Not for Racists

The following is a short excerpt from Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty

Nullification isn’t just for racists anymore.

In fact, it never was.

Nullification is about reining in an overreaching, ever growing federal government and corralling it within its constitutionally defined sphere.

Without a doubt, racists appealed to state sovereignty and nullification, and state governments advanced “states’ rights” arguments to justify trampling on the civil rights of black Americans during the 1940s, 50s and 60s. But those who point these facts out to discredit state sovereignty and nullification make a fallacious argument. The fact that some evil people turned to these principles to perpetuate an evil system of Jim Crow laws doesn’t negate their legitimacy and value, any more than a crazed lunatic wielding a hammer, committing murder, makes the hammer itself an evil tool. Hammers still come in pretty handy for driving nails. And as we’ve seen, nullification has primarily been advanced to promote freedom, liberty and justice.


Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder to gun, ammo makers: Missouri is open for business

JEFFERSON CITY – Lt. Governor Peter Kinder today urged Gov. Nixon and legislative leaders to back efforts to recruit firearms manufacturers to Missouri.

In West Plains, businessman John Negri has offered up land to any gun manufacturer that wants to move to the Ozarks, a proposal that has gained the support of Gun Owners of America, State Sen. Mike Cunningham and Lt. Governor Kinder. Also, the Missouri Legislature this session passed and sent the governor a measure that declares federal gun control laws unenforceable in Missouri. Meanwhile, Joplin State Rep. Bill White has filed legislation that would give similar businesses tax incentives to relocate to Missouri.

“For years, some states that are home to gun manufacturers have continued to bite the hand that feeds them, passing laws to restrict firearms,” Kinder said. “Some of those companies now are deciding it’s time to pull out and move to more friendly pastures. I encourage Gov. Nixon and lawmakers to send a concerted message to these manufacturers: Missouri welcomes you.”

Beretta recently announced it will leave Maryland, Magpul has promised to leave Colorado and Colt Manufacturing has announced that, after 175 years, it is leaving Connecticut. PTR Industries, which makes high-end rifles in Bristol, Conn., also has said it plans to leave.

Other potential gun-manufacturers that might consider leaving Connecticut are Strum, Ruger & Co., Stag Arms and Mossberg & Sons. Fox News reported the companies represent about 3,000 jobs and an estimated $1.75 billion in annual taxable revenue.


IRS Lied to Congress about Targeting Tea Party

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

On Friday, the IRS admitted that when “social welfare” groups with the terms “tea party” or “patriot” in their names applied for 501(c)(4)/tax-exempt status, IRS agents targeted them for extra (and extra-legal) scrutiny to ensure they were not engaged in politicking. The Washington Post reports, “about 75 groups were selected for extra inquiry — including, in some cases, improper requests for the names of donors.” IRS agents did not apply similar scrutiny to groups with “progressive” in their names.

Over the weekend, more details emerged. It now appears the IRS lied to Congress about this practice for more than a year. It also appears the IRS is still targeting tea-party groups today, in part because IRS bureaucrats believe groups that “educat[e] on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” deserve greater scrutiny.

Here’s a rundown.

Senior IRS officials have known about these abuses for nearly two years. The Associated Press reports: “Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011…on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog’s report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with ‘Tea Party,’ ‘Patriot’ or ‘9/12 Project’ in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny…Lerner instructed agents to change the criteria for flagging groups ‘immediately’…”. IRS agents also gave extra scrutiny to groups that “criticize how the country is being run.”

The IRS tried to get away with it again. The Washington Post reports:


Compact for America: Saving the Republic by Fixing the Debt?

by Nick Dranias

Nearly twenty years ago, on May 23, 1994, President Ronald Reagan wrote a personal letter to Lew Uhler of the National Tax Limitation Committee lamenting the then-latest failed attempt by Congress to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment:

We can’t depend on Congress to discipline itself, as House and Senate leaders have once again demonstrated in rejecting a balanced budget amendment . . . . it is clear that we must rely on the states to force Congress to act on our amendment. Fortunately, our Nation’s Founders gave us the means to amend the Constitution through action of state legislatures, which you have been wisely pursuing . . . . That is the only strategy that will work . . . . Unless we act and act quickly, the people in the White House and those running Congress will bankrupt America.

