“The theory of our government is opposed to the deposit of unlimited power anywhere. The executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches of these governments are all of limited and defined powers.”

- Justice Samuel Miller

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“I did not want to be mistreated, I did not want to be deprived of a seat that I had paid for. It was just time… there was opportunity for me to take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that manner. I had not planned to get arrested. I had plenty to do without having to end up in jail. But when I had to face that decision, I didn’t hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became.” – Rosa Parks 1992 NPR interview

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James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Nullification and “Insupportable Oppression”

Some of the so-called “experts” who want you to believe that nullification is invalid because James Madison wrote what seems to be a vehement opposition to it in the 1830s are just uninformed. Others, are just plain liars.

Either way, they’re wrong.

Here’s the deal.

John Calhoun and South Carolina proposed a specific kind of nullification in response to the “Tariff of Abominations,” as it was called. Madison denounced that. He used some serious language to write against it. And he was correct. He repeatedly referred to what he was opposing as “Her” doctrine of Nullification, or South Carolina’s “peculiar doctrine” of nullification.

In other words, he was addressing – specifically – what people were asking him about, and that was the South Carolina proposal that they could invalidate a federal act and the rest of the country would have to assume they were correct unless they held a convention to override the single state.

I’m not going to spend more time on this – because that’s obviously not a federalism ideal. And I agree with Madison’s opposition to that style of nullification – primarily the idea that every other state has to auto-agree with the one nullifying.  That’s just not the case.

But, what’s most important about Madison’s “Notes on nullification” is the fact that he did indeed consider nullification, as Jefferson did, a proper remedy.

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Chris Christie the Federal Puppet?

Chris Christie hides behind a political party principled in limited government, but always ends up showing his true statist colors.

In a recent press conference, Christie says doesn’t agree with states legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Nor does he believe that marijuana exists for medicinal purposes.

The Founders defined what form of government the United States were to become. In Federalist 39, Madison states,

A republican form of government is one of, “which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.”

Governor Christie hails from the favored class, the political elite, and has hijacked the term “republican.” Statists like Christie wallow in the despair when nullification chips away at this vision of consolidated states.

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July 4th, 1776: A Rejection of Centralized Power

On July 4th I have had a mixed sense of wonder and loss. I suppose it’s the same way some grieve for the loss of loved ones during the Christmas season. I am torn because I have the highest level of admiration and gratitude for those that freed themselves from the grips of the British tyranny, yet I do not feel that the cause for which they fought is represented properly in today’s celebrations.

After severing the political bonds, these brave colonists confronted a corrupt government and against all odds won their freedom. The most excellent generation of Americans laid a foundation for future generations by drafting a constitution designed to strictly limit federal power and to, as Jefferson noted, “bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution”. In the era of 1776 our forefathers granted us an incredible inheritance, a historic victory of People over established government.

Unfortunately, over two centuries we have squandered much of our inheritance and every time we look to Washington, D.C. for a “national” solution we further destroy our own children’s guarantees. The legacy and spoils of our celebrated revolution slips away with every stroke of the pen in Washington, D.C. This leaves me with a great sense of loss as the freedoms and liberties that we once enjoyed and the hopes for our children’s future are destroyed by federal politicians acting outside the authority provided them and against the interest of the People. The Bill of Rights specifically denied the federal government the authority to search without probable cause, indefinitely detain without warrants, declare guilt without due process or assassinate without conviction in a court of law. Yet, in today’s warped acceptance of centralized government these are exactly the powers claimed by our general government over Americans.

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Independence: May We Make the Most of It

“WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is urging Americans on the Fourth of July to live up to the words of the signingdecDeclaration of Independence by securing liberty and opportunity for their own children as well as for future generations.”

Do you think he really means it?

Consider the ramifications.

Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The Declaration of Independence was radical in its time.

No less so today.

The Declaration wasn’t simply a rebellion against British rule. It declared void the old way of viewing government and authority. It boldly asserted that We the People are not subject to our “rulers.”

They are subject to us.

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