Non-compliance Works: Statistics are Proving Our Point

We can neuter the feds simply by refusing to join them on the playground.

There is a lot of talk these days about how liberty yields to “security” and how government has grown in size and power with the “War on Terror.” But in reality, this national security state has existed as a permanent installation since the Cold War. And its not just foreign wars driving the militarized state. The decades long War on Drugs has contributed as much, if not more.

But here is some good news: recently released data on the “Drug War” indicates  so-called security may, in fact, be yielding to liberty!

“Decreased availability of local law enforcement personnel to assist in eradication efforts” is one of the primary concerns for the unconstitutional Drug Enforcement Administration. Federal statistics showed a drop of 60 percent  in the amount of marijuana destroyed. In 2009, over 10 million plants were seized, but in 2012 that number fell below four million.

Buried in this statistic, we see the power and potential of state nullification. With 19 states authorizing medical marijuana, and Washington and Colorado legalizing weed for recreational use, we see the carpet slipping out from under the feds. Each time a state takes control of its own marijuana policy, it has less incentive to cooperate with the feds in eradicating weed. That leaves the DEA to operate on its own. And it simply can’t do it. The feds lack the funding and manpower to control marijuana in all 50 states against the will of the people.

And the will of the people has turned against the war on marijuana. A Pew Research poll shows 59 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans think the feds should back off enforcing federal drug laws in states with legalized marijuana. The lack of public will translates to a lack of political will. With states facing tight budgets, officials simply won’t waste resources helping the feds enforce unconstitutional and unpopular acts. In California and other states, the funds simply aren’t there to lend support to the feds. Even if people don’t embrace, or even understand, the principles of nullification, the effect is the same: the federal “laws” become unenforceable.

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New Hampshire Legislature Nullifies Federal “Laws” on Marijuana

CONCORD, N.H.  – New Hampshire moved a step forward toward legalizing marijuana for medical use, joining the swelling ranks of states nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on weed.  The Legislature voted 284-66 Wednesday in favor of HB 573 and the bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

The bill allows patients diagnosed with cancer, Crohn’s disease and approximately twenty initially approved conditions to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana obtained from one of four dispensaries authorized by the state.

‘‘All of us recognize it has been proven to provide relief from pain and suffering,’’ Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) said.

Even so, the feds define alleviating suffering as a criminal activity. Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But the opinions of black-robed judicial oracles don’t magically transform the meaning of the Constitution. It delegates no power to regulate plants grown and used within the borders of a state. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.

None.

Doubt this? Then ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to legalize federal alcohol prohibition?

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Second Pennsylvania Constable Pledges to Protect Second Amendment

Across the U.S., we’ve seen local officials stepping in to affirm their commitment to the Second Amendment.

On June 15,  Constable of the 3rd Ward of the Borough of Perkasie, Pa. added to the chorus, becoming the second state constable to sign a Second Amendment Preservation resolution.

 I, Andrew Rumbold, Constable of the 3rdWard of the Borough of Perkasie, Bucks County, declare that all federal, state, or local acts, actions, orders, resolutions, rules, or regulations regarding firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition – past, present, or future – shall be in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and Article 1, Sections 1 and 21 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and violate the rights and duties of lawful citizens and were and are null and void from their inception and will not be implemented,enforced, or otherwise supported in this Commonwealth by the Office of Constable of the 3rd Ward of the Borough of Perkasie,

FURTHER, in keeping with my oath to support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, I hereby express my commitment to interpose this office and stand in defense of all persons including citizens and lawful residents of the United States within this Commonwealth, against any and all attempts by any agents of the government to subject the people to unconstitutional seizure of their firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition…”

In Pennsylvania, constable is an elected office with a six year term. The office falls under the executive branch and the governor, but ultimately constables answer to the people. They are considered “peace officers” and have arrest powers.

Local resolutions send a strong message to lawmakers in Harrisburg and increase the chance of passing state-level legislation blocking violations of the Second Amendment. When officials like Rumbold and towns like Holly Springs take a stand, it also lays the ground work for the next step: city and county ordinances nullifying unconstitutional federal gun laws.