What Reagan was referring to was the manifest need for state legislatures to advance a Balanced Budget Amendment by exercising their power under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to apply to Congress for a convention for proposing constitutional amendments. As observed by James Madison in Federalist No. 43, Article V gives the states the same power as Congress to originate constitutional amendments. Now that Washington has kicked the can yet again instead of fixing the debt—and President Obama’s administration has made it clear that it prefers having no debt limit at all—isn’t it time to take President Reagan up on his recommendation?

After all, unlike any prudent household, Washington simply refuses to balance its budget. Washington has become so addicted to borrowing money that the outstanding national debt exceeds $16.5 trillion. Our outstanding national debt now exceeds 100% of Gross Domestic Product, a figure not seen since World War II, and it is heading to 200% in the near future. The 2012 federal fiscal year operating deficit was $1.1 trillion. For the fourth fiscal year running, Congress has failed to pass an annual federal budget under which to operate our country.

As Reagan knew too well, the solution to our national debt problem will not be found in Washington. The country faces an overconcentration of power to incur unlimited debt that is too easily leveraged by special interests to enrich themselves at the expense of current and future generations. No matter which party is in control, Congress has been borrowing trillions of dollars from future generations, whose voices cannot be heard, to shower money on special interests who dominate Washington.


Action Alert: Maine Legislation Would Nullify Unconstitutional Federal Hemp Ban

Maine LD 525 is an Act to Promote Industrial Hemp. It would nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on this important agricultural crop. It recently passed out the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry by a vote of 12-1 and will soon be heard on the full house for a debate and vote.

Under current Maine law, hemp is legal for certain purposes, though the law mandates that an individual can’t receive a license to grow until federal law changes – this measure would remove that requirement, and would allow farmers in the state to begin cultivating hemp this year – with or without federal “permission”

Representative Harvelll has indicated that there is support in both the House and the Senate. However, he still hasn’t received word on the Governor’s position. To move LD525 forward, call not only your representative, but call the Governor.

Your help is needed right now to move this legislation forward!

1. Contact your state representative.  Just because it has been indicated that there is support, tell representatives that you want LD525 passed. Strongly, but respectfully, let them know that you want a YES vote on LD525.  This bill is important for Maine farmers, it’s important for jobs, and it’s important for the economy.

Contact info here:

2. Also contact the Governor. Ask him to support LD525.


Sebelius Shakes Down Companies She Regulates for Cash to Implement ObamaCare

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’ latest abuse of power has strengthened the case for her removal from office. Before discussing her latest misconduct, let’s review some of Sebelius’ past abuses of power.

  • In 2010, Sebelius described anonymous political speech as “dangerous.” Ironically, Sebelius’ lashing out at her political opponents’ free-speech rights is dangerous because it is the sort of rhetoric that might encourage agencies like the IRS to target groups that “criticize how the country is being run.” That’s exactly what the IRS has admitted doing – which in turn is a good argument for protecting anonymous political speech.
  • So too is Sebelius’ 2010 threat to put health insurance companies out of business. Shortly after ObamaCare became law, insurers began telling their customers how much it was going to increase their premiums. In a September 2010 letter to insurers, Sebelius shot back that premiums would rise no more than 2 percent, even as her department predicted increases as high as 7 percent. Insurers that didn’t toe the party line “may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014.” That was no idle threat, I wrote at the time. Since “Medicare’s chief actuary predicts that in the future, ‘essentially all‘ Americans will get their health insurance through those exchanges,” Sebelius was essentially threatening to put insurers out of business if they disagreed with her.
  • In 2011, Sebelius approved her department issuing hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to private health insurance companies under the rubric of ObamaCare that the statute expressly forbids HHS to issue.
  • In 2012, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel concluded that Sebelius violated the Hatch Act by campaigning for President Obama and other political candidates while traveling on official business, an offense for which other federal workers are fired.
  • In a July 2012 letter to the nation’s governors, Sebelius arbitrarily rewrote and narrowedthe Supreme Court’s ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius to allow HHS to continue coercing states into implementing parts of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion.
  • When it became apparent that two-thirds of states would not implement one of ObamaCare’s health insurance “exchanges,” Sebelius dismissed the idea that a lack of congressionally authorized funding for federal Exchanges would stop her department from implementing them. “We are going to get it done,” she said. Now we learn she substituted her own judgment for Congress’ by raiding ObamaCare’s Prevention and Public Health Fund to the tune of $454 million to fund federal Exchanges. But even that wasn’t enough.

