If we choose to exercise it, the Tenth Amendment explicitly gives us the power to enforce the Constitution’s letter and spirit through political action, regardless of the opinions and preferences of the ruling class.Details
For The Hill on 1/27/11
Since New Hampshire state rep Dan Itse brought his challenge to Obamacare citing Thomas Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions in February 2009, we have been seeing a new age of Jefferson. Judge Andrew Napolitano now plays prime time “fighting for freedom” five nights a week; Virginia Delegate Jim LeMunyon proposes a Repeal Amendment; a 26-state challenge to the federal government moves to the Supreme Court and best practices conferences for governors today feature Thomas Woods’, “Nullification.” But the turning ahead may best belong to Andrew Jackson. It was the rustic warrior from Tennessee who first fired up the common folk west of the New River and laid their claim to governance. He is much misunderstood and occasionally maligned, but Jackson might well be considered the spirit father of the current red state uprising.
The Idaho Reporter reports that Republicans intend to introduce a plan to “use an obscure 18th century doctrine” to nullify the federal (Obamacare) law in a House committee and are working to gain the blessing of Gov. Butch Otter. They might pick up a copy of H.W. Brands’ “Andrew Jackson: His Life and times” for background. Because what is at the core is dominance: The world naturally divides by temperament, head and heart, city and country, in a binary way. The heart today is red (Sarah Palin), the head is blue (Barack Obama). Jackson opposed nullification and championed a free republic that might be considered a model for red state interests more pragmatic than Jefferson’s. But it was Jackson who put the fire in the belly of the heartland; a fire felt in the red states today and a fire that potentially will never go out.
Jackson might be considered the founding father of the Southern and western temperament, which have morphed to the red states today. I’ve been writing about state sovereignty up here for five years and was among the first to propose the Kentucky Resolutions in New Hampshire and Vermont to oppose George W. Bush projects, especially the war on Iraq. Cited Jefferson, but inspired by Jackson.Details
In Part One, I discussed the importance of “who decides” what is constitutional, and what is not. Conventional wisdom says that the Supreme Court has long been recognized to have that power. If you haven’t read part one, follow this link to read it here.
Now I will give my reasons for why that power does NOT reside solely with the Court created by the Constitution.
Let us begin with the preamble to the Bill Of Rights which begins;
“THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”[Emphasis added]
This suggests that there was concern about a central government abusing its powers from a number of states. In fact many people have heard of the “Federalist Papers” which were a series of essays written to sell the public on the idea of ratifying the constitution. Many of the Articles were written to answer specific criticisms of the Constitution, such as those raised by Robert Yates and others dubiously named “Anti Federalists”. Gary Galles from the Mises Institute wrote an article on the Anti-Federalist Papers where he writes;Details
With state elections fast approaching, it is time find out where our legislators stand on state sovereignty and the limits of federal power. In the 1830′s similar debates occurred on the floor of the senate regarding unconstitutional tariffs (Tariff of Abominations) and the sale of federal lands within state boundaries. What started out as discussions on particular issues ended in intense debate over federalism, state sovereignty, and unchecked powers by the general government.
At the core of the debate was the clash between two distinct theories of the Constitution: the nationalists view of a single sovereign people, a modern unitary state were power comes from a central authority, or the compact theorists who believe the United States had been formed when the thirteen original states each acting in its own sovereign capacity ratified the Constitution through STATE ratifying conventions rather than some single American people.Details
The Denver post reported this morning that US District Judge Roger Vinson ruled the Health Care Reform law was unconstitutional. Read the complete article here, but here are some excerpts I want to cover.
The judge’s ruling produced an even split in federal court decisions so far on the health care law, mirroring enduring divisions among the public. Two judges had previously upheld the law, both Democratic appointees. A Republican appointee in Virginia had ruled against it.
We have, it seems, turned the United States Constitution into a political football. Where elections determine the interpretation of the constitution, and we are ruled by the whims of the electorate instead of by law. The difference can simply be illustrated as a lynch mob vs. a jury trial. The constitution ‘should’ protect us from power grabs from either party, including the Patriot Act and Real ID passed by Republicans, but we have allowed ourselves to be docile while we await the decision of our betters.Details
The federal government persists in hindering efforts to begin new offshore drilling for energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico. http://thehayride.com/2011/02/mendacity-insanity-and-stupidity-the-obama-administrations-offshore-drilling-policy/ However, the Louisiana State Sovereignty Committee (LSSC) contends that the states never did delegate authority over their territorial waters or seabeds to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution and therefore retain the authority…Details
Yesterday, the Kansas House passed the “Health Care Freedom Amendment ” – House Concurrent Resolution 5007 (HCR5007). The proposed state constitutional amendment is designed to prevent the federal government from mandating that individuals buy health insurance, a requirement of the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and President Obama last year. It states:
(1) A law or rule shall not compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system or purchase health insurance.
(2) A person or employer may pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment
The Kansas House vote was 93-26.Details
Podcast: Play in new window | Download Jason Rink and John Bush of Live Free Austin interview Michael Boldin on the recent health care court ruling, nullification, threats to liberty and Nullify Now! Austin. It doesn’t matter which political party is in charge or what individual occupies the white house, federal power always grows…and year…Details
The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee got a second chance this week to strike a blow for South Dakota against the unconstitutional ObamaCare legislation with HB 1165. The committee had a chance last week with HB 1088, but chose to listen to liberal talking points and voted the bill down.
The language of “nullification” and its subsequent demonization by the Left who have tried to illegitimately tie it to 19th Century pro-slavery sentiments managed to scare the “Republicans” on the House State Affairs Committee a couple of weeks ago.
Therefore, bill sponsor Rep. Laura Hubbel talked of the duty of the states to interpose between oppressive federal laws and the people of the states. She pointed out that history has already seen state efforts to resist unconstitutional federal action.
Interposition is a legal way of responding to an illegal act by our government. An example of this was the unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts passed while John Adams was president.Details
The Pennsylvania Senate introduced a State Sovereignty Resolution (SR9) at the beginning of the 2011 Legislative Session. This bill was introduced under the leadership of Senators Folmer, Robbins, M. White, Orie, Erickson, Alloway, Ward, Rafferty, Brubaker, Eichelberger, Waugh, Argall, and Earll.
The goal of the bill is to strongly re-assert State Sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The resolution articulates solid constitutional language. The introduction starts with a recitation of the 10th amendment and then goes on to detail current conditions and overreach by the Federal Government. The resolution explicitly acknowledges the Compact Theory relationship between the States and the Federal government and sovereign State status. The resolution then strongly ends with the following resolutions:Details