Live Free and Nullify

This article appears originally at LewRockwell.com- http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/gericke2.1.1.html

Jury nullification plays a vital role in a healthy legal system. It allows people to vote their conscience and nullify bad laws, thus sending a strong message to legislators. This is how alcohol prohibition was overthrown. This is how marijuana prohibition will be overthrown.

On April 13, 2011, a jury in New Hampshire’s Grafton County Superior Court brought residents one step closer to this reality. Bob Constantine, a fifty-two year old man with a bushy white moustache and the slow gait of a man with bad hips, was charged on September 4, 2009 with two felonies for “Manufacturing a Controlled Substance,” and one misdemeanor count of marijuana possession.

“I don’t know how anyone could manufacture a plant, but that’s what the RSA under chapter 318 of the law says,” Mr. Constantine said in a blog post soon after his arrest. “In my case it could carry a sentence of up to 7 years in prison and a $100,000 fine for growing a plant. I know that well over 90% of people in my situation take the plea. That’s what they want you to do. They just want you to bow down, tell them they’re right, put your tail between your legs, and say, ‘Uncle.’ I almost did, but I can’t. They offered me a very nice plea. You know they were going to give me 60 days, a small fine, all I needed to do was say, ‘Uncle.’ I almost did, but I couldn’t do it. I would have had to live with myself for the rest of my life. I know what they’re going to do to me is much greater that it would have been, but I’m a moral person, and I can’t give in to something that’s so wrong.”

This principled individual chose to take the matter to trial, at great personal risk to himself. More than twenty local pro-liberty activists – many of whom do jury nullification outreach at New Hampshire courts on a regular basis – came to show their support. Outside, two cars with visible pro-jury-nullification posters were parked in front of the court house. People held signs saying: “7 Years For Gardening?” and “Good People Nullify Bad Laws.”

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Hayek And The Czars.

Some things never get old.  And that goes double for F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom.  Written in 1944, The Road is a compelling  demonstration that collectivist central economic planning leads not to utopia but necessarily to tyranny.  

Hayek brilliantly illuminated the dangers of the Collectivists’ vaguely defined “social goals” and “common purpose”.  The Obama presidential campaign elevated this vagueness to a new high with “Hope and Change”.   Hayek would have hit that softball out of the park, “The effect of the people’s agreeing that there must be central planning, without agreeing on the ends, will be rather as if a group of people were to commit themselves to take a journey together without agreeing where they want to go: with the result that they may all have to make a journey which most of them do not want at all.”   That’s precisely how we traveled from “Hope and Change” to Obama Care.  

Speaking of the dangers of collectivist naivete, Obama has made clear that he will ignore Congress’ attempts to reign in his band of unaccountable Czars, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53342.html.  And, it’s time we all read (or re-read) Hayek. 

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Birth Certificate: Was It Trump or the States?

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate to the public. Various media outlets had widely differing views on why it was released after millions of dollars were spent to keep it hidden, in the same way that they differed before its release on whether it should be released, or if it even existed. Aside from a few fringe outlets questioning this line or that line, the general consensus is even among “Birthers” that President Obama has finally proven his Constitutional eligibility to be President over two years after taking office.

One person who gives himself the most credit for getting the birth certificate released is Presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who has been touting himself as a potential Republican challenger to Obama in 2012. Mind you, this is less than a year after he donated to the Mayoral campaign of Rahm Emanuel, a former Obama cabinet member, and Senator Chuck Shumer, et al…but people can change their minds, right? And it’s not good to upset your potential donors…although there are much bigger donors to Democratic campaigns, such as George Soros, who could easily make up any shortfall from Trump stopping any of his donations.

Obama has given himself credit for finally releasing the birth certificate, claiming he wanted to take the focus off that issue and onto the important things. But vacation after vacation while we suffer with deficits exceeding $1 trillion, runaway bureaucratic abuse, wide open borders, ballooning energy and food prices courtesy of ethanol, cap and trade and drilling bans, and a tax code that makes War and Peace look like a pamphlet, it is hard to find any real focus on the major issues the Federal government ought to be handling.

