Reading Steve Benen’s article Nullification must never be on the table, I was left trying to decide: is Steve an idiot or a liar?
I’ll let you decide.
“Not to put too fine a point on this, but there’s nothing to discuss — state lawmakers can’t pick and choose which federal laws they’ll honor,” or so says Steve.
Well I guess it’s settled then. “There’s nothing to discuss.” Nullification is a no no!
What — you don’t buy his argument?
Well, neither do I.
When I saw his article, I was drawn to the picture of Abraham Lincoln standing in front of a Union Army tent with the caption “The last time we had a debate over nullification.”
Intrigued I read on. “For context, it’s worth remembering that there was a rather spirited debate in the mid-19th century over whether states could choose to ignore federal laws. The debate was resolved by a little something called the U.S. Civil War — those who argued in support of nullification lost.”
At that point, I alternated between laughter and complete disbelief. How could anyone make such a ridiculous statement? Steve should know those who argued in support of nullification WON!
A history lesson for Steve from the “South Carolina’s Declaration of Causes” — “The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them.”
What were those northern states “nullifying” that angered South Carolina enough to secede? That’s right those unconstitutional FEDERAL fugitive slave laws that denied escaped slaves the protections of the Bill of Rights and allowed for them to be dragged back into bondage.
Then Steve goes on to criticize Montana and Tennessee, and by extension all other states that “are looking to nullify gun laws that don’t yet exist.” Well, maybe the new crop of gun control “laws” haven’t made their way through Congress yet, but President Obama issued 23 Executive Orders that infringe on the Second Amendment.
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” — Second Amendment
So, what part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand Steve?
Then there is that laughable excuse for journalism regurgitated by so many in the “news media” — North Carolina will establish a state religion.
“Let’s also not forget that in North Carolina, there’s pending legislation that says the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the state, federal courts can’t determine what’s constitutional under the U.S. Constitution, and North Carolina has the right to declare its own state religion.”
First, it is a resolution NOT a bill. A bill has the force of law; a resolution has the same legal standing as a group people agreeing they all like chocolate ice cream.
Second, nowhere in the RESOLUTION does it say they want to establish a state religion. The “reporter” decided North Carolina was going to establish a state religion because the RESOLUTION repeated several times the section of the First Amendment in regards to religion “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
“Congress shall make no law” looks like simple English to me. The Amendment rules out the federal government, so what about the states? Hmmm, they’re not in there. So, the Constitution plainly leaves it up to the states to handle all matters concerning religion. How do states get the power to decide matters of religion? The Tenth Amendment makes that clear.
“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.”
I’m sure Steve is jumping up and down yelling Supremacy Clause, Supremacy Clause!
“This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; … shall be the supreme law of the land.” That annoying “made in pursuance thereof” part of the Supremacy Clause spoils everything for those that want to expand federal power.
Steve says, “Lawmakers were well aware of the fact that these bills are unconstitutional under existing Supreme Court precedent.”
Wrongheaded misinterpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court that becomes a precedent is still wrongheaded. The Supreme Court said the Fugitive Slave Laws, Dred Scott and Japanese American internment were all constitutional. I don’t think Steve would like those precedents enforced.
Then again, maybe he would.
But wait there’s more!
Please follow this link to another article written only hours later by Steve: Public attitudes on marijuana shifting quickly.
“What’s more, 72 percent of Americans believe government efforts to enforce marijuana “cost more than they are worth,” and of particular interest after last year’s elections, 60 percent believe the federal government should not enforce federal laws in states that allow for marijuana use.”
Come on Steve! You’re not going to attack states that nullify federal drug “laws,” are you? Or is selective nullification good; is that right Steve?
Back to my question, is Steve an idiot or a liar?