James Madison: States Need Recourse Against Courts

It’s worth recalling important passages from James Madison’s famous Report of 1800 in light of the many uninformed criticisms of nullification (e.g., “Why, the courts are our infallible judges!”): “The resolution of the General Assembly [the Virginia Resolutions of 1798] relates to those great and extraordinary cases, in which all the forms of the Constitution…


State bankruptcy and a heartland home-grown solution

The New York Times reports today that policy makers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers: “Unlike cities, the states are barred from seeking protection in federal bankruptcy court. Any effort to change that status would have to clear high constitutional hurdles because the states are considered sovereign.”

But states are finding their own ways to save money. Last fall, the Nebraska Campaign for Liberty distributed copies of Tom Woods’ book Nullification to 44 of the 49 members of their legislature. They followed up with discussion with some other senators about the kind of things they’d like to see done and provided some “model legislation”—courtesy of the Tenth Amendment Center.


Oklahoma Rep Ritze Seeks Nullification of ObamaCare

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mike Ritze has filed legislation to effectively nullify the new federal health care law and allow felony charges against individuals attempting to enforce it in Oklahoma.

“The federal health care law is clearly an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of U.S. citizens,” said Ritze, a Broken Arrow Republican who is one of only two doctors serving in the Oklahoma Legislature. “As a result, the state of Oklahoma must act aggressively to stop this unconstitutional power grab.”

House Bill 1276, by Ritze, notes that the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution defines the total scope of federal powers “as being those which have been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all powers not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves.”


New Hampshire Healthcare Nullification Act Introduced to committee

EDITOR’S NOTE: With news from Idaho about a health care nullification act being introduced shortly, and this bill below, that brings the total to 8 – states that are considering rejecting not just health care mandates, but the entire national health care bill. Track them here.


This bill (full text) makes it a misdemeanor for an officer of the government to interfere with or withhold medical services from legal residents of New Hampshire.


The Constitution for the United States, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. The Constitution for the United States of America Article 1, Section 8 delegates no power to Congress regarding health care or medicine. Therefore, all laws, statutes, rules and regulations regulating the health care of the citizens of the States, not employed by the United States are not pursuant to the Constitution of the United States, and are not part of the supreme law of the land, and are not binding upon the citizens of the state.

Any act, order, law, statute, regulation or rule restricting the ability of New Hampshire citizens to contract with health care professionals or facilities for the provision of health care services or to contract with corporations providing health insurance authorized by the State of New Hampshire for health insurance is unconstitutional, void and of no force. Any attempt to enforce such a law is an affront to the Sovereignty of the States and their Citizens.


The 10th Amendment Revolution is alive and well in Virginia

Much like last year, Virginia’s 2011 General Assembly session is chock full of bills and resolutions that seek to strengthen federalism and the state sovereignty protections of the Tenth Amendment. One of those, HB1438, would prevent the federal government from regulating anything produced and sold exclusively within the state of Virginia.

Its summary reads:

Goods produced or manufactured in the Commonwealth; not subject to federal regulation. Provides that all goods produced or manufactured within the Commonwealth, when such goods are held, retained, or maintained in the Commonwealth, shall not be subject to federal law, federal regulation, or the constitutional power of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce. The bill does not apply to goods ordered, procured, or purchased by the federal government or by a federal contractor. The bill only applies to goods produced or manufactured on or after July 1, 2011.

Such a bill would have far-reaching implications from food to firearms. It would effectively block implementation of the abominable “Food Patriot Act” in the same way that last year’s HB10, the Health Care Freedom Act, helps protect Virginians from the individual mandate in ObamaCare.


Really Sheila Jackson Lee? You Can’t Be Serious!

This is a quote from Sheila Jackson Lee on The House floor this week.

“The Fifth Amendment speaks specifically to denying someone their life and liberty without due process. That is what H.R. 2 does and I rise in opposition to it. And I rise in opposition because it is important that we preserve lives and we recognize that 40 million-plus are uninsured.”

She continued, “Can you tell me what’s more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the right to equal protection under the law?”

Here is the funny thing about a right, it is God-given, not government created.


Reading the Constitution: What it told us about Congress

Unlike some both on the right and the left, I don’t think the reading of the Constitution in Congress was a purely symbolic or useless endeavor. It was quite evident that some of the readers were seeing the sections they read for the first time in a very long time, if ever. So it served an educational function for members of Congress.

The reading was educational for observant members of the public, too. The way some Members stumbled over the words—during an event they knew was going to be telecast, and for which they presumably had prepared—tended to show (1) how unfamiliar they were with the text and (2) how inarticulate and mentally-clumsy some of them appear when not regurgitating the “talking points” they have repeated a thousand times before.


2011 TN-TAC Legislative Priorities

The Tennessee General Assembly is gearing up to conduct the legislative business of Tennesseans in 2011.  Here at the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center, we have been preparing by reviewing Tenth Amendment Center model legislation and consulting with liberty leaders throughout the state to determine our top legislative priorities for the 2011 legislative session.  Below are our top six legislative priorities for Tennessee, along with links to download the model legislation.  We encourage you to download and print copies of each piece of legislation and share these with your legislators.  Urge them to sponsor, co-sponsor and support these bills in the Tennessee General Assembly this year.


NEWS: Introducing the New Hampshire Firearms Freedom Act

Introduced to committee on January 18, 2011.

Acting under the authority of the 9th, 10th, and 2nd amendments to the Constitution for the United States; and the authority of articles 2, 2-a, and 7 of the New Hampshire Bill of Rights.

Articles 2 and 7 of the New Hampshire bill of rights were established in 1784 before the Constitution for the United States was ratified; guaranteeing that New Hampshire citizens had the right to defend and protect life and property and that these rights would not be superseded by the powers granted to the Congress of the United States of America, such that when New Hampshire ratified the United States constitution these rights were clearly understood to exist in the State of New Hampshire.

Article 2 of the New Hampshire Bill of Rights, effective June 2, 1784; Natural Rights: All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights – among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.

Article 7 of the New Hampshire Bill of Rights, effective June 2, 1784; State Sovereignty: The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled.


Six and Counting. States Seek to Bypass DC, Nullify National Health Care

While Congress wrangles over repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, lawmakers in six states have taken steps to bypass Washington D.C. completely and take matters into their own hands.

State legislators in Maine, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming have already introduced bills into their state assemblies that would declare the health care bill unconstitutional, therefore null, void and unenforceable in their states. Today, Nebraska joined them.