Larry Greenley has written a long, but interesting and thought-provoking article on changing vs enforcing the constitution on a state level. Here’s an excerpt:

The movement to restore the Constitution, however, has encountered a fork in the road. One path builds on the Tenth Amendment movement by introducing and passing measures in state legislatures to nullify various unconstitutional federal laws, such as federal firearms laws and ObamaCare. Let’s call this choice, “States Enforce the Constitution.” The adherents of the second path seek to convince constitutionalists that what’s needed to rein in the federal government is a constitutional convention (Con-Con) as provided for by Article V of the Constitution to propose some new amendments to the Constitution. Let’s call this choice, “States Revise the Constitution.”

To choose the correct choice, we must understand the problem — namely that all three branches of the federal government routinely disregard major portions of the Constitution, despite the fact that the original 13 states created a compact, or agreement, designating as their agent, a federal government composed of executive, legislative, and judicial branches with their powers enumerated in the Constitution.

Thus, the states must re-assert themselves soon as the parties to the original compact that established the federal government as their agent and enforce the Constitution, or face eventual extinction at the hands of the federal government. As James Madison wrote regarding the states, “There can be no tribunal above [the states’] authority, to decide in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated.”

The enforcement-through-state-nullification route builds on the ideas of the Founders and posits that the states, which created the federal government in the first place, can begin re-asserting themselves immediately by virtue of their superior status as the creators of the federal government and by using those powers never delegated to the federal government. In contrast, revising the Constitution through an Article V convention would not immediately reassert the dominance of the states over the federal government; hence, the federal government would be permitted to continue to operate according to its self-assigned role as ultimate arbiter of violations of the constitutional compact. This in turn would delay the necessary reassertion by the states of their superior status over the federal government while everyone is kept waiting for a possible realignment of state-federal power to emerge from an Article V constitutional amendment process. Meanwhile, the federal government would continue to increase its control over the states and their citizens — taking our freedoms, rights, and money.


Michael Boldin

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