Is Nullification Racist?

Proponents of nullification continue to spread the message that the solutions that Americans say they want will not be found at the federal level.  They painstakingly show how the principle is constitutional, supported by history and attractive to people from all points of view.  Yet, despite these efforts one charge is always leveled at nullification in an attempt to shut down debate.  This charge is that nullification is synonymous with racism.

The people who trumpet this charge base it on two points, the accurate statement that several southern states attempted to nullify desegregation in the 1950s and the inaccurate statement that the South used nullification to protect slavery in the first half of the 19th Century.  However, if we look at nullification’s history we find that it becomes incredibly difficult to make the claim that nullification is racist in principle.

Let’s review some of the ways in which the principles of nullification have been used with respect to race.

1826: Pennsylvania enacts a Personal Liberty Law which makes it more difficult to return runaway slaves to bondage.  The Supreme Court later declares this law unconstitutional.

1854-1858: Passage of Northern Personal Liberty Laws, state laws aimed at nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (eight Northern states pass laws to this effect and Ohio passes two).


New Jersey is Losing the Battle of State Sovereignty by Asking Permission

Currently, online gambling has been signed into New Jersey State law and will be effective in about 3-9 months after the state Division of Gaming Enforcement sets a start date. This bill will allow all games played at Atlantic City to be available in an online format to accessed in New Jersey, other states, and even foreign countries. This law isn’t the right way to express State Sovereignty. It’s not even a nullification bill at all.

In fact, the law goes through great lengths to prove that New Jersey has found enough loopholes into being compliant with federal law.

In October 2006, the United States Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, 31 U.S.C. 5361 et seq., which generally prohibits the use of banking instruments, including credit cards, checks, and fund transfers, for interstate Internet gambling, essentially prohibiting online gambling by United States citizens, but which includes exceptions that permit individual states to create a regulatory framework to enable intrastate Internet gambling, provided that the bets or wagers are made exclusively within a single state under certain circumstances;

This law states right off the bat, the supremacy of this law belongs to the feds.

“Internet gaming in this State shall be subject to the provisions of, and preempted and superseded by, any applicable federal law. Internet gaming in this State shall be deemed to take place where a casino’s server is located in Atlantic City regardless of the player’s physical location within this State.”

Just like the Powerball lotto in many states, this law follows the federal regulations to a tee.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of pending before the Legislature as this bill, wagers may be accepted thereunder from persons who are not physically present in this State if the Division of Gaming Enforcement in the Department of Law and Public Safety determines that such wagering is not inconsistent with federal law or the law of the jurisdiction, including any foreign nation, in which any such person is located, or such wagering is conducted pursuant to an interstate compact to which this State is a party that is not inconsistent with federal law.”

This law includes taking bribes from the feds to distribute public service announcements on the dangers of gambling.


Do you believe in self-rule?

Do you believe in self-rule?  Can people determine for themselves how to live and what kind of governmental system that they will live under?

Sure you do!


But are you sure?

Please, consider the following questions:

Should the federal government be involved in regulating marijuana?

Should the federal government be involved in regulating other drugs?

Should the federal government establish a central bank?

Should the federal government declare anyone an enemy combatant without due process?

Should the federal government regulate marriage: gay or straight?

Should the federal government take either the Pro-Choice or Pro-Life stance on abortions?

Should the federal government regulate guns?

Should the federal government interfere in the health care market?

Should the federal government interfere in education?

If you answered “Yes,” to any of these questions, then on some level you don’t believe in the concept of self-rule.  Therefore, you are imposing your values or morals on others who might not share them.


SB0471/HB415: Why Tennessee Needs Legislative Control of Its US Senators

no-amendment-171Here at the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center, we have received questions from a number of people about the SB0471 and its companion bill HB0415, sponsored by Sen. Frank Niceley and Rep. Harry Brooks respectively. Because of the confusion, we at TN-TAC thought it prudent to clarify why we have endorsed the bill.

In a nutshell, the bill would allow the parties represented in the state legislature to choose the nominees for U.S. Senate that would then be placed on the ballot for the general election in November.

Additionally, the bill does provide options for third parties to put candidates on the ballot, stating “A minor party may nominate persons for the United States Senate in any manner authorized pursuant to § 2-13-203(a)(2).”

[Read the full text here:]

Back to the Beginning

So why is it important for the state legislature to be able to control U.S. Senators? To start, let’s go back to the method the founding fathers gave us for selecting U.S. Senators. Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.”

Many people who have never read or hastily skimmed over this section of the U.S. Constitution are often perplexed as to why the founders chose to do this. As you’ll see, the reason they did so has EVERYTHING to do with the Tenth Amendment.

The Federalist Papers were written by the framers and proponents of the Constitution during the ratification process to explain the new Constitution to the people. So, let’s turn there for some clarification.

The Federalist #62 explains that by having the state legislatures appoint U.S. Senators it would serve as a check on federal power by the state governments.