I talk to Brion McClanahan, author of The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution, in this brief video. I was in a funny mood this morning, so I decided to include a blooper at the end.
State Senator Clark Jolley, chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Oklahoma Senate, suppressed a recent nullification bill there. (On nullification, see StateNullification.com and NullificationFAQ.com.) A friend sent me a copy of his letter to a constituent. It reads, in part: Nullification is simply a fantasy that is the most dangerous type – one semi based in reality. It [...]
In Mississippi, House Bill 490 would establish a commission to evaluate the constitutionality of federal actions and prevent the enforcement of unconstitutional ones. (They are calling this neutralization, not nullification, but it’s the same thing.) Naturally, the Opinion Police are appalled at this; this idea does not appear on the 3×5 card of positions we [...]
And a local reporter condemns him with the same old fourth-grade arguments. He gives us the Supremacy Clause (which he evidently thinks Thomas Jefferson didn’t know about), which he takes to mean that any old federal law trumps all state law, an interpretation that would have come as a surprise to the ratifiers. He gives us [...]
A very predictable progressive, I might add. Once in a while a progressive, like Jeff Taylor at Jacksonville State, realizes that gigantic, unresponsive bureaucracies that bomb foreign populations at the drop of a hat, just might — might! — not be so progressive. And that the old progressive slogan “small is beautiful” just might apply [...]
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that Rand Paul’s threat to “nullify” Obama’s executive orders pertaining to guns was a poor choice of words; “nullify” is a “code word,” he says. What’s it a code word for? Kaine won’t say: It’s a states right argument that gets used in times of great controversy. [...]
In an article called “What Everybody Needs to Know About Our Constitution and Gun Control,” Juan Williams of FOX News writes: Gun control is completely consistent with the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And President Obama is on target with the great American tradition of proposing gun control laws for Congressional approval [...]
Robert Parry is a left-wing writer who tries to make the Framers of the Constitution into Hillary Clinton, 200 years early. He makes the same arguments again and again. I refute them. He continues to make them. He pretends my answers do not exist. This time, he’s got the whole leftist kit and kaboodle in one [...]
In case you haven’t seen this yet, here’s CNN’s Piers Morgan interviewing my friend Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America. Morgan behaves like a child, using the words “stupid” and “idiot” to refer to his guest, and Pratt keeps his cool. Morgan is totally outclassed, though that itself isn’t much of a feat, I [...]
Don Gaetz, president of the Florida state senate, recently responded to an attorney’s defense of Thomas Jefferson’s principle of state nullification of unconstitutional laws as follows: Thank you for your email and for your passionate views. Like you, I believe Obamacare is unconstitutional and wrong-headed policy. I have consistently voted in the Florida Legislature for legislation that [...]
I am thinking a lot about taxation in light of all this “fiscal cliff” talk. According to the late Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick in his 1974 book Anarchy, State, and Utopia, ”taking the earnings of n hours of labor” is not different from “forcing the person to work n hours for another’s purpose,” and therefore the taxation [...]
A reader writes: “My non-religious Libertarian friends completely disagree with my view that we are endowed with unalienable rights by our Creator. That being said, do you agree with that? (Right to be free, right to live) and if so, how can I defend my position to someone who feels rights can only come from a state?” If your friends don’t believe [...]
State nullification is Thomas Jefferson’s idea, derived from the Richmond Ratification Convention of 1788, that the states must refuse to allow the enforcement of unconstitutional federal laws within their borders. Here’s an overview of nullification. Here are answers to common objections. Here’s how the mainstream media treats nullification. Here’s my book Nullification, with endorsements from Judge [...]
I run into this claim quite a lot. A lot of the people advancing it are fans of G. Edward Griffin, and this is why I find it so odd that this theory has gained so much traction. Griffin discounts the theory in his excellent book The Creature from Jekyll Island. More on that in a [...]
Someone on my Facebook page (which I hope you will ‘like’) asked about defending the electoral college: should he make the argument that electors will have more sober and impartial judgment than the fickle masses, etc.? I wouldn’t. Given that the electors are nearly always party machine people, almost none of them will be independent [...]
My remarks at the Mises Institute’s Mises Circle in Manhattan.
I first encountered Professor Gerard Casey of University College, Dublin, in 2004, when I was having a debate on economics with some pretty nasty people. Across the water he was giving a public lecture in my defense, but with one caveat: I wasn’t hardcore enough, he said. This is my kind of guy, I thought. [...]
I have four things to say. (1) David Weidner wrote an article critical of the gold standard. (2) The article contains gems of knowledge like this: Another problem is that rather than try to improve our currency systems, we keep going back to this 600 B.C. technology that’s a step up from seashells. Gold is pretty, but [...]
I bring this up not to endorse or criticize either Jefferson or Madison, but just as a good example of the feedback members get in the Liberty Classroom forums. Someone asked, “In a letter Jefferson wrote to Madison about the Constitution he talked about how laws should have a termination date of 19 years. This option was [...]
One of my pet peeves is the conservative who lectures us on the “limits” of markets and looks with a self-satisfied and condescending shake of the head upon the stupid rubes he must endure who persist in supporting the market all the same. Why, haven’t these dopes read Wilhelm Roepke, whose views are to be [...]
In my exchange with Dean Clancy, I presented (in the comments section) a few of the initial problems that opponents of the compact theory of the Union (which holds that the Union was created by the sovereign peoples of the states) have to confront. The nationalist view, by contrast, holds that the Union was created by a singular [...]
Pastor Douglas Wilson, who sent me this video, urges the governor and legislators of Idaho to embrace nullification. He kindly references my book on the subject around 18:18.
From The O’Reilly Factor, email segment for July 5: “Bill, you keep asking what the Republicans have to replace Obamacare. Under the Constitution, there is no role for the Federal government in healthcare.” –Felicia O’Reilly: “That’s not true, Felicia. The opening paragraph of the Constitution says the welfare of the people must be promoted. A [...]
On the forums over at my Liberty Classroom, a member asks Brion McClanahan, one of our faculty members: “You mention in part one of Mr. Lincoln’s War that Jefferson believed there would eventually be multiple American federal republics. Can you tell me where to find more information on his thoughts regarding this?” Professor McClanahan replied: Jefferson [...]