When we talk about NSA spying or indefinite detention under the NDAA, many Americans simply shrug. When we point out the potential for evil in allowing the U.S. government to exercise these kinds of powers, they wave off our warnings as unfounded. “That could never happen here,” the confidently assure us. But it has. Too…Details
File this in the category of more evidence nullification works.
Last week, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice essentially backed down in the face of marijuana legalization by popular vote in both Colorado and Washington state, saying the feds won’t challenge the state laws defying federal statute, as long as the states create “tightly regulated” markets that address eight federal “enforcement priorities.”
The DOJ announcement apparently made a lot of cops mad.
And as Huffington Post columnist Ryan Grim points out, “If there had been doubt about how meaningful Holder’s move was, the fury reflected in the police response eliminates it.”
In a joint letter, the leaders of seven national law enforcement organizations pitched a little fit. The groups represented include the National Sheriffs’ Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies and the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association.Details
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Another domino tumbled late last week.
It started when Eric Holder’s Department of Justice essentially backed down in the face of marijuana legalization by popular vote in both Colorado and Washington state, saying it would not challenge the new state laws defying federal statute, as long as the states create “tightly regulated” markets that address eight federal “enforcement priorities.”
Then, seven national law enforcement agencies threw a hissy-fit. They sent an angry letter to the DOJ complaining about the enforcement decision. Their main concern?
“The failure of the Department of Justice to challenge state policies that clearly contradict Federal law is both unacceptable and unprecedented. The failure of the Federal government to act in this matter is an open invitation to other states to legalize marijuana in defiance of federal law.” [Emphasis original]
Huffington Post columnist Ryan Grim grasped the significance of the law enforcement panic attack, “If there had been doubt about how meaningful Holder’s move was, the fury reflected in the police response eliminates it,” he wrote.
That very same day, Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner James Comer proved the cops’ fears legitimate, but with a twist. He said the DOJ retreat gives Kentucky the green light to move forward with hemp cultivation. According to an Ag Commission press release, “In a landmark ruling, the Justice Department has reversed its policy and will honor state laws regarding regulated marijuana sales. Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, a national leader in the industrial hemp movement, believes the ruling includes the production of industrial hemp.”Details
Earlier this year, the Missouri legislature passed a Second Amendment Preservation Act that would nullify unconstitutional federal actions violating the right to keep and bear arms. Gov. Nixon vetoed it. The legislature will have a chance to override in September.
On Saturday, the New York Times came out with an editorial using the Missouri bill as a springboard to ridicule those who think the federal government should not willy-nilly violate the Second Amendment.
As a measure of the gun culture’s dangerous sway over statehouse politicians, it is hard to top the pending proposal in Missouri that would pronounce all federal gun safety laws null and void in the state and allow the arrest of federal agents who try to enforce them.
In typical arrogant fashion, the Times editorial board proceeds as if no rational argument for the Missouri nullification bill exists so they can get right to painting supporters as ignorant, redneck, extremist, nutjobs. The board uses words like “bizarre” and “laughable” to describe efforts to stop the federal government from ignoring the constitutional limitations on its power. I suppose that makes James Madison “bizarre” and “laughable” for penning Federalist 46.Details
Did you know there was a strong and vocal secession movement in the north prior to the Civil War?
Most people don’t. That bit of history pretty much disappeared down the Orwellian memory hole long ago.
In fact, radical abolitionists did advance the idea of secession. They argued that non-slave states simply could not remain associated with those allowing such a vile and immoral institution.
Slavery was so contentious, Congress passed a Gag Rule in 1836. All petitions relating to slavery were tabled without referring them to a committee, printing them or even discussing them. Essentially, Congress swept the issue under the rug.Details
I supported the Bush wars. Actually, his daddy’s wars too. And Clinton’s wars. In fact, I pretty much supported all of the wars.
My worldview has shifted 180 degrees over the last five years.
Since the war drums started pounding out their cadence, driving the march toward Syria, I’ve spoken openly about my opposition to intervention. I even made a photo expressing my anti-war sentiment my Facebook profile pic.
I admit; it feels a little weird. A bit uncomfortable. Kind of like putting on a shoe that doesn’t quite fit. Or maybe putting on a shoe that fits just right after spending most of my life sporting ill-fitting footwear.