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Majority Wrong, Justice Thomas Right, in Arizona Immigration Case

NOTE: This is the first of several short commentaries on recent Supreme Court decisions.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that portions of Arizona’s immigration law violate federal statutes. In his dissent, Justice Thomas relied heavily on my own research.

The Independence Institute did not participate in that case. So how did it happen that I was cited? In 2010 the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law published my article on the original meaning of a constitutional provision relevant to the decision. The provision is Article I, Section 4—which the Court called the “Elections Clause,” but is more accurately entitled the “Times, Places and Manner Clause.” The Clause provides that the states may regulate the “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives,” but that Congress may override most of these regulations.

In the article, I discuss exactly what the Founders meant by the phrase “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections,” and how Congress’s power over its own elections should be interpreted.

The recent case involved whether Arizona’s requirement that voters show proof of citizenship when registering to vote violated federal law. The Court had to decide how widely to read a federal statute and how widely to read Congress’s authority under the Times, Places and Manner Clause.

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Alaska Becomes Second State to Pass Nullification of Indefinite Detention

JUNEAU, Alaska – Federal kidnapping in Alaska just got a lot harder.

Last Friday, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell signed a sweeping nullification bill providing  broad protections against indefinite detention, violations of the Second Amendment and blocking implementation of a federal identification program in The Last Frontier.

HB69 prohibits “state and municipal agencies from using assets to implement or aid in the implementation of the requirements of certain federal statutes, regulations, rules, and orders that are applied to infringe on a person’s right to bear arms or right to due process or that implement or aid in the implementation of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.”

“The people of Alaska got a three-for-one in this bill. This is the most sweeping nullification legislation ever signed into law. The Alaska legislature, along with Gov. Parnell, obviously take Madison’s assertion that states are ‘duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil’ seriously.” The new law will make violations of the Second Amendment and DC-sanctioned kidnapping nearly impossible in Alaska, and it throws yet another roadblock in the path of an unconstitutional national ID program. The people of Alaska should be proud of the courage shown by their representatives,” Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey said.

The federal government depends on state resources to enforce its laws. By pulling the rug out from under the feds, and denying state and local assistance to federal agents, Alaska effectively nullified indefinite detention, along with unconstitutional federal firearms regulations. (You can read an in-depth analysis of the Second Amendment protections offered by HB69 HERE.)

Alaska becomes the second state to refuse cooperation with federal kidnapping under the National Defense Authorization Act, following Virginia’s lead last year. And the new law takes it a step further, protecting the people of Alaska from indefinite detention under any other purported federal authority past or present, such as the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

A state or municipal agency may not use or authorize the use of an asset to implement or aid in the implementation of a requirement of an order of the President of the United States, a federal regulation, or a law enacted by the United States Congress that is applied to deny a person a right to due process, or a protection of due process, that would otherwise be available to the person under the Constitution of the State of Alaska or the Constitution of the United States.

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Local 2nd Amendment Protection Resolutions Spreading Like Wildfire in Alabama

During the recent legislative session, the Alabama Senate created quite a stir when it passed a Second Amendment Preservation act that would have nullified unconstitutional federal gun laws in the Heart of Dixie. This was a great first step, but the Alabama House lacked the resolve to get the bill passed, and hopes of blocking violations of the Second Amendment at the state level died for the year with the end of the legislative session.

But that doesn’t mean Alabama citizens have to just sit around and wait for next year. Government bodies at the local level can step into the fray to get things done.

Two Alabama cities and one county did just that. The cities of Russellville and Red Bay both fall within Franklin County, and all three local governments recently passed similar resolutions supporting the right to keep and bear arms, and encouraging gun manufactures to set up shop in their area.

The resolutions find their legal justification in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I: Section 26 of the Alabama State Constitution that states “every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”

The resolutions have six clauses, all encouraging gun manufacturing within their jurisdiction, both to maintain the defense of the citizens and for economic prosperity for their local communities.

“The council and I wanted to expressly show support for the Second Amendment,” Red Bay Mayor Bobby Forsythe said.