Now we learn, from the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff, “Sebelius has, over the past three months, made multiple phone calls to health industry executives, community organizations and church groups and directly asked that they contribute to non-profits that are working to enroll uninsured Americans and increase awareness of the law.”


McLeod County, Minnesota Passes 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution

By a close 3-2 vote last week, the County Commissioners in McLeod County, Minnesota approved a resolution in support of the 2nd Amendment.

The resolution calls for all local agencies to stand down and refuse to enforce federal gun control measures, and for the state to pass legislation which would nullify the same.

It reads, in part:

All federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms are a violation of the 2nd Amendment

SECTION 2: PROHIBITION ON FEDERAL INFRINGEMENT OF THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS A. The McLeod County Board of Commissioners resolves that all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations – past, present or future – in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violate its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers; and are hereby declared to be invalid in this county, shall not be recognized by this county, are specifically rejected by this county, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this county.

B. The McLeod County Board of Commissioners calls upon the Governor and Legislators of the State of Minnesota to immediately pass an act to nullify the implementation within the State of Minnesota of any Federal law, executive order or regulations restricting the right to keep and bear arms

Local support will play a vital role in the success of those who want to protect the right to keep and bear arms. The resolution is a great first step, as it gets the commissioners on record in support of the 2nd Amendment. But, since it’s non-binding, it will require another step to have concrete effect. Cities within the county – and the county board itself – should follow up this resolution with ordinances prohibiting any cooperation with federal agents attempting to enforce acts violating the Second Amendment. Such an ordinance will give these statements teeth.


Top Denver Post Columnist Exposes Weakness of Anti-TABOR Theory

Veteran Denver Post (and former Rocky Mountain News) columnist Vincent Carroll writes here about the overweaning ambition of those who support the anti-TABOR lawsuit. That lawsuit claims that because Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) imposes fiscal limits on the power of the state legislature—that is, restricts lawmakers’ power to tax, spend, and borrow— it violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee to each state of a “republican form of government.”

Mr. Carroll thereby indirectly supports a point made earlier in this blog, and supported by an II study: Because almost every state restricts the legislature’s financial powers in some way, the theory of the anti-TABOR lawsuit would threaten clauses in the constitutions of almost every state.


Texas Action Alert: Help Nullify Federal Gun Control

Representative Matt Krause’s bill, House Bill 928 is Texas’s Second Amendment Preservation Act.  Last week, it passed the full House with an amazing vote of 102-31.   It now moves to the state Senate, where it will have its first committee hearing today, 05-13-13.

HB928 is currently in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs & Homeland Security, where committee chair, Senator Estes, is the Senate bill sponsor for the legislation.

A public hearing is scheduled for May 13th at 1:30pm in hearing room E1.012  This bill is in the final stages for passage. The Tenth Amendment Center needs your help to keep moving HB928 forward.

ACTION ITEMS for Texas HB928

1.  Contact the Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs & Homeland Security.  Senator Estes has agreed to be the sponsor in the Senate. Call him and thank him for sponsoring.  Politely ask him to move the bill forward quickly so it can get to the Governor’s desk.

Senator Estes  (512) 463-0130

2.  Contact all the rest of the members of the Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs & Homeland Security.  Respectfully urge each of them to vote YES on HB928 to move this bill forward in the Senate.