Here’s the thing: supporting war isn’t hard. Rage and hate come easily. War is bellicose and powerful. In my warmongering days, I could simply ridicule opponents. Shout them down. Paint them as unpatriotic, unamerican, cowards and trample over them. They were weak. I was strong.Details
During the regular session, the Missouri legislature passed a Second Amendment Protection Act that would nullify unconstitutional federal actions violating the right to keep and bear arms. Gov. Nixon vetoed it. The legislature will have a chance to override in September. The Joplin Globe published the following guest column by Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey addressing two of the most common arguments against the bill.
In a few weeks, the Missouri legislature will consider overriding Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill nullifying federal actions violating the Second Amendment.
As the debate rages, opponents of HB436 make two fallacious arguments. First, they argue the Constitution’s supremacy clause renders HB436 unconstitutional. Second, they paint nullification as a discredited tool primarily used unsuccessfully to fight desegregation.
Nixon cited the supremacy clause as his reason for vetoing HB436.
“To me, it is not a gun issue, it is a law issue,” he said.Details
Conservative commentator Mark Levin has created quite a buzz with his latest book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic.
Levin argues for an Article V constitutional convention with the purpose of passing 11 amendments. Some of the proposals include term limiting judges and members of Congress, repealing the 17th Amendment, amendments to limit federal spending and taxation, and an amendment to limit federal bureaucracy.
The Framers provided two methods for amending the Constitution. The second was intended for our current circumstances—empowering the states to bypass Congress and call a convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution. Levin argues that we, the people, can avoid a perilous outcome by seeking recourse, using the method called for in the Constitution itself.
Readers will find plenty to debate in Levin’s book. Will these proposals actually work to limit federal power? Are these the absolute best amendments to consider? Will the American people rally to the cause with enough vigor to push the amendments to ratification? Some will even question to wisdom of calling an Article V convention in the first place, arguing that the risk of a runaway process further empowering the federal government outweighs any potential benefits.
While I find any legitimate proposal that could lead to limiting federal power worth debating, I question those who view amendments as a silver bullet, especially those who reject nullification as a viable path toward stopping DC’s relentless usurpation. The federal government absolutely refuses to acknowledge any limits on its power and follow the Constitution as written. What makes anybody think the feds will suddenly give up power because we slap down some new rules? Do people really believe the federal government will suddenly become constrained and release its grip on power just because we pass some new amendments, essentially saying, “We know you’ve ignored every constraint on your power and authority for the last 100 years, but dammit, we really mean it this time!”Details
The founding generation had many reasons for wanting to form a ‘more perfect union.’
Having fought a long bloody war for freedom, many recognized the advantages the union offered in terms of mutual defense. At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin famously quipped, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Along those same lines, many founders believed the states would fare better in international relations interacting with other world powers as a united entity. Even operating as a union, the Americans were at a significant power disadvantage when dealing with England, France, Spain and other European powers. Separately, they would have virtually no power.
Then there were the economic advantages of a union. In much the same way unity increased diplomatic power, it also increased the America’s economic power.
Alexander Hamilton even argued that a single general government would conserve American resources.Details
Over the weekend, CSPAN aired a discussion on nullification featuring Ian Millhiser of the progressive Center for American Progress and Ilya Shapiro of the libertarian CATO Institute.
Presumably, the discussion was journalistically balanced because it featured two men from polar opposite ends of the political spectrum. And while that might constitute “balance” in some sense of the word, it certainly wasn’t a balanced discussion on the principles of nullification, because everybody in the room opposed the idea.
Millhiser kicked things off by rightly pointing out that states gave up some sovereignty when they delegated specific powers to the general government, but went on to totally misrepresent nullification.
“Now you’re seeing some states who are basically saying they want to go back on that deal that they made when we became a union and say that the states should be allowed to overrule valid federal law that they don’t like.”
Shapiro essentially agreed, with the caveat that the feds can’t force states to enforce federal statutes.
“The Supreme Court has been quite clear on that. What states cannot do is stop federal officers from enforcing federal law. States can’t pass a law that, as Ian said, nullifies federal law.”
There you have it. These two guys agree. No nullification!
What a great “debate!”Details