State efforts to roll back the federal health care law have drawn increasing attention to the principle of nullification in recent months. And as state legislators realize they have a viable tool to fight unconstitutional federal overreach, they increasingly employ the idea to push back against other expansions of federal power, including TSA full body scanners, acts prohibiting medicinal marijuana, the Real ID Act, EPA regulations and federal gun laws.
James Madison said the states have a right and are duty bound to interpose when the feds overreach, and Thomas Jefferson called it, “the rightful remedy.” But what exactly is nullification? What are its origins and history? Can a states really declare a law unconstitutional, and null and void within its borders?Details