Today, we received an email inquiry about nullification from someone who is part of the national team at Convention of States Project.

I thought this was interesting because no organization has been more disparaging of nullification efforts than CoS. Well, maybe ThinkProgress. But it’s close.

In case you’re also interested in this communication, here is the full background:

1. On Tuesday, we sent out an email newsletter update with the subject line “BIG NEWS: Nullify Gun Control Efforts Pass in 2 States this week! ??”

We included two reports about bills setting the foundation to reject various gun control measures passing in both Mississippi and Tennessee. A great first step is how we reported both.

2. Later on Tuesday, one of our subscribers forwarded the email over to – not sure why, but they did.

3. On Wednesday, a person at their HQ in Virginia responded with this – and the TAC subscriber forwarded the response to us:

Thanks for sharing! Thought you would like to know more on this story. This isn’t nullification. Nullification has always been struck down by federal and state judges, as was heartily approved by the states during the South Carolina Tariff Crisis. Mississippi simply reused federal money that had been previously given for the state’s implementation of specific regulations. Similarly, Tennessee didn’t “throw off” anything that the federal government obligated on the state. Nullification stands in direct opposition to the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.

4. Later on Wednesday, we responded to our subscriber with this:

Thanks for sending this our way. We find it interesting that rather than commenting on the bills themselves – the effect that they might have on federal gun control, that is – they are more concerned about whether or not something qualifies as “nullification” under their definition of it.

We think you’ll find these videos interesting:

Write anytime!

5. On Thursday AM, the same person at COS HQ who had written the anti-nullification comments sent a message to us at TAC. This person used a personal email address and didn’t disclose their relationship with CoS. This was the message:

Hi, I want to know how you guys respond to claims that the South Carolina Tariff Crisis and the Supremacy Clause prove that the Founding Fathers didn\’t want nullification to be the mechanism for striking down unconstitutional laws.

I thought it was interesting that the question sent to us had the two main things mentioned in the official CoS email sent the day earlier. That is, “Supremacy Clause” and “Tariff Crisis.”

6. Tonight – Early Friday AM – I personally responded with this:

Thanks for writing!

We have loads of commentary on this and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction to get started. But first – I’m interested in an answer to this question:

Is this an official inquiry as part of your work with CoS Project, or is this a personal inquiry?

Either way, I’ll be happy to personally engage you on this, but would appreciate some insight.

–Michael Boldin
Founder, Executive Director
Tenth Amendment Center

I’m not sure if this person is trying to troll TAC or is genuinely interested in an answer to the question. Either way, I’ll take it as a positive development – because I think a healthy dialogue is important.

Michael Boldin

The 10th Amendment

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