As Eleven States Declare Sovereignty Over Obama’s Action observed early in 2009, Obamcare stirred up a ruckus.
State governors — looking down the gun barrel of long-term spending forced on them by the Obama “stimulus” plan — are saying they will refuse to take the money. This is a Constitutional confrontation between the federal government and the states unlike any in our time.
In the first five weeks of his presidency, Barack Obama has acted so rashly that at least 11 states have decided that his brand of “hope” equates to an intolerable expansion of the federal government’s authority over the states. These states — “Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, [Minnesota]…Georgia,” South Carolina, and Texas — “have all introduced bills and resolutions” reminding Obama that the 10th Amendment protects the rights of the states, which are the rights of the people, by limting the power of the federal government. These resolutions call on Obama to “cease and desist” from his reckless government expansion and also indicate that federal laws and regulations implemented in violation of the 10th Amendment can be nullified by the states. (continued here)
Since then much of America has debated and slowly begun to take seriously state nullification of Federal laws. Dear Federal Government: Go To Hell, an essay at the Tenth Amendment Center, cites this Rasmussen poll, 54% Say States Should Be Able To Opt Out of Federal Programs.
So why is state nullification such a rarity? Well, it really isn’t, as the Jim Crow laws attest. Even after the Civil War, and after being garrisoned with Federal troops during Reconstruction, Southern States stubbornly passed laws stripping Blacks of their constitutionally guaranteed rights. What war could not accomplish and troops could not enforce, Blacks eventually did themselves. With nonviolent protests — civil disobedience — Blacks shamed Whites into recognizing their civil rights.
- Therefore, even though their proposals drive Liberals into histrionics (a positive all by itself ), state nullification advocates have be taken seriously. Along that line, this blog has run an assortment of posts related to states rights.
- Some have involved the proposal for a Repeal Amendment. See NOT A GOOD IDEA! and SPEAKER BILL HOWELL ON THE REPEAL AMENDMENT.
- Most have involved Delegate Bob Marshall‘s and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli‘s defense of the rights of Virginia using the Federal Courts. See A REPORT FROM ONE FRONT IN THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM and 4th CIRCUIT RULING: CUCCINELLI’S TAKE for the latest.
- One has involved an odd bit of philosophy, Two Competing Visions of Law (via Thinking in Christ). When we engage in major conflicts, we do so to resolve distinctly different visions of society
So what would state nullification look like? I am not sure, but About the Tenth Amendment and Nullification – An Email From A Friend Challenges My Assumptions at REDSTATE provides a clue. Here the author describes a process that requires guts and persistence. An orderly process usually defines American Law. Since no process is defined for state nullification of Federal laws, nullification requires the determined obedience of the citizenry to state Law and determine disobedience to Federal Law.
If people really were fed up (no pun intended) they simply would not purchase insurance and they would refuse to pay the fine. Would states come to their defense, and if so how, when the feds tried to collect the fines or render punishment for refusing to pay? Who knows? Has anyone even thought about how the states could come to the defense of its citizens who individually decide to defy the feds in this regard? See what I mean? Talk, talk, talk. (from here)
Frankly, I would prefer more orderly process. I am not ashamed to admit fear. I would much rather see Conservatives win elections and win in the courts. Nonetheless, we have no such guarantees. Just as have some in the past, we too may see the worse.
When free men want to remain free, we have one final option. We say NO! We refuse to be sheep. We refuse to acquiesce and politely accept our enslavement. We nullify bad Law by refusing to obey.
One last thought. The Roanoke Tea Party supports state nullification. See 4th Circuit Court: Nullification Chronicles Part 3. They are fans of Thomas E. Woods. Since Woods supports Ron Paul, I probably don’t see eye-to-eye with Woods on at least a few subjects. Nonetheless, this book review, A Brilliant Exposition on the Effectiveness of Nullification, sounds interesting.
So while I am hesitant at this point to go down the nullification road, I still consider those folks allies and remind them to be patient.
When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn’t like it. “Compromise” was a dirty word to them and they wouldn’t face the fact that we couldn’t get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don’t get it all, some said, don’t take anything. I’d learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: “I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.” If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that’s what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it. — Ronald Reagan (from here)
Total agreement is not required to define someone as a friend — not that I will ever get use to disagreement. Did Reagan ever stop fighting?