ACTION ALERT: Help Arizona Pass NDAA Nullification Bill Now

PHOENIX (March 23, 2012)  – The progress of an Arizona bill blocking compliance with federal agents attempting to enforce detention provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act has slowed in the House after quickly passing the Senate and moving out of one important House committee. If you live in Arizona, you can help it move forward. See Action items below.

SB1182 would “prohibit any agency of the state from providing material support for or from participating in any way with the implementation of sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Public Law 112‑81, against any citizen of the United States.”

Last week, the bill passed out of the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee by a 6-3 vote keeping it on track for final House approval. But the bill still needs passage out of the House Rules Committee before moving on to a House Caucus for a second reading. If it passes that, it will proceed to the Committee of the Whole for debate and then on to a final vote.

As of March 22, SB1182 was not slated for consideration by the Rules Committee or on the Caucus calendar. Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center indicate that that House Speaker told bill sponsor Sen. Sylvia Allen that he will move the bill forward. But the House Speaker and Senate President tend to hold legislators’ favorite bills in order to have something to blackmail them with when the legislator considers the budget. “Vote for this budget or I’ll kill your bills!”  The Arizona budget reportedly remains stalled at the moment, increasing the likelihood leadership will hold bills that they know the members especially want.


An Administration Gone Rogue

by Ron Paul

Have certain parts of the Constitution become irrelevant, as a former Republican leader once told me at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing? At the time, I was told that demanding a Congressional declaration of war before invading Iraq, as Article I Section 8 of the Constitution requires, was unnecessary and anachronistic. Congress and the president then proceeded without a Constitutional declaration and the disastrous Iraq invasion was the result.

Last week, Obama administration officials made it clear that even the fig leaf of Congressional participation provided by the 2003 “authorization” to use force in Iraq was to be ignored as well. In a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated clearly and repeatedly that the administration felt it was legally justified to use military force against Syria solely with “international permission”.

Such “international permission” could come by way of the United Nations, NATO, or some other international body. Secretary Panetta then told Senator Sessions that depending on the situation, the administration would consider informing Congress of its decision and might even seek authorization after the fact.

While Senator Sessions expressed surprise at the casual audacity of Panetta in making this statement, in reality his was just a bluntly stated explanation of what has been, de facto, the case for many years. When President Obama committed the US military to a pre-emptive war against Libya last year, for example, Congress was kept completely out of the process. Likewise, military action in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and so on, proceed without a Congressional declaration.


ACTION ALERT: Health Care Nullification Bill in New Jersey!

New Jersey A861 would render the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”  null and void in the state.  Sponsored by Assemblywoman Alison L. McHose, this bill not only voids the insurance mandate,  it declares the entire act null and void within the state.

“This bill renders the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Pub.L.111-148, as amended by the federal “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010,” Pub.L.111-152, and any federal rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, null and void and of no force and effect in the State of New Jersey.”

A861 currently sits in the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee. Your help is needed to get it moving towards a floor vote (action steps below)


The bill itself provides the rational for nullification, based on the Tenth Amendment:


Paul Ryan’s Budget: It’s Still Big Government

Chris Edwards provided an ample overview of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal, so I won’t rehash the numbers. Instead, I’ll just add a few comments.

Democrats and the left will squeal that Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is a massive threat to the poor, the sick, the elderly, etc, etc. It’s baloney, but a part of me thinks that he might deserve it. Why? Because the excessive rhetoric employed by the left to criticize lower spending levels for domestic welfare programs isn’t much different than the excessive rhetoric Ryan uses to argue against sequestration-induced reductions in military spending. For instance, Ryan speaks of the “devastation to America’s national security” that sequestration would allegedly cause. (See Christopher Preble’s The Pentagon Budget: Myth vs. Reality).

Now I’m sure that I’ll receive emails admonishing me for failing to recognize that the Constitution explicitly gives the federal government the responsibility to defend the nation while the constitutionality of domestic welfare programs isn’t quite so clear. Okay, but what are Ryan’s views on the constitutionality of domestic welfare programs?

At the outset of Ryan’s introduction to his plan, he quotes James Madison and says that the Founders designed a “Constitution of enumerated powers, giving the federal government broad authority over only those matters that must have a single national response, while sharply restricting its authority to intrude on those spheres of activity better left to the states and the people.” That’s nice, but then he proceeds to make statements like this:


Time to Resist REAL ID

The “Repeal the REAL ID Act” is’s oldest active campaign.

It is also one of our most successful. Public outrage from the Left, Right, and Middle has persuaded many state legislatures to refuse to implement it. The Obama Administration, which to its credit doesn’t like this Bush-era law, keeps issuing waivers and deadline extensions on the states.

But REAL ID’s author, James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), is holding hearings this week, no doubt to try to build pressure on the Obama Administration to enforce this unconstitutional law.

That’s why it is important to raise our voices today. Tell Congress to repeal the REAL ID Act and replace it with nothing.

You may borrow from or copy this letter…

Rep. Sensenbrenner, the author of the REAL ID Act, along with House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith will try to drum up support for REAL ID by holding hearings this week.

Don’t be fooled by the inevitable scare-mongering of these hearings. You would be wise to take the opposite approach and REPEAL Real ID.

The law simply can’t function…

* 25 states refuse to comply with REAL ID.
* It would strip citizens of those states the right to air travel.
* Which would wreck the airline industry (and overall economy), and anger tens of millions of Americans.

