In 1798, the State of Virginia adopted a resolution in response to Congress passing “The Alien and Sedition Acts”
Asserting that the Federal government had overstepped it’s bounds as enumerated in the Constitution, James Madison with the assistance of Thomas Jefferson, drafted the resolution with the intent of nullifying the congressional act. Kentucky also adopted a similar resolution penned by Jefferson that same year.
Below is the text of the resolution:
December 21, 1798
That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government as resulting from the compact to which the states are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact, as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that, in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties, appertaining to them.
That the General Assembly doth also express its deep regret, that a spirit has, in sundry instances, been manifested by the federal government to enlarge it powers by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them; and that indications have appeared of a design to expound certain general phrases (which, having been copied from the very limited grant of powers in the former Articles of Confederation, were the less liable to be misconstrued) so as to destroy the meaning and effect of the particular enumeration which necessarily explains and limits the general phrases, and so as to consolidate the states, by degrees, into one sovereignty, the obvious tendency and inevitable result of which would be, to transform the present republican system of the United States into an absolute, or, at best, a mixed monarchy.
I have emboldened the second paragraph to emphasis it’s relevance to today.
This is pertinent to our current political climate when one takes into account the arguments surrounding the “Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act” and the reaction to it by the Federal Government.
The act pertains to firearms transactions which occur wholly within the state.The BATFE sent a letter to Federal Firearm License holders saying the act is null and void.
Another potential hostile engagement is brewing in Texas. Governor Perry has stated that if the National Healthcare legislation is passed, that Texas may not take part. The Star-Telegram quotes Perry:
“I think you’ll hear states and governors standing up and saying ‘no’ to this type of encroachment on the states with their healthcare,” Perry said. “So my hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I’m certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats.”