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