On January 27, the Houston Chronicle’s front page, banner headline article was called “If at first Texas can’t secede...” written by Patricia Kilday Hart. The article starts off about how the online Texas secession movement has stalled, and then the rest of the article focuses on the nullification bills currently in the Texas Legislature.
This was bad form from the Houston Chronicle. Many left biased news sources have tried to ridicule the various secession movements across the country. Hart used that same ridicule for the secession movements and apply it to the nullification efforts through guilt by association.
Outside of the opening paragraph, there is no mention of succession in the rest of the article. If I’m incorrect, then why use such a misdirecting headline when the significant majority of the article is about the nullification bills at the legislature and not about Texas secession?
The article continues by bringing in their “expert”, South Texas Law Professor Charles Rhodes. He referred to these nullification efforts as “political grandstanding.” Rhodes would continue by saying, “It is eminently clear that, under the Supremacy Clause that was part of our Constitution when the states ratified it, that the federal government is supreme.”
Here is the text of the Supremacy Clause:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof*; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
Both Rhodes failed to mention and the Chronicle conveniently left out the “in pursuance thereof” from the article. This is very important because legislation passed by the federal government is only “Supreme” when it is “in pursuance thereof” which means the delegated powers granted to the federal government by the states in Article I: Section 8 of the Constitution, otherwise it falls back to the states and the people via the Tenth Amendment.
The text of the Tenth Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
If South Texas Law Professor Charles Rhodes is correct, and then all legislation passed by the federal government is always supreme, why is there a Tenth Amendment?
And if the federal government passes Unconstitutional legislation, who ultimately decides its Constitutionality?
Five Black Robed figures from Mordor on the Potomac?
No, it isn’t.
It is the people of the states who ultimately decide the extent of federal power. After all, they delegated them in the first place.
Also, Rhodes doesn’t understand that according to the founders, everyone has a responsibility to determine the constitutionally of an issue, and not just the Supreme Court.
James Madison vetoed a federal transportation bill he supported because he didn’t think Congress had the authority to pass it. Today, presidents always sign bills they like and then let the Supreme Court decide its fate. This is not what the Founders had in mind.
When President John Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison responded with the “Principles of 98.” The States of Kentucky and Virginia both passed resolutions stating it was the states duty to interpose themselves between their citizens and the federal government. Jefferson said “nullification is the rightful remedy.”
The Texas Legislature will consider a number of bills designed to interpose our state between us and the Federal Government during this legislative session. If I must choose between the “Father of the Constitution” and the “Author of the Declaration of Independence” versus South Texas Law Professor Charlie Rhodes – no contest, Madison and Jefferson win in a landslide.
Tenth Amendment Center and its Texas Chapter support these nullification bills Hart references in her article. These bills would stop Obamacare, support Gun Rights, protect state citizens from the NDAA and from the daily violations of our Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights at our airports by the TSA.
I also have to wonder by Sen. Kirk Watson comments in the Hart article. The head of the Democratic Caucus called these bills “a distraction” and referring to Texas has “real problems and real needs” referring to education, roads and water.
Watson continues, “At some point, just not liking the president isn’t the basis of good public policy.” This is another guilt by association tactic being played here by Watson. President Obama is pushing forward an agenda that is clearly Unconstitutional and the states have the duty to interpose. I will concede that I don’t like Obama. My basis for not liking him isn’t because he is the president, it is because he is violating the Constitution. For the record, I disliked Bush for the same reasons.
Not suggesting that education, roads and water are not important, but based on Watson’s comments, I can only conclude that he supports the federal government detaining Texans without due process, and that he doesn’t have a problem with TSA agents groping little girls. Nope. Not a problem.
I guess these concerns are just too trivial for the good Senator Kirk Watson, “legal experts” like Rhodes and commentators like Hart.