Ben Lewis nails it.
“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policymaking is involved, and no case-bycase weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.” – Justice Antonin Scalia, Printz v. United States (1997)
“A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”
- Lysander Spooner
“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”
- Mark Twain
The American doctrine is the logical resultant of the philosophy of the Revolution. If men are all equal in the sense that they have equal rights, if they form governments to protect those rights, then there must be somewhere a fundamental set of rules which delineates those rights and lays down the terms on which…Details
“People who argue against nullification misunderstand the views of the founding generation entirely.”
-Ben Lewis, Tenth Amendment Center
“The laws of Congress are restricted to a certain sphere, and when they depart from this sphere, they are no longer supreme or binding.”
“One excellency of the Constitution is that when the government of the United States…leaps those bounds and interferes with the rights of the State governments they will be powerful enough to check it.”
“There is nothing in the Constitution which says the states are required to enforce or implement federal acts”
“Each State then reserves its own rights to itself, and the [Virginia] Resolutions affirm, that the right to refuse obedience to an unconstitutional law, is among those reserved rights. Again: if the State may not act upon its own decision, until the majority have sanctioned it, the right so to decide, is, until the majority have sanctioned it, in that majority, and not in the State. The State has only the right to express its opinion; which opinion although involving her ‘safety,’ and her very existence, goes for nothing until approved by others.” – Abel P. Upshur
Some, such as Matt Spalding a the Heritage Foundation, argue only all of the states working together can legitimately nullify an unconstitutional act. The 19th century Virginia jurist obliterates that foolish notion. Nullification is a natural right of self-defense reserved to the states and the people.