cross-posted from the Maine Tenth Amendment Center
When nullification is discussed, there is a misconception that never seems to go away: why the anarchy? Nullification and the Tenth Amendment is not a topic discussed often. States’ Rights has been discussed by Mitt Romney and his supporters when defending the Massachusetts healthcare law, a controversial program often compared to Democratic President Barack Obama’s law. Newt Gingrich has begun using the message, along with the libertarian topic “End The Fed” often associated with Congressman Ron Paul. Congressman Paul is one of only two candidates for the Republican Presidential Nomination (the other being former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson) who have actually voiced their support for nullification. That is it.
Conservatives and liberals have both often refuted the idea of nullification, claiming it would lead to lawlessness and anarchy. Some libertarians have even dismissed the idea as a fascinating political theory, but something with no actual grounding in reality.
Now odds are, if you’ve been following the Tenth Amendment Center or authors such as Thomas Woods or Kevin Gutzman, you’ve heard about the idea and know the history lesson associated with it. If you haven’t, then some links at the end of this article will provide you with some background on the topic. This will not be repeated; the aim of the article is to understand nullification, not justify it.Details