On May 20th, I gave a short talk to the Concerned Citizens of Upper Perkiomen Valley for Smaller Government on the concept of nullification. Nullification is one of the checks the states have on the federal government where the state refuses to comply with federal law — which are deemed harmful to the state and usually assume powers not delegated by the state to the federal government. Nullified federal laws are deemed null and void in the state(s) where passed and have no force.
The presentation first covered the concept of state sovereignty, the roots of nullification during the Federalist Papers and the ratification of the Constitution. Next historical uses of nullification were reviewed, followed by a surprising amount of modern-day state legislation that are also attempts at nullification. A video recording is not yet available.
While I make no claim to be an expert on nullification, Dr. Thomas Woods of the Mises Institute is and will shortly publish a new book, Nullification. You can learn more about his book here. One of Woods’ past articles on nullification is here. A playlist of Woods giving a talk on nullification and “the Principles of ’98″ is below.
A PDF of the presentation can be downloaded here, or from Scribd. Of course for any in the area, I am available to deliver the presentation in person, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, phone number, and group.