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Republican Socialists and Medicare Part D

EDITOR’S NOTE: Anthony Gregory will be a featured speaker at Nullify Now! Los Angeles.  Get tickets here – http://www.nullifynow.com/losangeles/ – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS

There are many ways to determine whether a Republican is worth the least bit of support from advocates of limited government. One is to see what the person’s position was on Medicare D — Bush’s prescription drug program. In particular, anyone who was in a position to vote on it, and voted for it, can simply never, ever be trusted to guard free enterprise or the Constitution against the ravages of Washington’s welfare state.

Yes, I know this means that most of the Republicans in Congress at the time of Medicare D’s enactment would be beyond the pale. In October 2009, Laurence Vance wrote:

“There are 28 Republicans currently in the Senate who were in the Senate back in 2003. Of this number, 24 voted for health care reform in 2003: Lamar Alexander, Bob Bennett, Kit Bond, Sam Brownback, Jim Bunning, Saxby Chambliss, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Mike Crapo, Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Jim Inhofe, Jon Kyl, Richard Lugar, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Roberts, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby, Olympia Snowe, and George Voinovich.

“There are 122 Republicans currently in the House who were in the House back in 2003. Of this number, 108 of them voted for health care reform in 2003: Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus, Roscoe Bartlett, Joe Barton, Judy Biggert, Gus Bilirakis, Rob Bishop, Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Jo Bonner, Mary Bono, John Boozman, Kevin Brady, Henry Brown, Virginia Brown-Waite, Michael Burgess, Steve Buyer, Ken Calvert, Dave Camp, Eric Cantor, Shelley Capito, John Carter, Michael Castle, Howard Coble, Tom Cole, Ander Crenshaw, Nathan Deal, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, David Dreier, John Duncan, Vernon Ehlers, J. Randy Forbes, Trent Franks, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Elton Gallegly, Jim Gerlach, Phil Gingrey, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Sam Graves, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Pete Hoekstra, Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, Lynn Jenkins, Sam Johnson, Timothy Johnson, Pete King, Steve King, Jack Kingston, Mark Kirk, John Kline, Tom Latham, Steven LaTourette, Jerry Lewis, John Linder, Frank LoBiondo, Frank Lucas, Donald Manzullo, Thaddeus McCotter, John McHugh, Buck McKeon, John Mica, Candice Miller, Gary Miller, Tim Murphy, Sue Myrick, Randy Neugebauer, Devin Nunes, Thomas Petri, Joseph Pitts, Todd Platts, Adam Putnam, George Radanovich, Dennis Rehberg, Harold Rogers, Mike Rogers (AL), Mike Rogers (MI), Dana Rohrabacher, Heana Ros-Lehitnen, Ed Royce, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, F. James Sensenbrenner, Pete Sessions, John Shimkus, Bill Shuster, Mike Simpson, Chris Smith, Lamar Smith, Mark Souder, Cliff Stearns, John Sullivan, Lee Terry, Mac Thornberry, Todd Tiahrt, Pat Tiberi, Michael Turner, Fred Upton, Greg Walden, Ed Whitfield, Joe Wilson, Frank Wolf, C.W. Bill Young, and Don Young.”

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Good vs Bad Progressives

I had a nice chat recently with Sibel Edmonds (who describes herself as leaning libertarian) and left-progressive Peter B. Collins. Entirely civil, and Collins was more than receptive to what I said (consistent with Roderick Long’s discussion about making inroads with the Left). But then there are the thought controllers, who would see the whole world burn down before…

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Two Challenges

A challenge for big-government conservatives: find a constitutional justification (rationalization) for the federal “war on drugs” that doesn’t also allow it to outlaw growing your own food in your own back-yard garden or to regulate the temperature of your living room. A challenge for big-government liberals: find a constitutional justification (rationalization) for a federal takeover…

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States Check the Federal Coinage Power

It seems that there are two sections in the constitution split between the federal and state governments – the power over currency. The federal government has the power to coin money and regulate the value of which seems to give it wide latitude over what it says a dollar is worth.

Under this power, it can say a dollar is worth so many barrels of oil, ounces of silver, pounds of cabbage, or nothing at all (fiat money). This begs the question: why would the writers of the constitution allow so much leeway over the nation’s currency when they themselves valued hard money?

The writers of the constitution decided to use the sovereign power of the states to keep the federal government in check by only allowing gold or silver currency to be used within their own borders.

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