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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New Hampshire Legislature Nullifies Federal “Laws” on Marijuana

CONCORD, N.H.  – New Hampshire moved a step forward toward legalizing marijuana for medical use, joining the swelling ranks of states nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on weed.  The Legislature voted 284-66 Wednesday in favor of HB 573 and the bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

The bill allows patients diagnosed with cancer, Crohn’s disease and approximately twenty initially approved conditions to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana obtained from one of four dispensaries authorized by the state.

‘‘All of us recognize it has been proven to provide relief from pain and suffering,’’ Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) said.

Even so, the feds define alleviating suffering as a criminal activity. Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But the opinions of black-robed judicial oracles don’t magically transform the meaning of the Constitution. It delegates no power to regulate plants grown and used within the borders of a state. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.

None.

Doubt this? Then ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to legalize federal alcohol prohibition?

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Colorado Nullifies Federal Hemp Ban With Governor’s Signature

COLORADO SPRINGS – On Tuesday, Colorado Gov.John Hickenlooper signed SB13-241 into law, effectively nullifying the federal ban on industrial hemp farming in the Centennial State.

Under the new law, the Colorado Department of Agriculture can create a state Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and Registry, giving Colorado’s farmers the ability to begin the process to “engage in industrial hemp cultivation for commercial purposes.”

The recent passage of Amendment 64 legalizing the cultivation and recreational use of marijuana in Colorado had the major impact on the state’s agricultural sector, and laid the groundwork for passage of this bill. Now, farmers in Colorado can apply for a 10 acre research plot, or they can apply for larger farms.

“I believe this is really going to revitalize and strengthen farm communities,” says Ryan Lofin, the man who planted Americas first hemp crop in 60 years on 60 acres of his family’s Colorado farmland. That plot previously supported alfalfa.

Steve Wilson of the Missouri Hemp Network praised Colordado’s new law.

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Your Congress, Your NSA Spying

by Jim Harper, CATO Institute

The National Security Agency is collecting records of every domestic and cross-border Verizon phone call between now and July 19th. The secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over these records has been leaked to the Guardian.

You may find that outrageous. 1984 has arrived. Big Brother is watching you.

But the author of this story is not George Orwell. It’s Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, and you.

Here’s what I mean: In June of last year, Representative Smith (R) introduced H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012. Its purpose was to extend the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 for five years, continuing the government’s authority to collect data like this under secret court orders. The House Judiciary Committee reported the bill to the full House a few days later. The House Intelligence Committee, having joint jurisdiction over the bill, reported it at the beginning of August. And in mid-September, the Housepassed the bill by a vote of 301 to 118.

Sent to the Senate, the bill languished until very late in the year. But with the government’s secret wiretapping authority set to expire, the Senate took up the bill on December 27th. Whether by plan or coincidence, the Senate debated secret surveillance of Americans’ communications during the lazy, distracted period between Christmas and the new year.

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How to Tell If the Government Has Taken over Health Care

by Michael Cannon, CATO Institute From the Washington Post: Hedge fund executives and other investors are increasingly interested in the timing and nature of health-policy decisions in Washington because they directly affect the profits and stock prices of pharmaceutical, insurance, hospital and managed-care companies… [Former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] director Thomas Scully, who served during the Bush…

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U.S. Senate short-circuits the Constitution on taxes, again

The Constitution is exceptionally clear on the origin of all taxes. “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives,” not the Senate (Article I, Sec. 7). When is the House going to protect its powers from the Senate’s intrusive attempts to steal its power? Recently the Senate passed the “Marketplace Fairness Act” by a vote of 69-27, an Internet sales tax, giving states the authority to require on-line retailers, with no physical presence in those states, to collect sales taxes. Americans will pay more taxes with this bill than without. It is a bill for raising revenue and it did not originate in the House as mandated by the Constitution.

To put the Senate in its constitutional place the House should never take this bill up. Instead, if they feel such legislation is needful, they should originate their own bill after which invite the Senate to take a new bill through the committee process and to the floor once again. I might also suggest not doing so for a year or two just to make the message stronger. “You are infringing on our constitutional jurisdiction.” If the Senate will not do so, the House should consider the bill non-existent. Under no circumstances should they accept this bill as appropriate action on the part of their sister law-making body. Retailers, on the other hand, should refuse to pay this tax and challenge it in the courts on the constitutional grounds cited above.

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