State Legislatures Strengthen the Constitution Via Nullification

On May 4, politicususa.com published “Republicans Shred the Constitution By Passing Unconstitutional Nullification Laws” by Rmuse.

This article is nothing more than worship at the altar of the All-Powerful National Regime. The author’s supposition is that Republicans despise the Constitution because many states have passed bills that nullify federal government laws and reject federal court opinions. It is my contention that citizens of the several states do not need to stand by and accept unconstitutional overreach of federal statutes and poorly reasoned federal / Supreme court decisions. As James Madison put it:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. . . . The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. (THE FEDERALIST NO. 45, at 292-293 (James Madison)(Clinton Rossiter ed., 1961))

Rmuse’s primary contention is that any and all decisions by the federal government must be constitutional because they say so. Nothing could be further from the truth. All three branches, executive, legislative and judicial, are three limbs of the same power hungry tree.

In the second paragraph of the article, he makes some strange reference to secession petitions submitted after the 2012 election. These petitions, submitted through the White House web site, have nothing to do with nullification. Nullification acts are passed by state legislatures, petitions are submitted by individual citizens. He also said nullification started immediately after the 2012 election when, in fact, efforts began during in 1798 with the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions. Other nullification efforts began as early as 1832 during the Jackson administration. And if we are talking about the modern nullification movement, we can look back to the mid-1990s when California began nullifying federal prohibition of weed.

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California Action Alert: Pass AB351, Help Stop “Indefinite Detention”

Tim Donnelly’s AB351, a bill which starts the process of stopping “Indefinite Detention” under the NDAA and other so-called federal “laws,” has passed the State Assembly and is up for an important State Senate committee hearing and vote on June 25th. Your action is needed right now to help this bill move forward!

ACTION STEPS for California Residents:

1. Contact ALL the members of the Senate Public Safety Committee. Let each of them know – strongly, but respectfully – that you want to see a YES vote on AB351.

Senator Loni Hancock (Chair) (916) 651-4009
Senator Joel Anderson (Vice Chair) (916) 651-4036
Senator Marty Block (916) 651-4039
Senator Kevin de León (916) 651-4022
Senator Steve Knight (916) 651-4021
Senator Carol Liu (916) 651-4025
Senator Darrell Steinberg (916) 651-4006

2. Contact your state senator.  California residents are strongly encouraged to contact their state senators immediately to request support for AB351.  (contact info here)

3.  Share this information widely.  Please pass this along to your friends and family.  Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state.  Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.

4. Join the NDAA activist group on Facebook. Connect with others, plan strategy, build a coalition, and help get AB351 passed!
http://www.facebook.com/groups/nullifyndaacalifornia/

BILL INFORMATION

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

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Separation of Constitution and State?

It seems we have reached a new point of inversion.

Are we at a point where references to the Constitution are now censored by the public education system? The curriculum has long been compromised with Constitutional half-truths, but are we now censoring student’s speeches that reflect on the Constitution? Is it too controversial, or just too obviously true, to allow a valedictorian to point out that the federal government is trampling rights?

According to reports, a North Texas valedictorian’s microphone was recently shut off mid-speech when his speech varied from the submitted script. The speech varied and “…he was talking about getting constitutional rights getting taken away from him.” the microphone was cut off. In fairness to the school, there was a policy in place that microphones would be shut off if the speech went off-script.

However, this trend to micromanage the speech of those that have earned the highest academic position available is problematic. What prompts the school to implement such authoritarian measures of censorship of a valedictorian’s speech? Who’s speech is it anyway?  Why did this valedictorian feel the need to remove references to the Constitution in the draft submitted to the school censors?

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Striking at the Root

Here in the northwest, there proliferates a climbing plant known to many people far and wide as Morning Glory.  Though there are different kinds of Morning Glory, they have in common creeping vines, and flowers that bloom at night, or through the early morning.The flowers can be quite lovely, and because they climb so nicely, are often used to cover patio trellises and fencing. The same vines that creep up, also creep out in a vast ground cover.

Unfortunately, all that flowers does not a happy gardener make. Morning Glory is highly invasive with a complicated root system that makes it very difficult to get rid of. “Very,” as in, I am pretty sure the cockroaches will be vacationing in it post nuclear fallout.

Every broken piece of Morning Glory will root and form it’s own plant. It can’t be composted, but rather must be thrown away or burned. The rototiller and the hoe are only helping it to achieve world domination. Weedkiller will take care of it temporarily, but do you want to spray weedkiller in your vegetable garden? The only real way to take it on is to dig up the root system everywhere you can, cover up your garden with black plastic all year (instead of growing anything) in order to burn it out with the sun, and/or just be prepared to be pulling it up constantly… for the rest of your life.

Sitting in my garden, pulling up Morning Glory, I was pondering the recent revelations in regard to the ever growing surveillance state. A local news station posed the question over Facebook of whether or not members of our community felt that Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, deserved to be tried for treason. Some of the answers disturbed me, and the split was much more even than I would have hoped.

You see, quite many people still see the intelligence community as more interested in our freedom and protection than anything else. It hasn’t occurred to them that it’s power could be (and is being) abused. If it has occurred to them, they have quickly discarded it and gone back to life as usual. I think there are many reasons for this, and I am even willing to say that some of those reasons stem from a habit of looking on the bright side. Obviously there are many more negative reasons as well, but for the moment I am giving people the benefit of the doubt. They want to believe that our government has our best interests at heart. They are good people, their friends and family are good people, certainly the men and women working in our government are at heart, good people. But is this outlook naive? At best.

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Government Spying a Bipartisan Affair

While the fervor created by revelations that the U.S. Department of Justice recently wiretapped American journalists, and IRS agents targeted Tea Party and conservative groups raged, an online anti-war magazine quietly filed a lawsuit indicating these federal government abuses of power go deeper and reach much further back than most Americans realize.

On May 22, Antiwar.com managing editor Eric Garris and longtime editorial director Justin Raimondo filed a federal suit against the FBI demanding the release of records apparently compiled on them and the 17-year-old online magazine. Filed by the ACLU of Northern California on behalf of Garris and Raimondo, the suit also demands the FBI stop collecting records of constitutionally protected speech.

A heavily redacted FBI memo released after a 2011 Freedom of Information Act reveals the FBI began spying on Garris and Raimondo as early as 2004.

“It’s easy to blow these recent scandals off as some kind of partisan, anti-Obama witch-hunt,” Raimondo said. “But clearly, this total disregard of basic constitutional rights and gross abuse of power go back to the Bush administration, and probably further than that. This is not a partisan problem. This is a systemic problem. The FBI pretty much does whatever it wants, whenever it wants in the name of ‘fighting terror,’ and has been for a long time – the Constitution be damned.”

According to the suit, the ACLU made several futile attempts to obtain the FBI records after release of the memo. The documents indicate the FBI has files on Garris and Raimondo, and at one point the FBI recommends opening a preliminary investigation of Antiwar.com “…to determine if [redaction] are engaging in, or have engaged in, activities which constitute a threat to national security.”

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California Senate Unanimously Asks Feds’ Permission to Legalize Hemp

After a veto from Governor Jerry Brown in 2011, another hemp legalization bil unanimously passed the California Senate on Tuesday, June 4.

SB 566 was written to acquiesce Governor Brown’s out-of-touch constitutional ignorance. Under the current bill, hemp production would only begin once California receives permission from the federal government.

“We feel confident that California will finally have an industrial hemp law later this year ensuring that California farmers are ready and able to cultivate hemp upon federal approval,” Patrick Goggin, California legal counsel for the industry group Vote Hemp said.

Should SB 566 be construed as some mechanism to make the federal government act? Hardly. But it does indicate the growing support for hemp production, not only in California, but across the United States.

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New Wisconsin Bill Would Nullify Federal Gun “Laws”

Wisconsin State Representative Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) announced on Tuesday that he is introducing legislation that will protect Wisconsin gun owners from  unconstitutional gun control measures at the federal level.

“The Firearms Freedom Act” would prevent local and state law enforcement from assisting in the enforcement of federal “laws” that ban or restrict the use of firearms.  Officers who violate the law could be charged with a misdemeanor.

This would make a HUGE dent in any new federal effort to further restrict the right to keep and bear arms in Wisconsin. 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 absolutely cannot enforce gun control in Wisconsin without the help of Wisconsin.

“When I took my oath of office on Jan. 7, I raised my right hand to defend the Constitution of the U.S. and the Wisconsin Constitution, and although I admittedly say I’m not a huge gun guy, I just think it’s important to protect our Second Amendment,” Schraa said. “I think it’s one of our most fundamental rights.  I think it was very necessary and timely to introduce this bill.”

According to Rep. Schraa, the bill’s intent is to send a message to the federal government that Wisconsin won’t participate in the violation of constitutional rights or the enactment of irresponsible gun control legislation.

“I think our founding fathers understood the importance of the Second Amendment, especially the way our country was formed as we tried to break away from a tyrannical government and form this country independently,” Schraa said. “The Second Amendment played a big part in that and I think it carries through … It’s one sentence, very simple but very complex. For them to have the forethought for this to be relevant today is very significant.”

SUPREMACY CLAUSE  

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Help Nullify Warrantless Drone Spying in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania House Bill 961 is a bill to nullify warrantless drone spying.  It is currently in the Judiciary Committee and needs your action to help it move forward.

HB961 requires that a judge sign an order for the use of a drone for surveillance purposes during a criminal investigation or unless prior consent was given. See Chapter 57 Title 18 Subchapter 5704 Section 4 for current Pennsylvania wiretapping law.

Action Items for HB961.

1. Contact the Committee Chairman. Politely ask him to schedule HB961 for public hearing and vote.

Ron Marisco (717) 783-2014

2. Contact the other members of the Judiciary Committee. Strongly, but respectfully, urge each of them to vote YES on HB961.

Thomas R. Caltagirone, (717) 787-3525
Todd Stephens (215) 368-5165
Bryan Cutler (717) 783-6424
Glen R. Grell (717) 783-2063
Timothy Krieger (717) 260-6146
Sheryl M. Delozier (717) 783-5282

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The Pentagon as a Jobs Program, Part 3

A couple of months ago, I cited the example of upgraded Abrams tanks being shoved down the Pentagon’s throat by certain members of Congress because tank production = jobs back in the district. I followed that up with some historical background on congressional Pentagon pork-barreling that is discussed in former Reagan budget director David Stockman’s new book. Yesterday, a Wall Street…

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Action Alert: Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention” Locally in Colorado

A Liberty Preservation Act that would have nullified indefinite detention in Colorado died during the recent legislative session.

Political maneuvering by a few powerful lawmakers killed HB 13-1045, despite support on both sides of the aisle. Their lack of courage left Coloradans at the mercy of federal agents should they decide to exercise indefinite detention provisions written into the NDAA.

With the next legislative session months away, only one option remains: build grassroots groups to stop NDAA detention at the local level!

While the Colorado legislature  failed to interpose, government bodies at the local level can step into the fray. Counties and cities can refuse to assist any federal attempts at indefinite detention in their jurisdictions. These measures will not only provide  practical protections for their citizens, they will send a strong message to state capitals and put the pressure on to nullify federal kidnapping at the state level in the next legislative session.

Don’t wait for state lawmakers to act. Start working to stop the NDAA NOW by forming grassroots groups in your community.

Talk with your local representatives, local law enforcement, and even National Guard members. These local coalitions can stop the NDAA through education, activism, and vigilance. Then nullify locally to stop the NDAA. Encourage your city, town, municipality and county to pass resolutions and ordinances refusing to aid, enforce, or give resources to the military, DHS, or any other federal agency attempting detention under the NDAA.

When enough communities say no to unconstitutional federal acts, it will not only render them “nearly impossible to enforce” as Judge Napolitano has said, and it will also provide pressure needed to ensure that the state legislature does the right thing the next time around.

Here’s what you can start doing right now.   

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