Reviving nullification and defending the Constitution is rewarding, but sometimes tedious work. It can get tedious because attacks against us come from every angle. In addition to opposition from the usual array of demagogues in the mainstream press, who will say or do anything to protect federal power, we also get criticized by patriots and Constitutionalists as well.
Usually, the criticism is not against our message. Nullification is generally a very popular concept amongst patriots and Constitutionalists. The attacks focus our tactics. The most familiar piece of negative feedback we receive runs along the lines of “Why do we need to pass another law to enforce the Constitution?” or “If the Constitution already protects these rights, why do we need a redundant piece of legislation passed at the state level?”
We need nullification bills to be passed at the state level because that is how the Republic is meant to work. Because of the decentralized nature of our government, impediments can be thrown up through local and state government agencies. These can slow down, or even halt, unconstitutional federal behavior.
In fact, James Madison, often called “The Father of the Constitution, came up with this strategy before the document was even ratified. He laid out the blueprint for dealing with federal overreach in Federalist #46.
Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union, the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassment created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, very serious impediments; and were the sentiments of several adjoining States happen to be in Union, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.
Several modern examples exist that demonstrate the effectiveness of this tactic.
Remember the federal push for national ID cards during the Bush Administration? It was marginalized and put on the back-burner because of massive state-wide opposition mounted against the invasive measure. Remember marijuana prohibition? It is still around, but states have changed their laws undermining federal prohibition. In some states, marijuana laws have been nullified for all practical purposes. There are budding nullification efforts on issues such as Obamacare, federal gun control, NSA spying, industrial hemp production, and many others. Reviving this idea can save the country, but only if we fully capitalize upon it for all it’s worth.
Sitting around and waiting for the Constitution to enforce itself has not exactly worked very well. If anything, the lack of action has emboldened politicians to become even more corrupt. Washington D.C. is committing nothing short of an all-out assault on the document right now. From the NDAA, to the Patriot Act, to illegal foreign wars, to attacks on journalists and whistleblowers, this was against the Constitution is being waged against our basic freedoms and rights. It must be tolerated no longer!
The Constitution is only what we make of it. If we do not act, it becomes little more than old parchment with ornate writing. But when we do act, its words can become the foundation on which a free, prosperous nation rests.
At the Tenth Amendment Center, we draft legislation that makes it far more difficult for Washington D.C. to enact its Constitution-destroying agenda. But it will only work if good people stop with their excuses and naysaying and actually get involved.
Join us, and help us restore the Constitution while there is still time.