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California Senate Committee Unanimously Passes NDAA Nullification Bill

SACRAMENTO, Cal. (June 25, 2013) – Today, the California State Senate Public Safety Committee gave a unanimous “Do-Pass” approval to a bill which starts the process of stopping “Indefinite Detention” under the NDAA and other so-called federal “laws.”  The bill, authored by Republican Assemblymember Tim Donnelly was previously passed by the State Assembly by a vote of 71-1.  It is is expected to get a vote in the Senate appropriations committee next, which is the final stop before a vote in the state senate.  If it passes both, it’ll go on to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

California residents are strongly encourage to contact their state senator immediately to request a YES vote on AB351. (contact info here)

If passed into law, AB351 would make it state policy to reject “indefinite detention” powers from the federal government.   It reads, in part:

It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California. [emphasis added]

This language of AB351 goes far beyond what has been considered in most other states, which focus solely on indefinite detention powers under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and nothing else.  Donnelly’s legislation broadens the scope by recognizing that indefinite detention should not be complied with no matter what federal law is used to justify it.  Donnelly confirmed this broad scope, “AB351 will prevent California from implementing indefinite detention for any reason.”

This would make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to detain without due process in California.  As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government is going to have an extremely difficult time – at best – carrying out indefinite detention in California without the assistance of California.

NEXT STEPS  

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The TAC: DOING Stuff for Seven Years

A rainy April day in downtown Lexington, Ky. changed the trajectory of my life.

It was 2009, and I stood with several hundred people at one of the early Tax-Day protests that ultimately sparked the “Tea Party” movement. I don’t really remember specifics, although I do recall some fiery speeches and some pretty clever signs.

But I do vividly remember looking out over that crowd and thinking, “Wow, this is all well and good, but I need to DO something. Standing in the rain holding a sign just isn’t going to get it.”

I went home that afternoon and I simply couldn’t escape this deepening sense that it was imperative that I get personally involved in the political system. I didn’t want my kids or grandkids to ask me one day, “Daddy, what did you do when America was in the middle of its collapse?” and find that the only answer I had was “I stood in a park and then I voted.”

That day put me on a path that ultimately led me to the Tenth Amendment Center. I started out as the state chapter coordinator in Kentucky and eventually moved on to take the role of national communications director.

I’m thrilled to say, I found a place that DOES something and an organization that affords me the opportunity to DO stuff.

Today marks the Tenth Amendment Center’s seventh anniversary and I am simply awed at how far the organization has come in the three years I’ve been part of it. When I first started working for the TAC, we were pushing a few Tenth Amendment resolutions and trying to convince newspaper reporters we weren’t a bunch of racists. Today, as the AP recently reported “about four-fifths of the states now have enacted local laws that directly reject or ignore federal laws on marijuana use, gun control, health insurance requirements and identification standards for driver’s licenses.”

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Partisanship Plays a Larger Role in Support for “ObamaCare” than Opposition to It

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll provides a fascinating look into how factors other than the content of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affect people’s views of that law. Kaiser asked respondents their views of the PPACA, alternately describing it as “ObamaCare” and “the health reform law.” Here’s what happened:…

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Left-Wingers Attack; I Yawn

Apparently there’s been a series against me over at the Daily Kos by a left-liberal lawyer. I no longer pay attention to left-wing attacks. It’s the same arguments every time. They pretend I haven’t answered them. I have. They idiotically call me a “neo-Confederate” (have they really not seen the zombie video, or are they trying to caricature themselves?).

The most recent one is only slightly different. For some reason, central to his argument is his claim that Thomas Jefferson was an Antifederalist. He was not. Jefferson was a supporter of the Constitution, though he wanted term limits for the president, as well as a Bill of Rights. This is all explained in a basic text like David N. Mayer’s The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson.

I am then accused of “mendacity” (because I stand to gain a lot by lying about nullification!) because I do not note that nine states spoke out against the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, which laid out the doctrine of state nullification. By my count, seven states issued statements against the Resolutions, and I have discussed them repeatedly, both in my book (which the author has not read, naturally) and online.

I am “mendacious” for leaving this out, even though I didn’t leave it out, but my critic isabsolutely not mendacious for himself leaving out the reason that six of those seven states opposed Virginia and Kentucky: they favored the Sedition Act, and the principle that journalists should be thrown in jail for criticizing the president. Oops!

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