional attempts to regulate gun ownership plan to attempt to override the governor’s veto.
I don’t have any idea of they have the votes for an override, but I have a feeling the current governor will be looking for a new job after the next election in Missouri. Another way states are dealing with Federal laws and regulations is passing a law that an item, such as a gun, that is manufactured inside the state and is not sold outside of the state is not covered by federal law.
In Kansas, state Rep. John Rubin sponsored successful legislation dictating that federal gun laws do not apply to firearms and accessories made in Kansas and that never leave its borders as well as making it a felony for any federal agent to enforce those laws within the state.
The theory here is the Commerce Clause in the United States Constitution. For almost a century, the Federal government has been using this as a club to force states to bend to the will of Washington D.C. The idea of the C.C. is that if give the Federal Government the ability to make sure the states don’t do things like put tariff’s on goods coming in from other states. Basically, the C.C. is designed to ensure the smooth flow of goods and services across state lines. Since the Roosevelt Administration, the United States Congress has used the Commerce Clause to say that ANY activity can affect the smooth flow of goods and services. They finally overreached with a federal law that banned guns within 1000 feet of any school. The Obama administration, of course continues centralizing power and is doing so by ignoring the separation of powers.
“We have the Obama administration to thank for that.” Rep. Rubin said. “The more federal overreach in Obamacare and elsewhere, the more [the administration] chooses to act in ways we believe are unconstitutional, the more we’re going to push back. I would encourage any state to assert to the strongest possible extent against the Obama administration, or any federal administration, rights clearly reserved to the states.”
Obama flat out doesn’t care. If he had his way, there would be no states, only administrative regions run by his cronies. We see that now with his attempts to end the Second Amendment by executive order and Eric Holder’s attempts to railroad George Zimmerman into a federal prison on bogus civil rights charges.
But opponents of sweeping nullification measures paint them as misguided, often politically motivated and likely unconstitutional attempts to zero out reasonable and well-intended federal initiatives. And that’s not just coming from the left. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, argues that nullification is not the answer to states’ concerns.
“There are a rising number of people who are frustrated with what Washington is doing, which is a perfectly legitimate and, in my opinion, correct view of ‘how do we push back?’” Matthew Spalding, vice president of American Studies for Heritage, told POLITICO. “Unfortunately, there’s a minority in that group that thinks nullification is the answer, by which they mean good old-fashioned, South Carolina, John C. Calhoun nullification. That’s deeply mistaken and unfortunate.”
The Heritage Foundation has utterly missed the point of the Nullification movement. It’s simply a step to send a message to Washington that they have gone to far. If the courts start telling the states they can’t pass these laws, the next step will probably be demands for one or more amendments to the Constitution that strip power away from the Federal government and return it to the states. Obviously, Congress will tell the states to go piss up a rope. Then the calls for a Constitutional Convention will start. If I recall correctly, we have come close to enough states voting in favor of a C.C. in the past. Meanwhile, we have those who favor centralized power and rule by the elites making more and more threats.
Another nullification opponent, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said it’s prepared to fight the recent crop of state gun bills in the courts.
“They are outrageous,” said Brady Center legal director Jon Lowy. “It’s disturbing that there are [state] legislators who are so willing to violate the [U.S.] Constitution but also that they have so little concern for public safety. [Nullification measures] would greatly threaten public safety if they weren’t so patently unconstitutional, so we expect that courts will rather quickly wipe them off the books.”
Considering that the Brady Center wants the Obama Regime to wipe away the Second Amendment, I’m not to surprised that they want the courts to back their agenda. As mentioned before, we are seeing this develop more as a battle between the Totalitarian Statists verses those that support Individual Rights and responsibilities.
Robert Levy, chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, told POLITICO that the wave of nullification bids is the result of a “highly polarized” political atmosphere in the country.
“When you get that polarization, you’re going to get these sort of radical proposals,” he said. “So you’re seeing an increase in these sorts of things. A state, or a city, for that matter can refuse to enforce a federal law and even refuse to expend any money to help the feds enforce any law, but that doesn’t mean that they can stop the feds from enforcing their own laws.”
And that’s why you are now beginning to see laws being passed that would have state Law Enforcement Officials, (State, Country and Local), arrest Federal Agents if they try and enforce Federal laws inside the States. While this hasn’t happened yet, I suspect there will be an incident in the next few years. Worst case scenario, shots are exchanged between Federal and State LEO’s. At that point, things get really serious. As Pollster Pat Caddell11 has stated:
“The anger in the country has reached ‘pre-revolutionary’ levels.”
This video was done in 2010 just before the elections. As we saw, the Democrats were crushed at the polls and this is why these Nullification laws are getting passed. That anger has not faded, just the opposite. It’s increasing. We are going to see some major changes in the next 5-10 years. What they are and how it will occur has yet to be determined.
~The Angry Webmaster~
- Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution [↩]
- The Constitution of the United States [↩]
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt [↩]
- Abraham Lincoln [↩]
- Nazism, or National Socialism [↩]
- Commerce Clause [↩]
- Chief Justice Roberts votes to expand Federal power [↩]
- Nullification (U.S. Constitution) [↩]
- The REAL ID Act of 2005 [↩]
- The Minutemen [↩]
- Patrick Hayward “Pat” Caddell [↩]