To be blunt, if you insist on REAL ID enforcement, you would deliberately act against the best interests of the United States and the people, and commit political suicide.

Moreover, these states have GOOD REASON to reject REAL ID…


Ending Indefinite Detention Through Nullification

On Tuesday, March 20, 2012, the Tenth Amendment Center, in partnership with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Demand Progress, held a joint media conference to brief journalists about national momentum against NDAA detention powers. The following is what was introduced by Blake Filippi at the start of that conference

NOTE: Blake Filippi will be a featured speaker at Nullify Now! Philadelphia. Get tickets here – – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS


My name is Blake Filippi, director of the Rhode Island Liberty Coalition and spokesman for the Tenth Amendment Center.

In 1850, when Congress passed what was known as the “Fugitive Slave Act,” the federal law compelled people of all states to assist federal agents with the apprehension of suspected runaway slaves and brought all trials involving alleged fugitive slaves under federal jurisdiction. It included large fines for anyone who aided a slave in their escape, even by simply giving them food or shelter. The act also suspended habeas corpus and the right to a trial by jury for suspected slaves, and made their testimony non-admissible in court.

This was an atrocity.


State and local legislators speak out about anti-NDAA efforts

by Amy Ferrer, Bill of Rights Defense Committee Today, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, together with a transpartisan coalition of the Tenth Amendment Center and Demand Progress, hosted a teleconference on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the state and local efforts opposing it across the country. Four state and local elected officials…


Demolishing Due Process

by Ron Paul

It is ironic but perhaps sadly appropriate that Attorney General Eric Holder would choose a law school, Northwestern University, to deliver a speech earlier this month in which he demolished what was left of the rule of law in America.

In what history likely will record as a turning point, Attorney General Holder bluntly explained that this administration believes it has the authority to use lethal force against Americans if the President determines them to be a threat to the nation. He tells us that this is not a violation of the due process requirements of our Constitution because the President himself embodies “due process” as he unilaterally determines who is to be targeted. As Holder said, “a careful and thorough executive branch review of the facts in a case amounts to ‘due process.'” That means that the administration believes it is the President himself who is to be the judge, jury, and executioner.

As George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote of the Holder speech:

“All the Administration has said is that they closely and faithfully follow their own guidelines — even if their decisions are not subject to judicial review. The fact that they say those guidelines are based on notions of due process is meaningless. They are not a constitutional process of review.”


Maine legislature gives final approval to anti-NDAA detention resolution

AUGUSTA, Maine (March, 20, 2012) – Working at breakneck speed, the Maine legislature approved a resolution calling on the president and Congress to amend the National Defense Authorization Act to clarify that any provisions contained in it will not deprive United States citizens of the rights of due process.

The Maine House passed HP1397 on Monday, and the Senate took up the measure and approved it on Tuesday.

Rep. Richard Cebra (R-Naples) sponsored the resolution, and a long list of representatives and senators signed on as cosponsors.

“I am thrilled that it went through the Senate without a hitch,” Cebra said.

The primary opposition to the resolution apparently came from lawmakers wanting to expand the language to include not only United States citizens, but all people in U.S. territory.

The Maine legislature will now transmit the resolution to President Barack Obama, the president of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and to each member of the Maine congressional delegation.

Maine lawmakers join Utah’s legislature voicing concern over indefinite detention provisions in sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA. Utah’s resolution passed both houses unanimously last week and pending the governor’s signature will also be forwarded to Washington.

So far, 11 state legislatures have taken up resolutions or bills opposing federal power to kidnap people on American soil. The Virginia House and Senate both passed a bill that would block any state agency, including the Virginia National Guard, from assisting any federal effort to implement NDAA detention provisions within the Commonwealth’s borders. The governor still has not signed the bill.


Imagine the Possibilities

Speech to the Grand Opening of the Louisiana Chapter of the Tenth Amendment Center

I would venture to say that most of us are here tonight because we believe that the federal government is acting outside the boundaries set for it in its charter, the Constitution of the united States. So how do we deal with that? Do we rely on one branch or department of the federal government to halt the abuses of others? We have seen over the last century and more that this is futile.

There is another option to consider, and it is the main topic I wish to discuss with you tonight: state nullification.

State nullification, whereby a state refuses to comply with a federal measure that is not authorised by the Constitution, was first formulated in declarations of ratification such as Virginia’s in 1788 and later received a more formal definition in 1798 when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison penned the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, even though it had been practiced prior to that date.

In the Kentucky Resolutions, Jefferson laid down a series of constitutional principles. It began,

“Resolved, that the several states composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government…”

That statement alone is enough to shock many people today. But it gets better, much better.

“…but that by compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, delegated to that Government certain definite powers, reserving each state to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self Government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: That to this compact each state acceded as a state, and is an integral party, its co-states forming as to itself, the other party: That the Government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the constitution, the measure of its powers; but that as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common Judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.”

Likewise, Madison in the Virginia Resolutions stated the following:

“…in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers [by the federal government], not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”

Here we have both Jefferson and Madison explaining that each state, not the federal government, is to judge for itself in the final event whether a legislative act or an executive order or a judicial ruling is in violation of the U. S. Constitution because the states are the ones who created the federal government by writing and ratifying the U. S. Constitution.