Would Rachel Maddow have enforced the Fugitive Slave Act?
On the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the battle of Fort Sumter, MSNBC television host Rachel Maddow said on her evening program: “The fact that the first shots were fired in South Carolina specifically came as no surprise… the great pride of the South Carolina secessionists was Senator John C. Calhoun, a beloved pro-slavery politician who… championed the cause of nullification.”
The obviously anti-secession liberal host then defined the term: “Nullification—the idea that states could and should refuse to follow federal laws they didn’t like, that they thought went beyond the powers of the federal government.”
In addition to Calhoun, some of the earliest examples of nullification in the United States were in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. This act declared that slaves who escaped to free states must be forcibly returned to their masters. Many abolitionists became rabid advocates of nullification.Details