Nullification: The Basics

What is State nullification? (there are other forms as well)

Nullification is any act, or set of actions, taken by a state legislature finding a federal act unconstitutional, and rendering it null, void or simply inoperable in that state.

Where did nullification originate?

It finds its basis in the very structure of the Republic. The people of 13 independent, sovereign states agreed to form a political union and delegated specific, limited powers to the federal government through the Constitution, retaining all other power and authority to themselves. It logically follows that the political societies delegating power retain the authority to determine its extent, and take steps when the government they created tries to operate outside of those boundaries.
Virginia ratifying convention delegate George Nichols spelled out the principle when he assured his fellow delegates that Virginia would be “exonerated” if the federal government tried to exercise undelegated powers.

If thirteen individuals are about to make a contract, and one agrees to it, but at the same time declares that he understands its meaning, signification and intent, to be, what the words of the contract plainly and obviously denote; that it is not to be construed so as to impose any supplementary condition upon him, and that he is to be exonerated from it, whensoever any such imposition shall be attempted — I ask whether in this case, these conditions on which he assented to it, would not be binding on the other twelve? In like manner these conditions will be binding on Congress. They can exercise no power that is not expressly granted them.

Who first formalized the principles of nullification?

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison first formally articulated the doctrine in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, responding to the clearly unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts.


Texas Senate Continues the Stand Against the TSA

The Post-9/11 era ushered in a new wave of theatrical security labeled the Transportation Security Administration. This government agency, which seems to have hired more criminals than they caught, has worked with impunity with no regard to the unconstitutional search and seizure of personal property. With a zero success rate in capturing terrorists, the TSA has instead irratiated, humiliated, molested, and stole from the customers of air travel, all the while completed funded by you the tax payer.

Senator Patrick has filed SB 20. This bill is a companion bill to the Texas State House bill HB 80 introduced by Representative Simpson.

This piece of legislation reads, “A person who is a public servant commits an offense if the person: while acting under color of the person’s office or employment: