The Futility of Federal Office

Years ago I made my first speech with the Tenth Amendment Center in a location far East of Los Angeles, where the urban sprawl ends and the desert begins.  The evening started off with much enthusiasm as a leading member of the group announced that she would be running for Congress.  Later, I heard one of the best compliments of my life- that I had caused a Federal candidate to re-consider her decision.

“After listening to you, I feel like I would make a bigger difference here in CA…” she said, with a solemn tone.

I agreed.

How many more times do we need to see good people battered on the rocks of Mount DC before We the People change course?

Recently, the founders of the Patrick Henry Caucus all ran for Federal offices.  How many of them even GOT a chance to be a lone difference maker in a sea of disgusting greed and self-interest?  One. Four out of the five lost their bids, aced out by candidates and a political establishment that knows how to steal your message like a Mockingbird.

I found it ironic that the founders of a caucus to break down the power in DC would be so eager to campaign for Federal office in the first place, but if one assumes the purity of their intent…then four candidates who represent the antithesis of centralized power couldn’t even get in the door.

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Religious Nullification – Part I – HHS Mandate

For the better part of a year, I have personally wanted to start a series on the religious history of Nullification, both in America and worldwide, even before the beginning of America and in some cases before the existence of Christianity. The recent showdown over the US Bishops and the Obama administration over the HHS mandate regarding abortion and contraceptive funding in health insurance plans has opened up that door with a modern day example.

While the Catholic Church has been the most visible player on this issue, Orthodox Christian, Protestant and Jewish leaders have voiced their solidarity with the Catholic Bishops in their opposition to the HHS mandate.  There were also examples in my research of Muslim leaders joining in interfaith protests against the mandate, and brief mentions in the media of Muslim organizations joining in, but I personally found little on Muslims generally supporting or opposing the mandate.

While perhaps not every Tenther is opposed to abortion and contraception, to force religious employers, or even non-religious employers whose personal convictions forbid one from paying for things that conflict with their conscience, is a clear violation of the First Amendment, and unjust in general.

One’s religion is much more than what one does for an hour or two on Sunday, Saturday or any other day of the week. Most religions have rules governing not just how their adherents worship, but also how they carry themselves in day to day life. And in some cases, the violation of some of those rules results in de facto and/or public excommunication from that religion.

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A Question of Supremacy

In the latest attack on States passing resolutions or bills they perceive as unconstitutional actions by the federal government, Benjamin Wittes article Does the Virginia Federal Assembly Understand the Supremacy Clause in LawFare state, “I’ve been doing my best to ignore to the hysterical, paranoid, delusional howls of rage on both the Right and the Left about the NDAA, but they are starting to reach critical mass in a way that one ignores at one’s own peril.”

What seems to have prompted this article was the recent passage by Virginia of a bill stating that officials of Virginia would not comply with Articles 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA passed by Congress which does not exclude citizens from possible arrest and indefinite detention by the Military on orders of the President.  He goes on the state, “I have one question about this bill—which passed the House of Delegates on 96-to-4 vote and passed the Senate on a 38-to-1 vote: Do any of the members who voted for it remember that the federal Constitution contains a Supremacy Clause—which elevates an act of Congress just a wee bit over ‘any regulation of the Virginia Administrative Code’?”

His argument seems to be based solely on the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution which states;

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. (Emphasis added)

Since the “Supremacy Clause” is used to justify numerous actions by the federal government and to oppose any assertion by the states that they could nullify those actions then let’s focus solely on that argument.

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Virginia Taking a Stand Against EPA

Virginia House Delegates Robert G. Marshall and Anne B. Crockett-Stark recently introduced  HB 27. The Residential energy efficiency standards exempts certain homes from federal cap & trade legislation,  and would limit the power of the EPA to set the standards for home construction in Virginia, as stated in the bill’s brief description.

Residential energy efficiency standards. Exempts any residential building or manufactured home in Virginia from being subject to federal legislation relating to residential energy efficiency standards if such building complies with the Statewide Uniform Building Code. Except to the extent required by the Statewide Building Code, the owner of such building or home cannot be required by the federal government to (i) have an energy efficiency analysis conducted on his residence, (ii) have his residence meet federal energy efficiency standards, (iii) participate in a building performance labeling program, (iv) make modifications to the residence in accordance with federal legislation, or (v) post a label showing the energy efficiency of his home prior to its sale. The bill also prohibits any state agency from assisting any federal agency in the implementation of global warming or climate change legislation.

We at the Tenth Amendment Center believe strongly in the wisdom and views of two of Virginias’ most respected statesmen on the duty of the  states under the US Constitution; “and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said  compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”- James Madison, Virginia Resolutions, 1798;”whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force”- Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, 1798

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Who’s the real hypocrite?

Some guy named Doug Thompson took a cheap shot at Ron Paul recently in an incoherent article titled “The Constitutional hypocrisy of Ron Paul.” From what I could gather, Thompson’s claim is that Ron Paul supports nullification and the 10th Amendment, therefore Ron Paul is a racist because a document published in 1956 called the Southern Manifesto once alluded to nullification.

No mention of the Virginia or Kentucky Resolutions, or of Thomas Jefferson.

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New England Nullification Tradition Marches On

Though many living in New England today might be loathe to admit it, there is a long history of nullification being used in the region to defy unconstitutional federal edicts. This week, the town of Sedgwick, Maine voted to carry on that proud tradition by nullifying certain federal agricultural regulations.

They did so through what might be the most legitimate form of democratic expression left in America: the New England town meeting. (Which have been held in the Sedgwick town hall since 1794.)

According to one report, the residents of Sedgwick voted to enact a law that not only permits

“Sedgwick citizens…to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing,”

but declares that

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Supreme Court gets the Constitution right, for once

In an overwhelming 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the odious Westboro Baptist Church and the First Amendment. That is, the amendment which protects ALL speech, not just politically-correct, state-approved speech. Bravo. The nine highest-paid federal judges in the land have proved themselves capable of comprehending the plain language of the Constitution. Why then,  we…

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