The following was published as a letter to the editor in The Times-News of Burlington, NC
With the hype of this subject coming out almost daily it’s good to dispel some myths.
In 1798 nullification was born as a result of The Alien and Sedition Acts passed by the Federalists and John Adams. In summary, these acts meant people could not criticize the federal government. Yes, in the early U.S. journalists and others were arrested and jailed under these acts. The acts also stopped French immigrants from coming in while deporting others who were here.
At the time, Vice President Thomas Jefferson (back then the opposing party could be the vice president) and Gov. James Madison authored The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions to oppose these acts and they were passed by the respective state governments. Nullification was also used against Federal Conscription during the War of 1812. The most important example of nullification is how Northern states used it in the fight against slavery and Federal Fugitive Slave Act in the 1840s and 1850s. Nullification has never been used to propagate slavery. It was however wrongly used in an effort to stop integration of schools in the 1960s, and shame on those who did it.
So why do people hate nullification so much? If someone uses a hammer to murder someone should we just not use the hammer? Of course not, it’s good for hammering nails and building things. Liberals have used nullification for many years but often refer to it as “noncompliance”. Liberals have effectively stopped or slowed the removal of illegal immigrants by using sanctuary cities despite federal immigration law. Liberals have even advanced the legalization of medical marijuana to 20 states despite the Federal Controlled Substance Act and U.S. Supreme Court ruling states doing this was “unconstitutional”. And we haven’t even seen a Civil War over it either!
So my question is this: If progressives can do it for their pet issues why not conservatives?
Monopolies are never good, especially when in the form of an all-powerful central government. I think the time has come for diversity. Divide the government and unite the people. Nullify obvious unconstitutional laws.
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