Review of Nullification: The Rightful Remedy Documentary

“The peace president bombs countries around the world, the drug war rages on, the patriot act exists, the Fed prints and prints and prints. Bailouts, mandates, and regulations – they never seem to end. When Government doesn’t follow the rules given to it, what do you do about it? Well, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both warned us that if the Federal Government ever became the sole, exclusive arbiter in the extent of it’s own powers – that power would always grow. Jefferson wrote, ‘A Nullification of the act is the rightful remedy whenever the Federal Gov. violates the constitution.’” – Michael Boldin, Executive Director, TAC

If Nullification is the rightful remedy against Big Government gone wild, then certainly Nullification: The Rightful Remedy Documentary is just what the doctor ordered for ignorance and false information. Written and Directed by Jason Rink (Foundation for a Free Society), the DVD comes in at 72 minutes (1 hour and 12 minutes), and is absolutely stuffed to the brim with a diverse range of issues and personalities involved in the Tenth Amendment / Nullification movement. But not only that, it’s like taking the excitement and energy of a full-blown Nullify Now! Event, and putting it into a package your living room can handle!

With the DVD package design prominently featuring Thomas Jefferson on the front, and a diverse crowd of “Tenthers” on the back, the professional appearance of this documentary will surely entice a friend or community leader into checking it out. Additionally, the audio and video quality of the production itself is very good, with the likes of Jordan Page and his song Message of Freedom serving as a perfect fit for this crucial discussion.  

And while the DVD is best intended for being viewed in it’s entirety – specifically for those who may know little about the Tenth Amendment and Nullification issues – it has a chapter feature for classroom settings, or for emphasizing certain sections to a viewing audience.

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Conflicts in our Federal System Protect Individual Liberty

To argue that federal court cases stand for absolute, unchanging rules ignores the US S CT’s own rulings and advocates originalist doctrines–a doctrine most, if not all, liberals or progressives reject.

This unchanging-rule view implies that the parameters of Congress’ power cannot change based upon the law’s letter, despite the fact that the circumstances which gave rise to that letter have changed or no longer exist; thereby leaving the people to suffer under a law that no longer serves their needs. Most people, including the courts, have rejected this approach to constitutional rules.

As the US S CT stated in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, rules of Constitutional law are not absolutely fixed; they are analyzed based upon a host of circumstances, social and otherwise. This constitutional view is a discipline in both inductive and deductive reasoning, among other interpretative tools.

Where the facts in a specific case reveal a need to change a rule, the Courts will find the rule’s outer limits and begin shaping new rules. US S CT Justice Benjamin Cardozo stated the same in his book, The Nature of the Judicial Process.

To admit that the constitution is living admits that Congress’ power is subject to social and changing conditions, especially when the grant of power under review is vague and not subject to absolute certainty; such as, “shall have the power to regulate commerce among the States”.

This is what I argue in my Amicus Brief to the 9th Circuit recently (http://montanalibertyforum.com/mlf/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012-6-2-Amicus-Brief-Final-MT-Caregivers-v-US-12-35110.pdf). The Appellant’s main brief argues the same: http://montanalibertyforum.com/mlf/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012-6-5-Appellant-Brief-MT-Caregivers-v-US-12-351101.pdf.

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Arizona Immigration Ruling: Direct Assault on State Sovereignty

by KrisAnne Hall, www.KrisAnneHall.com

Never has a ruling by the Supreme Court been more aptly titled as an “Opinion,” because that is exactly what Justice Kennedy and his cohorts have delivered in Arizona v. United States.  It is nothing more than an open display of judicial activism.  The majority opinion is not a legal explanation on the Constitutionality of Arizona’s laws, but is an ideological dissertation on this current administration’s view of immigration. 

Not only is this ruling devoid of any appeal to the Constitution, it is very dangerous.  It is an aberration of fundamental Constitutional principles and a brazen assault on state sovereignty!  Chiefly, Kennedy takes the Supremacy clause of the Constitution, which declares that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and translates that principle into the supremacy of the Federal government over the states. There couldn’t be anything more contrary to our founders’ intent.   Let me repeat: this opinion is a monumental assault on the sovereignty of the states.

Article I section 8 clause 4 of the Constitution states that Congress has the power [t]o establish an uniform rule of naturalization.  The purpose of the federal government in the case of immigration, as Justice Kennedy appropriately acknowledges is “to be a single voice of the nation for foreign relations.” 

This external focus is in line with James Madison’s directive that:   “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace negotiation, and foreign commerce…”

Indeed, we must have a single rule of law regarding immigration, else foreign nations will never know what to expect from state to state.  However, this is where Kennedy’s constitutional understanding ends.  He continually remarks throughout this opinion, that the states are not only not allowed, but not capable of enforcing the laws that the federal government codifies.  What is his authority for this opinion?  Not the Constitution itself and certainly not the founders.

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