Nullifying Obama

images-1From The Washington Times

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is nullification — the idea that states can limit the enforcement of federal laws within their borders.

Supporters of nullification see it as a necessary and effective tool to protect states and citizens from the ever-growing power of the federal government. Detractors think this debate was settled by the Civil War, painting proponents of the idea as “neo-Confederates.” In fact, nullification is a growing movement with support on both sides of the political aisle.

As author and historian Thomas Woods notes, nullification is as old as the republic. Its first advocates were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who drafted the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, which declared, “whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” Jefferson and Madison acted out of dismay over the Alien and Sedition Acts, which Congress adopted to make it a misdemeanor to speak out against the government, bringing Congress and the president into “contempt or disrepute.”

Early in our history, nullification was also prominently used by free states to ignore the federal fugitive slave laws that forced free states to return runaway slaves back to slave states. The Civil War tainted and shelved the idea of nullification, but the states are bringing back the concept in response to the continued expansion of the federal government. They’ve wiped the dust from the 10th Amendment with state laws seeking to nullify federal statutes.

Read the entire article here.

1 Comment

  1. Bob Marshall

    May 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Years before the Civil War South Carolina tried to use nullification against the federal government because of excessive import taxes and and President Andrew Jackson threaten to send in federal troops. Good luck with nullification!

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